13 Jun 2012

Update* Flashbacks, setbacks and backing out the door

*Update.
Jakie was bitten as she was prying the jaws of the dogs apart and the same thing happened that night with her friend. At no point did the dogs try to bite them. Yes, a stupid move, we all know better than this but when you panic you don't think. The dog repositioned her mouth on Jakies hand but IT WAS NOT intentional. The dogs are border collie with shepherd mix one is quite a bit smaller than the other, but she is the alpha dog. She is starting the fights but losing them due to size. TO anonymous thank you for your insight, this is exactly what she is doing. At no point has she even considered putting either one to sleep. WON'T HAPPEN. The absolute worst case, last resort will be finding a new home for one. Right now they are in separate parts of the house which is an impossible situation.

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This happened yesterday and even though it happened on my birthday I didn't want it written down and documented on my birthday. Hey it's my birthday and my blog and my scaredy cat brain and body.

Yesterday morning I went to work at my friend Jakies house. Jakie has 2 dogs who have featured prominently over the years on here. We all met Gypsy the day Jakie bought her home and then we met Julia about 2 days after she bought her home. I purposely met them both as soon as possible due to my fear of dogs. Gypsy was just a tiny puppy and became very attached to me and we noticed that when I went to the house with the girls she was jealous of them and would growl at them from a distance as if to say, Hey, what are you doing with her, she belongs to me? I will admit that it made me a little uncomfortable  as my girls are still so little.

Yesterday as I worked the dogs did what they always do and found a place around the table to sleep. At some point they went off and played together and then came back and slept. Once I was all packed up we followed out usual routine. I grabbed my table and purse and Jakie got her smokes. We both noticed that the dogs were casing each other and that Gypsy's hackles were up. Jakie told them to stop it. She rubbed Gypsys back and I commented on it. Gyp's proceeded to put them up again so I said something to her and stroked her. I then headed to the door and out of the corner of my saw Jakie pick up her lighter. The next thing I know the dogs growled and attacked each other. I know dogs do this sometimes so I just moved out of the way and let Jakie take over.

This wasn't a little spat. It became obvious very quickly that this was a "death fight". Out of nowhere these otherwise loving dogs were going for blood. I ran to the door. My "phobia" of dogs came rushing back. In a split second I panicked. I was shaking from head to toe, my heart was racing, and I was terrified. My rational brain was telling me to do something for Jakie who was watching her "babies" try to kill each other. I stood with my hand on the door handle, I had already put the key in the lock, (Julia can open the door so it has to be locked) and my massage table in front of me. I watched in horror as the dogs ripped into each other. jakie was screaming at them but they would not stop. I tried to yell over her to whack them with a chair,( yes I know it sounds awful but it is all that was there and something had to be done) but she couldn't hear me. I finally saw a golf umbrella and tossed it to her but not before she was bitten. That really scared me. I saw her hand and ran outside. Once I regained a little composure I went back in and once again kept my table in front of me. If you have never been terrified in your life then you are probably laughing at me. Jakie was beating both dogs but nothing was happening. There was blood and fur everywhere. She finally pried Julias, jaws off of Gypsy neck and Gypsy ran to me as if to say, help. I truly didn't know where to put her plus I was scared poopless of her. I knew if I put her in any of the rooms Julia could open the door. I looked back at Jakie who was struggling so hard to keep a hold of Ju Ju.

Finally she got her corralled in the laundry room and locked the door. Jakie ran and locked a bleeding Gypsy in her bedroom just as we were coming back into the main part of the house Julia appeared, she had opened a locked door, yet again I ran. Once Jakie said it was OK I came back in and together we both fled the scene. We literally fell on the ground outside the house shaking. I looked at my best friend, crying, bleeding, shaking and realised we needed help. I wanted to call Jacob but she wouldn't let me cos he would have to bring the girls and there was no way she wanted the girls anywhere near the dogs. Me either. I emptied my water bottle on her hand, and mopped it up with my towel. We phoned a friend and tried to work out what happened.

She is OK. Her hand is fine. She kept the dogs separated all day and then late last night a friend went over who looks after the dogs when she goes away and he let the dogs into the same room. It happened again and this time he got bitten, quite badly.

If anyone has any advice please leave it in the comments. No nasty comments please.  Both dogs are spayed, both are female. She went to the vet today to have them checked out and he says sometimes it just happens with females and now they will always have to be separated. He suggested prozac for them. She is contacting the trainer that she used when they were puppies but other than that is at a loss.

As for me: I am never going to be around a dog again in my life. People say when they have a near death experience that their whole life flashes in front of their eyes, now I believe it. (not that this was near death) Yesterday I relived every second of the dog biting me. I saw the whole thing. It was surreal. I could even see the house I was in, every little detail. The dogs teeth, the blood spurting out, the lady talking to me and telling me a story as she applied pressure to my leg and put on a bandage and tied the knot and told me those were the bunny's ears and begging me to stop crying. I even remembered my Dad's blue Marina Van that he used for work, he drove me to the Dr's in it. I haven't given a moments thought to any of it in years but yesterday it literally flashed in movie form right in front of my eyes.

I had just got to the point where I was ready to get a dog. Now it's not going to happen. I know that Ju Ju Bean didn't mean to bite Jakies hand but it happened and I saw it happen and something set them off and there was no reason for it. None. I can't get past the what if''s. What if that happens to one of my girls? I have the scars that prove it happens and I never want them to have them. The emotional scars are a whole lot worse than the physical scars, I'd really moved mountains with those too but i think I have gone all the way back to zero.

Heading to my clients houses for the next few days is going to be difficult. Heading to my best friends house is going to be impossible. I told Jakie that I didn't think I would be ever be able to go into her house again with the dogs and she said she already knew that. Arghhh, this stinks.

8 comments:

val said...

Oh Wow.....that is quite a story. I have been around dogs my whole life & have seen "minor" fights between dogs but nothing like you just described. I feel bad for your friend as she must totally love both those dogs. It sounds like a dominance thing between two females.
Sorry I'm no help!

Vivian M said...

I am curious what breed these dogs are? Personally, I think it would be best for one of the dogs to be adopted out to another (petless, childless) home, since there is no guarentee this will not happen again (and yet a third person will get bitten/hurt). Your friend is lucky the police were not called, or the dog(s) could have been taken, put in quarentine and maybe face euthanization if they are deemed to be a threat (especailly if they are a certain breed - like pitbulls).
I am so very sorry you had to witness this. Please know that not all dogs are like this, and (most) pets with responsible owners are usually very tame and trained. I know this does nothing to reassure your fear of dogs. But in your line of work, you do have the right to ask the homeowner to "lock" the dog in another room if you will be entering their house to work. We actually have a cage to put our little Pookie in.
Sending you and your friend a huge hug. I hope you are feeling better. :o(

Vivian M said...

(I re-read my message and I apologize if it sounds like I am saying your friend is not a responsible pet owner - that was not my intention!)

Catherine said...

I was once attacked although managed to get a door between me and the dog prior to being bitten. I've been forever scarred by this too.

It sounds like for the sake of everyone one or either of the dogs needs to be sent elsewhere or, probably put down. I know that sounds harsh but I can only think of what might have happened should some innocent person/child been present and not able to get away as you were. so thankful you were not hurt. I was especially frightened to read that it happened a second time, later in the day.

That's my honest response.

Tammie said...

I am so sorry to hear about this. I have heard about this happening between 2 females. I'm sure that Jakie had no thought that this would ever happen. I hope that both she & her trainer are alright!

Unfortunately, it does sound as if she may have to make a decision to adopt out one or both dogs to people with no other pets &/or children. My parents had to do this with our toy poodle when I was a child. I didn't understand it at the time but the dog was getting too aggressive.

A few years ago my friend's daughter was bit on the face by a neighborhood dog. Both mother & daughter are now afraid of big dogs.

It is totally understandable that you are afraid. Especially after this episode with 2 dogs that you had adjusted to.

Sending hugs to all of you.

Anonymous said...

If they're small dogs, or particularly terriers, I'm not surprised! I find larger dogs to be much more docile, but a lot depends on the breed AND the owner's degree of leadership over the dogs.

Remember that not all dogs are aggressive, and the vast majority really are man's best friend. I've been around large dogs my entire life, since I was a child, and dogs who are properly trained and understand who their pack leader is will not be aggressive. I've owned German Shepherds, Labradors, and a variety of mutts. I've never been bitten or growled at. My best friend breeds and shows six pitbulls, all of whom live (and even sleep!) with her. She too has never been bitten. There's no reason to be afraid of dogs.

A lot can depend on the breed of dog and her vet is absolutely correct in that sometimes it just happens with females when one is trying to dominate the other. I would suggest that she seek expert help and if the dogs continue to go at each other in that regard, and if she is unable to control them, then finding a new home for one of the dogs with owners who are very aware that the dog is "other dog aggressive" may be necessary. Striking, hitting or abusing the dog WILL NOT solve the problem and will stand to make the aggression issues WORSE. Tell her to check out some of Cesar Milan's books. He has dealt with dog-on-dog aggression with dogs who live with each other. She may find some techniques there that will work for her and her dogs. I think her idea of getting the trainer involved again is an excellent first step.

I'm very saddened by the individuals on here who would immediately have an animal euthanized for one incident of dog-aggressive behavior. I can understand that people who have been bitten by a dog are afraid of them. Totally understandable. But having an animal killed just for one display of dominant behavior towards another dog (not even a human) is disgusting! Give the dog a chance!

Find a good trainer, seek expert advise, and follow the techniques and advise given to a tee. BE PERSISTENT!

Good luck, and don't give up on owning a dog. I highly recommend labrador retrievers as a first dog. They are EXCELLENT with children, extremely docile and highly intelligent. They are a great family dog, especially for people who may be a little nervous around large dogs. :)

Johnny said...

My old dogs (both in doggie heaven) used to fight once in a while. They were from the same litter and the almost the same identical size. The alpha just got a bug up her butt, every once-in-a-while, she had to show the other ho was boss. As a result, the less aggressive one had emergency surgery twice in a 5-6 year span.

The best advice I ever got from my vet was to douse them with water. Once when they were locked up in a death match, both on their hind legs with their arms wrapped around each other trying to sink their teeth into each others' necks, I turned on the water hose and suddenly they dropped, came out of their haze of anger, and looked at me as to ask what I was doing to them.

1) find the name/location of a 24-hour vet or one that is opened only in the evening hours (there are two in my town).

2) have a hose (if the back yard) or big spray bottle with some bitter apple (from pet store) and water mixed in.

3) dog training classes for both.

Tammie said...

Hoping that things settle down. I know how scared you are of dogs & am saddened that you seem to be back at square 1. I'm even sadder that it happened at your BFF's house. I hope Jakie is okay & can find a resolution.

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