25 August 2007

Up For a Fight?

It's only 2pm and we've already had a crazy day.

Outside its like 70 something, really nice. Achilles was out on his chain thingy (we don't have a fence yet, still want one!) enjoying the weather and the people and being outside. One of our neighbors has a husky, which is his favorite big dog breed. They also got a puppy a few months back; I've been trying to figure out what breed, I was guessing mastiff, but it hasn't grown fast enough. Just found out that it was a pit bull. And they also seemed to have acquired a fully grown pit, but I don't know if its theirs or someone else's.

(Let me preface this by saying I love pit bulls. I don't think it is the dog, I think it is who is raising it. I believe this because I had a pit bull growing up, and she was the sweetest thing you would ever have met. She had a "lovey" blanket that she dragged with her everywhere and nursed on...)

So the dogs get out and come over to our yard. The lady catches her husky and comes to get the puppy. (Oh, the puppy is probably around 6 months old, maybe up to 8?) Caayn goes to get Achilles in when chaos erupts. The pit is all over Achilles, Achilles is all over him. Caayn has Achilles by the collar trying to get him in the house, he gets out of his collar. It took me a few minutes to realize what was going on and that the woman was NOT going to help get her dog off mine. I did the one thing you aren't supposed to do during a dog fight. I grabbed the dog by his collar, grabbed a handful of skin near his hips and took him out of our yard to the woman. She was apologizing and saying the dog isn't normally like that, yada yada...

Achilles is hurt, something is wrong with one paw. We can't tell what since there appears to be no broken skin, but he holds it up and limps very very badly. He also has a bite on his upper chest, below the throat.

Caayn is also hurt. He has two marks on the top of one hand from Achilles, and two on his palm that are from the pit bull, plus a random bite on his finger. He said he had his hand in there because he didn't want the pit bull's jaws to lock on any part of Achilles. (Also something you should never do during a dog fight!!) I'm completely shaken up, I swear I have a gallon of adrenaline pumping through my body, and my hands are now super swollen.

I'm not sure what to do about this. On one hand, I am very very pissed off. We don't know who started the fight, but the dog was the one who was loose and in our yard (before the fight started, it was actually up near our door on our patio). Their dogs have been loose on many occasions. This is NOT good. She and her husband need to do their part to make sure their fences are secure, as well as all doors to get out (Caayn said they came around the front of their house, so he isn't sure they got out through the fence, but their fence is pretty unstable for large dogs, with lots of gaps). Not to mention now her dog has bitten my husband and my dog. If Artemis had been out there, I don't really want to know what would have happened. She is the kind of dog who runs up to other dogs barking as loudly as she can. She could have gotten VERY badly hurt. What if SULLY had been out there when this happened? You see where I'm going? And all she did was stand there watching her dog. Not smart. I am heavily considering going to housing and explaining the situation. I want a fence. I want their fence to be more secure. I want to know this is not going to happen again. (The people who just moved in next door to them, sort of in between our two backyards, have a little dog that might be an American Eskimo too. I felt bad for that lady because she came out to see what the ruckus was and I'm sure she will be terrified to let her little dog out!)

But on the other hand, I do understand... Maybe the dogs got out the front door and bolted. After catching the husky maybe she didn't know what to do. Dog fights are very intense and very fast. It's very difficult to grasp the situation and to move quickly. (My first thought was to grab a hose and spray them--that was what I was taught to do. Which is all and well except our backyard doesn't have a faucet and thus, no hose in our yard...) And like Caayn is saying, this is the first time its happened. It may never happen again.

Still... So I don't know. I hope the owners come by the house to check up. I would like to show them the bleeding wound on my dog's chest. (Ain't it pure luck that we were just at the vet and got some pain meds for dogs?) And if she doesn't, I do plan on going over there. It is never ever acceptable for your dog to be out of your control and bite someone. Never. Artemis may be a terror around other people, but I know she won't bite. But at the same time, I never allow her to be in a situation where she could possibly have a chance to do that. It's just common sense.

Goodness. And in case anyone ever needs this, here are some helpful steps for breaking up a dog fight. Although, to be honest, if these are going to work, you have to drill them into your brain so that it is an instinctual action. I wish no one had to be in this situation. It is no fun at all. No fun.

Breaking up a dogfight can be dangerous. Depending on your size and abilities, choose from the following options.

Step One

Avoid hitting the dogs or getting your hands anywhere near their mouths. Hitting could make the situation worse and could cause the attack to be redirected toward you.

Step Two

Enlist another person and separate the dogs by grabbing their hind legs and walking them backward (like wheelbarrows). Secure the dogs away from each other before releasing them.

Step Three

Spray the aggressor with a water hose or, if necessary, a fire extinguisher. If this doesn't make a difference, aim for the nostrils.

Step Four

Hold a broom between dogs to separate them.

Step Five

Use a noise-making device such as an air horn to drive them apart.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some dogs behave differently than others when in a fight. Dogs that were bred for fighting, such as pit bulls or rottweilers, may not be easily distracted and require stronger intervention techniques. With male dogs, for example, you may need to grab the testicles to get their attention.
  • Be extremely cautious. Do not place yourself between the fighting dogs.