Progress Pics

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Attacked by a pack of dogs!! WTF?

My son Tom and his girlfriend Michelle. Yes, he really is towering over the refrigerator. I think he is 6'5". Our youngest, Andrew is 6'8"-- we grow em big around here. LOL

In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, when I thought of what today's post would be about........... I figured it would end up being much like the posts of most of my blogging friends-- saying what I am thankful for, describing trying to eat in moderation and being honest about what I splurged on, sharing family pics like the one above.

But the way my day started was completely unexpected, really upsetting, traumatizing actually. It involves me and my dog Zeke, pictured above--he's watching my husband carve up the remaining turkey and hoping for a hand-out.

Gosh dad, can I have one little piece?

Zeke LOVES to run in the woods. There is a tract of woods in our neighborhood and we take him in there to run around while we walk. This morning I thought it would be nice to take Zeke for a morning walk in the woods before I started cooking.

I leashed him up and off we went on our "mother/son" adventure . DH stayed home with our older dog, Beau.

Once we got to the woods, I took the leash off of Zeke to let him run amok, as always. We hadn't gone far, maybe half a mile, when I saw a woman up ahead with a pack of 4 dogs. We have had negative and dangerous experiences with this woman on 2 other occasions. One dog is a Shepard and another a malamute-- these two are vicious and have attacked our dogs without provocation two other times. This isn't just barking-- the four of them surround and the two alphas-- the Shepard and the malamute, actually bite.

They were a distance away of about two city blocks. The minute I saw them, I called Zeke over to releash him and I planned to turn around and get out of the area. It was too late, they spotted us and they weren't leashed. Off they ran right towards us and I KNEW we were in trouble.

I have read that you should not turn your back on an attacking dog, as it incites their hunting instincts and they will pursue you all the more. I wrapped Zeke's leash around my arm and faced the onslaught.

They surrounded us and it was absolutely terrifying. The Shepherd and the malamute took turns biting Zeke. The other two did not bite, but closed in, barking.

Their owner is out-of-shape and was slow to arrive on the scene. I straddled Zeke's body in an effort to protect him and had started swatting the dogs away. The woman had the NERVE to say to me "Don't you dare hurt my dogs." I was surrounded by her wild pack, my dog has been bitten more than once, but she has the audacity to act as if I am the aggressor. HELLO!

She leashed up her dogs and took off without an apology. I called after her and said I was calling the police and that I know where she lives-- but she took off anyway.

To keep this post from being a small book, let me say that she LIED to the police and claimed that her dogs were leashed and that I was passing by her and her dogs managed to pull away and bark. She denied that they bit or were in any way aggressive.

NUMEROUS people in the neighborhood have had altercations with this woman over her dogs but no one ever called the police before, just as we never had. It turns out her dogs are not licensed. They gave her a written warning for allowing her dogs to create a nuisance and for being unlicensed. She has thirty days to license the dogs. Since it is my word against hers that they were unleashed and that they are the ones who bit my dog-- she basically completely got away with it.

The other times this happened, DH was with me and we were able to minimize the damage. I walk both alone and with Zeke all of the time now that I am fitter, so this is bound to happen again. These dogs have attacked and bitten in this neighborhood numerous times and she hasn't changed her habit of letting them run off-leash, so I doubt that she will be deterred this time either.

Let me say that every dog I've ever owned has been a rescue from the pound or a stray that I took in. I love dogs and would never want to cause harm or pain to a dog or any other living being. I am also conscious of the fact that the problem here is an irresponsible owner. If she wants to let the dogs get some exercise by running off-leash (understandable), she should put muzzles on them so if they encounter other dogs or humans they will not be able to bite.

But, I am searching the internet and researching some sort of protection to carry with me. One of these days, I won't be so lucky. If they ever go into a real pack frenzy their owner will not be able to stop them and my dog and/or myself could be mauled, perhaps seriously injured or killed.

Pepper spray is not good. On a windy day it could blow back into my own face. I thought a stun gun would be good-- but CT is one of the few states that restricts their use. You have to have a gun permit to carry a stun gun in this state. (Yes, I looked it up already)

I know that I am going to be anxious and afraid every time I leave this house now for a long time, and I shouldn't have to feel that way. The police won't do shit unless they attack and bite where there are witnesses and that is very unlikely. The owner will not take responsibility so that forces me into the position to have to think about the most effective way for me to be violent should this happen again-- and I HATE that most of all.

I am a big strong person, using a night stick I could probably hit a dog with enough force to crack its skull and stop an attack -- I resent the hell out of the fact that because some stupid "C U Next Tuesday" won't be a responsible dog owner, that I will very likely be put in this position of having to harm, if not kill an animal. I don't want to do this, but I am accepting the fact that I may have to and I am figuring out how to arm myself right now.

So that is how my day started-- all before breakfast! Jeez Louise! We cleaned Zeke up and the two main bites are on his thigh and side. I called my friend Mandy who owns the dog business as she has also been a vet tech, and asked her advice as to calling my vet on a holiday. She said the worst danger is an infection and I should watch the bites for redness and swelling and take him in for antibiotics if I note anything like that.

The bi-otch proved to the cops that her dogs had rabies shots so i am not worried about that. The cops told me that they explained to the woman that if one or more of her dogs ever seriously attacks anyone and it can't be determined which dog did it, that all of her dogs would have to be destroyed. They told her she is putting her dogs at risk every time she lets them off-leash, not to mention the damage they do to others.

Honestly, I don't think she will change. I am preparing for defensive action if and when there is another incident, so any advice as to a portable, effective "weapon" would be appreciated. I am not going to be a pacifist in this situation and let my dog or I be chewed alive by a pack of dogs, so please don't suggest that, because it is not an option.

Anyway, I have to force myself to walk tomorrow and not let my fear over this incident take over.

Now, as to the rest of the day. My mother-in-law ate with us, as well as our son Tom and his girlfriend Michelle. I trimmed the fat and sugar content of some favorite old recipes, but some of the things I used to eat I just can't go near now, period.

If anyone felt "deprived" that the table was not laden with fat and sugar, they didn't voice it. We had turkey, mashed potatoes, oven roasted butternut squash, broccoli, fresh cranberry relish, and yes, I made my famous stuffing and gravy-- and I ate both in moderation.

I was going to skip making the stuffing but DH begged me, pointing out that I only make it once a year. I grow the herbs in my garden every summer and freeze them along with some veggies. Then we eat them on the holidays and give thanks for our garden in winter.

So I made the stuffing and I'm glad I did. Everyone loved it, except for my MIL who has ciliacs disease and cannot eat wheat products. I found gluten-free pie crusts at Whole Foods and made a pumpkin pie that mom could eat too. It is made from brown rice flour. I expected
it to taste nasty. But it was flaky and delicious. If you weren't told that it was made from brown rice, you'd never know. They are pricey but worth every penny.

I thought I would have to struggle not to overeat today, but I didn't. I had one modest plate of food that was protein and veggie dominated, and the worst thing that I ate was the gravy. I felt SO FULL!! I was thinking about how I used to eat and I just can't do it now. In prior years, by now I would have ventured downstairs to have a turkey sandwich and another piece of pie, but I am still full and not even tempted-- thank God. So I feel very relaxed about Christmas now as I know that I can deal with it.

This week my exercise schedule has been totally f*cked. On Monday, I helped my friend Mandy deliver more pet supplies to the local animal shelters and was gone most of the day. Tuesday was my doctor appointment, which took all morning and wiped me out. Wednesday I spent the whole day shopping and cooking for today. And then there was today.............. my interrupted walk today was my first exercise since Sunday's walk to the gym.

So Friday and Saturday I need to go all out to reach my minimum fitness hours for the week and get back on track. The joy will be gone from my walks for awhile as I have to be on alert for attacks. Geez!

This was a long post-- bless your heart if you read the whole thing. Only a true friend would do so!

Hope you had a good day with your family!


  1. So much I could say, but I will keep it short so I don't hijack your post. First and foremost, congrats on a successful day!

    Second, I would buy some pepper spray. I realize your hesitation, but it is cheap and at least you have something now. My wife used to be a mail carrier, and if her experience is any indication, the stuff works wonders. The dogs may come back and bark, but if they have been sprayed once, then when you raise your hand, they back away.

    I cannot believe this lady. We had to force to have a dog put to sleep once. We had a small lapdog we had taken in for a friend. We let it out to go to the bathroom and the other large dog came over and killed it while my wife was watching. She felt powerless to do anything as the other dog was huge. The guy tried to stop us from pushing the issue, but we later found out this had already happened once and was not reported. It was time.

    I hope you figure out a workable plan. This is ridiculous to have to put up with this.

  2. 6'5" and 6'8"? Wow. My hubby is 6'5, and the worst part is buying him clothes--they're so expensive! We wonder how tall our son will be, as I'm only 5'5. He's short for his age now, but his dad was,too.

    The dog thing-scary sh*t. I'd carry pepper spray and a camera. Not that you'll have much time to get that camera out, but it's the only way to have proof. If you see 'em coming, you can snap a quick photo and then brace.

    I'm a dog lover too and would hate to harm one. Yet if one attacked me, my son or my dogs, I wouldn't hesitate to protect. Mamma bear instinct is pretty strong.

    Those poor dogs. It really makes me sad being a German Shepherd--they are such a wonderful breed, and when they aren't trained, they just give a bad name to the breed. We lost a loving German Shepherd two years ago to cancer.

    Good job on your food. It's amazing that we just don't/can't do what we used to--it's a good thing!

  3. why not carry a water pistol with water mixed with chilli oil. That way you can direct the spray better it will irritate the dog but will be managable for you if by some small chance it does blow back at you, ginger will also work.

    I agree about the camera. If you can get 1 pic of the dogs running towards you unleashed its all you need

  4. I'm filled with rage and pity at your post... Rage towards the woman who, quite obviously, doesn't give a damn about her dogs or anyone else's.... God help her if she ever crossed my path... I'm a real pacifist, but certain people know how to 'push my buttons' and cruelty towards/neglect of animals is one of them...

    I feel pity towards your poor dog for having to go through that, as well as towards you... That must have been such a terrifying experience. I also feel pity towards that woman's dogs because, I'm sure that if they'd been owned by someone who cared about their welfare, they would be really good dogs. My understanding is that it's pretty rare for a dog to be 'born bad', rather it's the upbringing they've received that determines their nature.

    I can only echo what Steve says - go for the pepper spray. And use it on the woman as well if you have to... If the police as so ineffective that they can't deal with a potential dangerous dog situation, then your word against hers should work both ways...

    I really hope this doesn't affect you taking your dogs out and letting them off leash... :o(

  5. Wow! I cant believe some people! Im the owner of 2 pitbulls (who to us are the biggest babies, but that doesnt mean other people arent going to be afraid of them because of their breed) and we take EVERY precaution we can to make sure they dont run wild or when we are walking them...we have them on a short leash. Im so sorry about Zeke and I hope he will be just fine. Im sorry too that you now have that fear. I cant name a weapon, not because I am a pacifist, but because as a dog lover, its difficult to do so. Im sure you will find something though.
    Im glad the rest of your day went well!

  6. Hi Lori-Ann. What a dreadful thing to happen any day of the year, let alone a holiday. Do you have a video camera on your phone? This is the most effective way to get evidence. As to weapons - I really have no idea as I've never been in that situation myself. If a dog attacked me, that would be the end of me - I couldn't defend myself and it's illegal to carry any weapon here. Could you get a gun licence? Then you would be armed with a stun gun and feel really safe. It is very sad to have to harm the dogs when it isn't their fault. But it's also terrible that your own dog will be attacked otherwise.

    Are you able to raise the issue with other people in your area to get them to report any incidents? A weight of evidence so it isn't just your word against her's. It's unfair that one person can make an area like that pretty much out of bounds to everyone else. Maybe you need some community action on this one.

    It's great that you cooked and ate healthily - not just for you but for everyone else as well. That's the amazing thing - when you adjust recipes usually no-one will notice - but they still get the benefit!

    Hope you and Zeke are largely recovered from this incident by the time you read this. BTW I think it was incredibly brave of you to stand your ground in the way you did - living up to your "Amazon" moniker.

    Best wishes,
    Bearfriend xx

  7. Wow what an awful experience. I would have been scared to death. I love dogs but I do have a fear of them (except my own Katie). I would never had recovered from that one myself.

    Good of you to stand your ground, I would have gone running. Well at least I think I would have... you never know, I might be stronger than I think....

    Anyway, glad to hear you had a good dinner with your family and didn't stuff like the turkey :)

  8. I am so sorry you had to experience that scary incident with the dog yesterday. I think pepper spray might be a good option. I hope her dogs don't end up killing another dog - that really gets me how people can be so irresponsible. I am glad you were able to have a happy and healthy thanksgiving dinner with your family. It all sounds really yummy.

  9. I just lost my dog to this scenario. I know how traumatizing it is to watch helplessly, screaming, as your dog is being bitten and mauled. I'm so sorry this happened to you and your dog.

    Did you show the police your bite marks? As soon as you are able, take the dog to the vet, have the bites documented, and make a report to the humane society (or whatever it's called down there). Then if it happens again, you have verified documentation on top of your police report.

    Enough on that subject.

    Congratulations on navigating the dinner so successfully!! Not worrying about Christmas is huge. So proud of you!

  10. I'm glad you and Zeke are ok. I've been walking 3 dogs all over 50#s and it only took one day to realize leashed, I didn't have full control and have to walk them on 2 seperate trips.

    What a TNUC.


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