Monday, January 30, 2017

Unwanted Encounter in the Dark

Last night one of the dogs was asking to go outside.  I put a leash on him, and another dog showed up.  I put a leash on him too, and another dog showed up.  Something in my gut told me not to take three dogs out at one time, even though I do that often.  I've learned to heed these bits of intuitive advice.

Once in the dogs' yard, both Stewie and Scrappy began acting animated, running around sniffing with tails curled over their backs and wagging.  Obviously, some different animal had just been in the yard and they were trying to follow its trail.  I gave their collars a yank to warn them to settle down and do their business, but they couldn't focus.  They were too excited.

I got tired of waiting for them to relieve themselves, so I tried dragging them into the house.  Scrappy started to heel beside me, but then once he realized he was in the garage, he turned and ran back out toward the yard.  The leash stopped him, but then he began wiggling out of his collar.  Oh no!  Not good.

At that point, I wished I had only taken one dog out, because I could just pick him up and carry him.  Stewie followed suit and was pulling hard trying to break out of his harness.  I thought, "What could be so tantalizing to these dogs that they would be willing to totally disobey me?"

Right then, I heard the tinkling of a dog collar out in the dark.  Worst case scenario.  I can easily chase off most wild animals, but not domestic dogs.  The noise was getting closer and I feared a dog fight, which my dogs would lose, because they are little.  I turned in such a way to pull the collar back over Scrappy's head, and drag both them full force through the garage while yelling for help.  Of course, my husband couldn't hear me.  I wrestled both dogs into the door, blocked them from getting back out, and grabbed my headlamp.

I turned the flashlight on and scanned the area outside of the garage.  Nothing.  I went down to the barn, and saw two glowing eyes on the other side of the arena.  They turned toward me and came at me.  I could hear tinkling now, only there were two sets of tinkling.  Two sets of eyes came around the horse trailer followed by growling.  Next thing I knew I was being charged by two Pit Bulls.

I used to volunteer at an animal shelter, and there were a lot of passionate people who insisted that Pit Bulls are only as bad as their owners.  They'd spank me for writing this, because they feel like Pit Bulls get bad press that they don't deserve.  For a while there, I entertained the idea that Pit Bulls were really sweet at heart, and I treated them accordingly when I took them for walks.  However, one day I was playing fetch with one in the yard and found myself being pulled down to the ground by my arm.  I tried the usual dog training commands to get it to stop, but nothing worked.  I had to fight it off and run for a kennel.  I shut the gate behind me, and the dog lunged at me from the other side.  I waited half an hour for someone to come out of the building and rescue me, but no one came.  I just happened to forget my mobile phone that day.  I ended up gathering the courage to let myself out, put the leash on the dog and take it straight back to its indoor kennel.  After that, I never interacted with the Pit Bulls at all.

So, here I was being charged by two growling Pit Bulls in my own back yard.  There was nothing to do but run.  I made it into the garage, and they both stopped just outside the garage and barked at me.  I shut the garage door and they ran off to my neighbor's front yard.  I contemplated calling Animal Control, but they were closed, which meant having to call the police, which meant having to fill out a report, and of course, by the time they got here, the dogs would be gone.  I'm wondering if these might have been the same two Pit Bulls I chased away from my horses in the past.  If that's the case, their owners need to be fined due to repeat offenses.  Why is it always the people who own the most dangerous dogs who also have the cheapest fencing or who always leave the gate open?

Taking my dogs outside the rest of the night was a total pain, because we had to take them out one at a time, and it was difficult getting them to get down to business because the Pit Bull scent was still in their yard.  My husband took a big stick with him when he went outside to fend them off if they showed up again.  I don't appreciate being a prisoner in my own home due to someone else's negligence.  At least, daylight is now here, so I have the advantage of eyesight should they return.

11 comments:

Camryn said...

Wow, glad that didn't turn out as badly as it could've. While I am a Pitty fan, I am not a fan of uncontrolled dogs at all. I recall staying at a Jelly Stone park while attending a Cardigan National show. My friend and I had 11 dogs with us. We walked them two at a time. One night a Pitty came out of the dark attempting to grab Debbie's dog, my dog fended him off, the Pit went after him, Debbie's dog fended him off...this went on for some time. We got the dogs uninjured thankfully back to the camper. Headed to the park office, police were dispatched. Dog was caught, owners founded and arrested. This was like 15 years ago, something I'll not forget! I imagine you won't either! I've actually several dogs coming for my leashed dogs at different times. One a Chow, an Akita, and a Spaniel. Loose dogs terrify me now.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Camryn - That's definitely scary. All uncontrolled dogs can be a public nuisance, but after my experience with being dragged to the ground by a Pit Bull, I'm especially fearful of the power of their jaws. There aren't a lot of breeds that can do that.

Mrs Shoes said...

My only sibling is a pitbull advocate & makes LOTS of noise about it. No one is ALLOWED to have an opinion that disagrees, because she says so. She is pretty much full of pitBULLSHIT.

Linda said...

Oh my goodness! That is horrible!! I have a natural fear of pitbulls because of all the stories I've read. Being loose like that, they could be protective or afraid and attack you. Two dogs together are worse than only one. They could be protecting (or think they're protecting) their buddy. I hope someone found them. Glad you and your dogs are safe.

ellie k said...

You need a small pellet gun or pepper spray to carry and not be afraid to use them. These dogs need to know you are in control of your ranch. It seems the owners let them roam at night.


lytha said...

I had a nightmare last week that a pitbull took me down, it was horrifyingly realistic.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Unfortunately, I think they keep coming back right around sunrise and sunset, which is the worst possible time for me because that's right when I'm feeding the animals and taking the dogs outside. Both last night and this morning my dogs alerted on a fresh smell in their yard, and then I heard the tinkling of dog tags in my back yard, but couldn't see anything either because it was too dark or the sun was in my eyes. I suspect that some snowbirds brought their dogs on vacation with them and are cutting them loose to poop elsewhere a couple of times a day. If that's the case, they need to be arrested.

Cheryl Ann said...

Very scary indeed!!!

Grey Horse Matters said...

That's scary. The owners should be told to keep their dogs in their yards or they will be reported because they are letting their dogs roam loose. And also that they have been threatening your horses and dogs and you. I am an animal lover but I don't trust pit bulls. I don't care who their owners are. I had one attack our dog Molly years back (An Aussie)at a barn we were at and it was hard to get it off her. They don't like to give up.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I'd talk to the dog owners if I knew who they were. I don't know where the dogs are coming from.

How Sam Sees It said...

That's one of my worst nightmares. We were attacked by one at our house in Mesa. He knocked angel Sam and I off our feet and it was Monty who protected us. I'm so thankful a neighbor saw what was happening and came running with a rake. I could never walk peacefully in our neighborhood again after that. I was so frightened to see our Golden take on a pit bull. :(