Monday, June 15, 2009

Rottweiler+Moxie=Bad News

Something happened this afternoon that the Army Man and I have been nervously anticipating for a few weeks. While the Army Man was running with Moxie, the neighborhood Rottweiler managed to pull free of his backyard tether, and attempted to attack Moxie. Don't worry, everyone is fine, but I'll be blunt: I'm pissed off.

Let me start what will be a lengthy post by saying that I had a Rottweiler growing up. Sheba was a sweet, fuzzy, bear of a dog, and had the advantage (some would say disadvantage, but not I) of being a long-haired Rottweiler. The general public usually didn't discern that she was a Rottweiler since she didn't have the traditional look, and therefore people usually weren't scared of her. Which was good, because she was sweet. So I don't mind Rottweilers. I think that if they are well-trained, properly socialized and exercised, they can be great dogs. That's true of any dog really, big or small. If you don't give your dog attention, affection, and playtime, it will quickly become bored, destructive, disobedient, and even aggressive.

Now that I've started running in our neighborhood, I'm pretty cognizant of which dogs look like they could give me trouble. Top on my list is the house with what appears to be 5 or 6 large dogs, all "contained" behind a 3 or 4 foot fence. When I used to run by with Moxie the barking and growling was deafening. So I don't go that way anymore. The other house is up the street, and about six months ago the Army Man reported that that house was now in the possession of the most adorable Rottweiler puppy. When it was a cute little puppy, the family walked it all the time and it was usually kept inside.

We watched that puppy turn into a big Rottweiler. We were sad when we realized the family stopped walking it as much. And we started to get worried when we saw that they were now tethering it in their unfenced backyard for the entire day, and well into the evening, even when they were home. The bigger it got, the more ferocious it got, the more it would pull at the end of it's tether to bark and lunge at people who walked by. We took a short family walk last night, and saw the dog react in that way to another family walking by. We opted to not walk down that street, and the Army Man and I discussed and worried what would happen if it broke free.

So yep, that's what happened today. Moxie and the Army Man went for a run, and passing by the house, the Rottweiler pulled the tether out of the ground, and charged Moxie. From what the Army Man says, it sounds like her giant mane of fur protected her from a full-on bite, but there was definite yelping on her part. The Army Man managed to get a hold of the tether and had the dogs separated, but really had no good solution to how to get rid of the Rottweiler and get Moxie safely home. Luckily for him, a very nice young man came along who knew the Rottweiler, and took it from the Army Man.

Once he got Moxie safely home, he went back to the house, only to be greeted by a teenage boy who seemed completely clueless. He left his number, and we did get a call a bit ago, from the mother. She really didn't seem to care that much. Apparently she did her part by tethering her dog. The Army Man telling her that we often run that way with our young daughter didn't seem to matter to her. He advised her of the new law going into effect on August 1st (not a moment too soon) that will bar people from tethering their dogs when there is no human present. She never really apologized either, which blows my mind. Her only words of comfort were that it would "never happen again".

I called the after-hours Animal Control number to report the incident. I may be a sweet, nice person who doesn't like to cause trouble, but this was unacceptable to me. What if it had been me, Laura, and Moxie? I would have essentially had to sacrifice Moxie to protect Laura. What if the dog thought Laura was even more appealing to attack than Moxie? I really am trying not to think about how bad it could have been. I am feeling so lucky that it was the Army Man, and that both he and Moxie are okay. It turns out that the Sheriff's office is the after hours Animal Control, and a nice young officer (so young, like maybe 12) came to our house. There isn't much he can do so I have to call again tomorrow to make sure Animal Control is aware and can make a record. The bad part is that when the Sheriff was here, the teenage boy owner of the Rottweiler walked by, taking the poor dog for a much needed walk. So now they know where we live AND that the Sheriff was called. I just hope it doesn't turn into a bigger mess.

The Sheriff advised the Army Man that if this ever happens again, he is completely within his rights to defend himself however he sees fit. I would hate for it ever to come to that, but I will protect what's mine, whether it is Laura or Moxie, and I know the Army Man will do the same. I suppose some sort of protective device is now in my running future.

If you made it through that entire post, I commend you. I was extremely riled up when I sat down to write, and it was very calming to share all that information with my readers. I think the situation had pretty much the best outcome possible, and I'm grateful for that. Everyone is fine, and Moxie had a huge, delicious dinner tonight. Probably a great night, in her book.


Martha said...

I am so sorry for this to happen. Some people are so much stupider than their pets, it's scary. I am glad your hubby and dog are okay. said...

I'm so sorry! I'm so glad no one was too badly hurt!

Three Dog Days said...

You should carry a defense spray no matter what road you walk on. Just remember you have to aim it at the eyes and mouth. It is good to make a complaint so there is a record of trouble.

Why do people get dogs then ignore them? It is very good no one was hurt seriously. Did you check very closely for puncture wounds- they can get infected quickly.

The poor rottie will no doubt be a looser in this, but in a different way than his owners. And I don't mean to imply you are to blame at all. Dangerous dogs must be dealt with to keep everyone safe. It is sad he was ruined by his looser owners and that his life consists of living on a string.

Patty said...

My #3 son was bitten by a dog while on a run, still has a scar. The dog was being walked by his owner and lunged, I don't think he realized his dog bit my kid. I was really mad but had no way of knowing who the guy was, it was near where my mom, and your parents live, right at the junior high school. I am really glad the Army Man did not get bitten, and poor Moxie is seemingly alright.

Julie said...

I am glad they are ok. It does seem like there are a lot of dogs that are just left out around here. It is sad to say but I think some of the "walkers", especially he older ones, around here carry those big oversized sticks just for that reason. I even saw one carrying those miniature bats one day. Stay safe!

Louise aka she's the one said...

That is so awful.Some people shouldn't have pets. I'm so glad that Moxie is alright.

Older and Wiser said...

Always carry pepper spray. I have had dogs come after me a couple of times whan I was on my bike (once a dog pack) and the spray stopped them like they ran into a brick wall. Just remember it is a stream and not a spray like bug spray! You do have to aim it. I am so glad everyone is ok. The AM's training came through again!

Claire said...

Thanks everyone! All is well, and Moxie seems to be over the trauma already.

Interestingly, the Army Man was just sprayed by pepper spray at his training last week (he reports it is worse than being tased) and the instructors told them that dogs are not typically as effected by pepper spray as people are. But I see some of us have had success in using it against dogs!

I just feel so sad for that poor dog, obviously still a young dog, and so aggressive already. He has not had a good life and it will probably only get worse.

SGT V said...

I've always wondered what would happen if I was attacked by a dog. Obviously it is very hard to outrun a dog, especially with if you have another dog or a child. One time though as a teenager, Josh, Pat and myself were chased by a dog. Josh, and then Pat, got tired and stopped running. The dog just went by them and kept chasing me. Finally I just stopped and ran towards it. It became confused (scared?) and ran home.