|A future butterfly maybe?|
Well, I wish I could tell you that this was just a post about what a lovely walk we had, but it's not. (You could probably tell that by the title). Anyway, as we were walking, further down the path we saw a guy and his dog approaching us. I am working on trying to get Oscar to remain calm and quiet when people or dogs approach, so I was watching Oscar and getting a treat ready to give him for when we passed them. I didn't realize the guy's dog was off leash. All of a sudden, it rushed at us from the side. I'm still not sure what it was - it was light brown and the face looked a bit like a boxer or a similar type of dog, but to be honest I was too surprised to notice much more than that. My husband and I didn't see it at all, or even hear it coming. I had no idea it had left its owner's side. The dog's owner had been walking straight toward us on the path and hadn't called his dog back or gone after it, so I had thought that they were together, in front of us.
The dog lunged right at Oscar and bit Oscar a few times. It all happened so quickly! I have never heard Oscar's scared bark before, but he pretty much freaked out (understandably). I managed to get between Oscar and the dog, stood up straight, looked right at it and said "no" very loudly, but that didn't do much. By that time, the dog's owner was shouting at it to stop, but even as I stood between the dog and Oscar, it lunged between my legs to get at Oscar. I picked Oscar up, and as I did, the other dog was in the midst of biting Oscar. My husband and I were checking Oscar over to make sure nothing was wrong, and by the time I looked up, the guy and his dog had taken off! Absolutely no apologies, and definitely no waiting around for any negative consequences of his own dog's behaviour. I suppose he's okay with his dog attacking another dog, but he's not okay with the prospect of paying someone else's vet bill. Charming. Anyway, we were too in shock to stop him, as we were worried about Oscar. Luckily, Oscar was fine, and we headed on. I think maybe the dog was playing, but I'm still not sure. It was pretty intently going after Oscar, and it didn't stop. If it had been intent on attacking though, given the size difference, I think Oscar would probably have come out of it with an injury of some sort.
As we continued on, we saw another dog. We were hesitant, but saw that it was on leash, so we continued towards it and its owner. I also didn't want Oscar to be scared every time we saw another dog on a walk, so I was hoping that a good experience right after a bad one would help him. The owner said hi and the dog seemed calm and a bit playful. Oscar approached the other dog very slowly. The dogs sniffed each other and then moved on. That is what an interaction between dogs on a walk should be like! We treated Oscar for being so brave and saying hello to another strange dog, and we finished our walk.
I still can't believe that jerk just walked off (correction: rushed off) without so much as an apology. He clearly didn't want to get in trouble if Oscar was hurt. I can guarantee you that if I had seen any blood or cuts on Oscar that I would have run after him. People like that should be fined. The parkland that we were in is not an off-leash dog park. Dogs are allowed, but the sign clearly shows that dogs should be leashed. Not to mention the owner clearly wasn't in control of the off-leash dog, which was not near the owner when it attacked Oscar. Argh! I am so mad that that even happened. It's a relief that Oscar wasn't hurt. For that matter, it's a good thing that my husband and I weren't hurt either. I suppose it wasn't the smartest thing for me to get between the big dog and Oscar and look it in the face while raising my voice and saying "no" - that's pretty aggressive behaviour on my part - but I wasn't really thinking. I just wanted to get it to stop attacking Oscar.
|It's right there on the sign. Dog on a leash. Oh, and |
pick up your dog's poop. People don't do that either.
I was thinking about it and wondered if that ever happens again if we should drop the leash. My husband was trying to get Oscar away from the dog, and he also was thinking that he didn't want the dog to chase Oscar if Oscar ran away, so he didn't drop the leash. I was doing some reading after we got home, and haven't found many helpful tips. Many sites seem to suggest that you carry a big walking stick with you, but I'm probably not going to do that. We may just stick to the sidewalks for now. That way the dogs are going to be on-leash (at least I would hope so!) and we could just cross the street to avoid people. It's easier to see a dog coming on the street, too. I hope I never find myself in that situation again. I'm not going to lie - it was scary!
We came home and I gave Oscar a bath. I didn't see any cuts or anything, though it's hard to tell through the fur. I'm happy to report that he's running around as usual (though he's a little tuckered out), so I think he came out of that little encounter okay. I bribed him with a bully stick to let me brush him after his bath, so now he's handsome as ever!
|Oscar: the Drowned Rat edition.|
|Our brave little guy!|