If you see a whole thing - it seems that it's always beautiful. Planets, lives... But up close a world's all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. - Ursula K. LeGuin

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Further Misadventures in the Land of Dirt and Rocks

Today is an amazingly beautiful day.  The type of day that would convince you spring was not just around the corner but actually here if you didn't have a calendar telling you it is still January.

I've been wanting to explore our new neighborhood since we moved in and thought today would be a perfect opportunity.  There is a large park right near us that I have visited once or twice since I moved to SouthLite.  It looked too long (and difficult) to walk to (although it will be an easy bike ride) especially with Pupzilla, so we set out in the car.

As I expected it was a busy day in the park, since everyone had the same idea as me.  However we did manage to find a parking space without too much trouble.  Pupzilla was beside herself with joy.  She has been cooped up in the house for too long.

I had been fooling around with some new apps earlier in the day and figured I'd continue to play with them on our walk.

 Pupzilla on the couch (pre-walk) shot with Instagram
 My living room shot with Pencil illusion
My lounging feet shot with Pencil illusion

The park has roads and bike trails and walking trails criss-crossing through it.  It is also an historical sight so there are monuments to see as you walk.

We were having fun but work was calling me back at home and Pupzilla has looking pretty tired and in need of a thirst-quencher.  I realized that one of the things I liked about walking in the park instead of on one of the many trails nearby is that everyone kept their dog on their leash.  There were a lot more dogs (and people) then we ever see on a trail, but no one was off leash and this put my mind at ease.

As we headed back to the car, we saw a small family coming towards us with a dog and I decided to step off the path, put Pupzilla into a sit, and wait for them to pass.  The path was very narrow and the dog looked young and frisky and I thought it best to be prudent.  However, as they slowly made their way towards us, a single gentleman with an older dog walked up behind them.  So as both groups passed us the young dog was on left side of the path (furthest away from where Pupzilla was patiently sitting) and the older dog passed on the right, right in front of us.  I already had Pupzilla on a very short leash and when I realized the dog was passing right in front of us and putting his or her nose near Pupzilla, I pulled her even closer.  Unfortunately it was not close enough.  

As many of you know, Pupzilla is not good with other dogs and we do everything we can to keep her away from them.  She has been in several fights but always the dog has done something that set her off.  I've never known her to attack without provocation (not always deserved provocation but at least I know what to be wary of).  This time she just attacked this poor dog's snout with no warning and no rhyme or reason.  I pulled her off and the whole thing was over in less than a minute but she did have this dog's nose in her mouth and bit him or her.  The dog seemed fine and the two of them were over it but I was shaken.  I apologized the minute it happened.  The man looked me straight in the eye with pure hatred before walking his dog down the road.

I don't blame him.  Neither he nor his dog did anything wrong.  I would hate a dog (and its owner) who bit my dog without provocation.  I know enough to cross to the other side if I see someone holding their dog off trail but that is because I know what dog-aggressive dogs can do.  He obviously didn't.

So I feel awful for the dog and for him.  I am also worried about what this means for taking Pupzilla on walks in the future.  Is she getting worse as she gets older?  What if we were on a trail with an unleashed dog?  I want her to get exercise and I know how much she enjoys being out of the house but the anxiety of not knowing what she will do if another dog approaches makes me want to keep her home. 


Drax said...

Lock the dog in the bathroom.

But seriously, that kinda sucks. Sorry.

Seeking Solace said...

I disagree that this was your fault. First of all, doggie etiquette requires that a person ask the dog owner if it is OK if their dog approaches your dog. There are dogs that are just not social with other dogs. The Boy can be funny with some males, so I know how you feel.

That being said, Dogs get into scrapes with other dogs. You did your best, but it happens. Take Pupzilla to the park. She should not have to suffer because people don't understand doggie etiquette.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry my puppy was bad while I was away, I will definitely have a talk with her when I get home tomorrow.


AliceAcademic said...

So not your fault and I totally was about to say what Seeking Solace has already written!

Catherine said...

As I see it, the point is not who is at fault but how to address the problem so that you feel comfortable walking Pupzilla. It would be a shame if she couldn't get out and frolic. On the other hand, as a fellow dog owner, I would have been horrified if a dog went for him like that. I don't care about etiquette. I should be able to walk a leashed animal without fear of him being bit without provocation.

I wonder if you should consider a muzzle for Pupzilla? If she doesn't mind wearing one, she would get her exercise, you would get peace of mind, and other dog walkers would see the muzzle and be forewarned.

JOAN said...

I wonder if the other dog challenged her through some form of doggie communication that we don't understand. The muzzle idea seems a good one if you and she don't mind. Or, if you're willing to pay for it, a consult with a dog trainer.

What are the laws on biting dogs in your area? You don't want her to do anything that could lead to a fate too dreadful to contemplate.

Annie said...

Maybe a muzzle makes sense. I keep thinking, what if it were a small child who wandered too close, or Pupzilla got away from you, no matter how carefully you were holding the leash. It's a shame to have to worry, but it's good that you are.

Maggie May said...

off topic, i love the pencil illustrator!