Saturday, November 09, 2013

Attacked By Dogs But We're Alive

My last post was Wednesday and I just realized it is already Saturday. We spent most of Thursday traveling in my mini-motorhome. Only took 5 hours to go 150 miles but we made it here alive and set up camp.

Friday while out walking my dog in the campground, we were attacked by another dog!

I thought I was going to meet my maker right then and there. The owner simply had NO control over his dog, no matter how loud he screamed and hollered that his perfect 100 pound pooch was "not dangerous".

His dog dragged him down the road to attack us in the blink of an eye.

We were distracted by his wife and her 2 little dogs. It was only later, I found out through the grapevine that they were married and all 3 dogs were theirs.

It happened like this: my dog and I were walking in the campground. Approaching us was a woman with 2 small 10-15 pound dogs on one leash. Ten or so feet behind her was a man with a 100 pound dog.

When they were about 70 or so feet away, the two little dogs began barking and yapping hysterically.  The owner ignored them and continued walking towards us while her dogs worked themselves into a loud noisy uncontrollable frenzy, lunging at their leash. Incredibly she seemed oblivious to this appalling behavior.

Obviously she couldn't care less that her mutts were unruly and totally out of control.

Harley Dog was silent but his swift wagging tail slowed down as we both stared at these snarling, yapping, barking hysterical little dogs that were approaching us. The man and his huge dog were behind her, also ignoring the ruckus.

I turned around to go the other way and get away from this mess but Harley's leash caught on a short post sticking out of the ground. The field next to us had the perimeter lined with posts stuck in the ground presumably to prevent cars from parking there. Harley went one way, I went the other.

I was approaching Harley to untangle the leash, but he was continuing to go around the post. I was watching him and not the loud ruckus still coming at us.

Suddenly the 100 pound dog was all over us, snarling, barking and snapping and we were held hostage by the post and the tangled leash.

The dog had lunged with such force that his owner was dragged along with him. As the huge dog tried to eat my dog, I screamed in shock and reached in to grab my little canine while screaming "Grab your dog!"

At the sight of the large dog's snarling teeth at my eye level, I thought  "This is how it ends? One day I'm soaking up a beautiful world, walking with my favorite buddy (my dog) when this is how it ends?"

Meanwhile the man was screaming "My dog is friendly!" while furtively yanking on his leash. I managed to untangle the leash, grab my dog and stumble backwards away from this snarling snapping huge dog.  The woman had stopped, watching all this while still allowing her dogs to continue their ridiculous hysterical barking which was now fueled by the huge dog's barking and snarling.

Well, we are alive, no blood was drawn, but we're both pretty shook up.

My adrenaline rush unfortunately escalated into a full blown mess with my heart swelling up so fast that I lost my breath completely and was rendered breathless for what seemed like an eternity but was probably only a minute or so. I thought I was going to pass right out. I was seeing flashing things and felt like I was going to pass out into darkness, but I was willing myself to BREATHE, BREATHE, BREATHE while telling my heart SLOW DOWN, SLOW DOWN, SLOW DOWN. Feeling terribly weak, I had to set Harley down, who still had not barked.

Not even once. I had no idea if he was injured or not. It was very cold and he was wearing a sweater.

Even when I was able to breathe again, I still couldn't talk because I was heaving uncontrollably, vibrating from head to toe.

I was staring at the ground trying to focus on meditating my heart to slow down and my breathing to return. Harley was by my heel looking forlorn. Having him by my side was a huge comfort but I couldn't seem to get the couple and their 3 out of control pets to LEAVE.

The man and woman stood there with the three snarling yapping dogs while screaming at me louder and louder "Are you all right?" over and over. I just wanted them GONE. But I couldn't talk. It was frightening!

I managed to start backing up away from them as they kept coming closer screaming "Are you OK?" I guess they thought I was DEAF because I was staring at my dog, while trying to will my body to calm back down. I was trying to hold up my hand in a stopping motion which they ignored.

The man said "I'm so sorry, my dog is really friendly."

Finally I was able to barely mumble "Get away from us!"  But they just STOOD there while their dogs went wild, the big dog was still lunging at the leash with the man fighting his leash with both hands.

I was becoming dizzy and terrified the dog might attack us again.

I saw there was some stacked railings around a garden, about 15 feet away. I managed to somehow stumble over there and sit down. Harley was still silent, on his leash, right next to me. When I sat down, he climbed up in my lap and we sat there hugging and consoling each other. I shielded him with my arms while I tried to clear my head, focus on slowing my heart back down to disco dancing speed and take big gulps of air.

I just wanted to hold and protect my little buddy, if it was the very last thing I ever got to do.

Incredibly the couple was STILL THERE inching CLOSER with their 3 wild hooligans. Finally I managed to utter "Get away from us! I wasn't expecting to meet a vicious dog in a campground! You're scaring us! Leave us alone! Go away!"

Seeing that they weren't leaving, I got up uncertainly, turning my back on them praying that angels were watching out for fools like me. I just wanted far far away from these horrible people and their stinking out of control dogs.

I only made it about 10 more feet to the next garden that had a low rail I could sit back down on. The woman said "I'm calling 911!"

I managed to say "No!  Would you just GO AWAY!  Leave us alone!"

Sure, I was terribly rude and probably handled this all wrong, but WE SURVIVED!

I am alive, Harley is alive, no blood was drawn. I am the luckiest person alive! My dog is alive, we are OK. We are oh so lucky and deeply grateful we lived to tell about this.

If your dog or dogs are anti-social and/or uncontrollable  you need to seriously TRAIN them. Dogs are not born instantly trained. You have to put in hours upon hours of dedication teaching your dog to be social, balanced and mindful of their leader. 

There are tons of books, loads of websites and professional trainers available including classes held at pet stores and other venues. 

Clearly these people have done their dogs and themselves a HUGE disfavor by refusing to train their dogs to behave in an acceptable manner. 

Last night and this morning Harley and I did go on a few beautiful walks. We purposely avoided all other dogs because I am still  feeling rather weak and yes I am still FRIGHTENED.

When we went to bed last night, I held Harley in my arms as I dozed off. We normally sleep at opposite ends of my bed, but we both needed this extra security for a few hours.

I am still feeling pretty weak, so in spite of having to pack up and leave again in the morning, I am going to go lay down and rest again. It's a beautiful day and I would love to be repairing the leak in my water tank or organizing my housekeeping, or catching up on the laundry, but all that just has to wait for now.

For now I have to remind myself over and over to be THANKFUL to be alive and THANKFUL for my little companion. 

3 comments:

  1. I hope you gave the campground manager an ear full!

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  2. I didn't do anything to cause the couple trouble, Most folks have enough problems these days. I did mention to the manager that the 2 pet parents and 3 dogs were in serious need of training. I found out the husband is failing and they were monthly residents in the park, squeezed out of their brick and stick home. Since I knew I was leaving soon, I surely didn't want to run into them in a different park. But whenever they walked their dogs, you could hear the ruckus all over the park. It sounded like they may have had another altercation with another dog, as I heard a big fight one evening. Sadly it's not the dog's fault, IT'S THE OWNERS' RESPONSIBILITY TO TRAIN THEIR DOGS TO BE SOCIABLE AND BALANCED.

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  3. That's a shame. If she had gotten her frenzied little hooligans under control in the first place, perhaps the big dog would not have reacted so strongly. They need to learn how to control all 3. This is the kind of stuff that makes it difficult for all campers with dogs. I'm glad you & Harley were not harmed...physcially, because you sure were emotionally!

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