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Rough week with the dogs (Caution: LONG)


terrawombat
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On Wednesday night I let my Siberian Husky & German Shepherd/Belgian Malinois mix out to go to the bathroom before bed time - pretty standard operating procedure...except as soon as my husky went out the door, something to the left caught his attention and he b-lined it to the corner of my fenced yard...Shepherd was following close behind.  I saw that he reached down to grab something on the ground, but I couldn't see what it was in the darkness.  I've seen him do this to small animals through the past 6 years of his life - scoop them up off the ground and then violently shake them until the neck breaks.  Except this time, he dropped whatever it was in his mouth - that's when I knew something was wrong.  The second sign was the pungent odor that followed.  Yep - he found himself a skunk in my yard.  The skunk scurried off under my fence and my dogs proceeded to roll around in the grass where the skunk oils were deposited.  Still don't understand a canine's fascination for rolling in foul-smelling substances.

 

Tried some of the internet tricks with the concoction of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda & dish soap.  It helped on the Shepherd (short hair), not so much on the husky (long hair).  This is the second time the husky has gotten hit with a skunk...last time took about 5 weeks for the odor to completely go away.  Oh well, so my house stinks for a bit...ordered up automatic lysol sprayers for every room to keep it under control.

 

Second incident happened this morning.  Had my girlfriend's mother's dog for the weekend since she was down at the beach on vacation.  She's got a hyperactive husky/lab mix and she keeps the thing in tip top shape so he always wants to run...and run forever.  Let all the dogs out this morning to go to the bathroom, but had the husky/lab by the collar since I hook him on a chain when he's outside since he has a history of scaling my 4.5 foot fence and running off.  When I got him outside, he saw a squirrel and nearly twisted my wrist off to get it.  My wrist twisted in such a way I had to let go or else I would have injured myself.  In hindsight, I should have taken the wrist injury.

 

As he went racing from tree to tree to find the squirrel he also noticed a man walking his dog on the road outside of the fence.  After a running start and a 5 foot leap he was over the fence and on his way to man & dog.  The husky/lab ran straight toward the dog and when he got close a fight ensued.  By the time I got out to the scene the man had beaten the husky/lab off with a nightstick (more on that later) and had kicked him into a ditch on the side of the road.  Completely unphased the husky/lab took off with me (in only my underwear) chasing after him.  He darted off in a hedgerow and eventually into the neighbors soy bean patch.  I gave up the chase for the time being and turned back to get some shoes (and clothes) on.  As I turn around I notice that my Siberian saw I left the gate open in the mass hysteria that just ensued and he decided to let himself out...and ran straight towards the man and his dog.  The man raised his nightstick again and started yelling those stereotypical words that people think have some sort of effect on dogs, such as "YAW" or "GIT."  Well, in this case, it seemed to work.  I think it was more the raised nightstick more than anything, but my husky just looked at him and then ran off in a different direction.  As I passed by the man, I apologized for all that just happened and asked him if his dog was okay.  He responded with, "Let's hope so."  Clearly he was not pleased with me, but I had two dogs on the loose that ran off in different directions.  His dog was still upright, wagging its tail and I didn't see any signs of lacerations.

 

Got in my car and started driving around town to find the husky.  He's easier to catch.  Once you have a car and open the door, he'll hop right in - he doesn't care who you are.  While looking for the husky I saw the man and his dog again at a neighbors house pointing and staring at me.  Giving me the "That's the guy, that's the guy!" look.  Still didn't have time for him - had two dogs to find.  Found husky - he jumped in car as planned.  husky/lab still nowhere to be found.  Approximately 15 minutes later the husky/lab returned back home on his own.  Got all the dogs back in the house, secured opened gate, scolded the two that ran away and was going to wait to feed them so as not to confuse them with a reward - they were being punished.  Went to get some shoes on to go find man and his dog and see if everything was okay and apologize again.

 

Didn't need to go anywhere, it seems.  Dogs started barking after several slams on my front door.  Angry, irate woman standing on my front porch.  Put 2 and 2 together and expect the worst.  She demands my name and names of my dogs - I give them to her.  Tell her the owner (Girlfriend's mother) of the husky/lab that attacked her dog.  Tell her I was just on my way to see if her dog & husband were both okay, but had to make sure both of my dogs were safe.  She screams at me, "Make sure YOUR dogs are safe?!  What about mine?!?"  I explain that my dogs were on the loose and could be hit by a car and killed, god forbid, and that they were my first priority after I saw her husband and dog walk off seemingly okay.  I ask if her dog is okay.  She says she doesn't know, but there are bite marks on her and she'll be taking her to the vet tomorrow AM and that I should expect a bill.  I say, "OK we'll deal with that when the time comes."  She proceeds to tell me that her dog has been attacked several times by other dogs in town (in my head I'm starting to see a trend with a common denominator, but I keep my mouth shut).  I apologize again for what transpired and she says, "Sorry isn't going to cut it."  I tell her I'm at a loss for words then and I don't know what to do.  She tells me to expect a visit from Animal Control tomorrow.  She says this isn't the first time there have been complaints about my house and dog attacks.  I ask her to elaborate since I wasn't aware of anything.  She claims other town residents have told her to avoid my house because of dog attacks at my house.  Still have no idea what she's talking about and I'm not aware of any reported incidents?  She tells me her husband is a retired police officer and carries the nightstick with him often and that he can also carry a gun and he can use it if things get out of control.  My exact words, "That's pretty excessive."  She responds with, "Well, you never know what might happen."  She again reminds me that I will be getting a visit from Animal Control and leaves.

 

Don't really know what to expect with this one.  It wasn't a dog vs human attack so I don't think my homeowners will cover anything if it gets to that level.  Not really sure what happens with a dog vs. dog.  Maybe a quarantine?  Fine?  Thing I'm worried about is she is going to make up some bogus story about how MY husky attacked her dog - not the case at all.  Once he saw the raised arm of the man, he wanted nothing to do with him and darted off in another direction.  Funny thing is this woman WASN'T EVEN THERE!  Anything she knew about the incident was second-hand from her husband.  Found it kind of funny the husband didn't come visit me himself and let his wife do the dirty work.  Maybe he didn't even care because the whole incident wasn't really anything to write home about.  Two dogs get in a 10 second quarrel and then it's over.  Another dog approaches his and then runs away instead.  But I suppose I was the straw that broke the camels back with this woman.  Perhaps the other 3 attacks she spoke about got her riled up and then this one just set her over the edge.  She was shaking profusely and could barely string together a coherent sentence.  When I tried to level and reason with her, it was met with more yelling and illogical statements.  To be honest, this woman kind of frightened me because of her unstable mental state.  

 

Guess we'll see what happens in the coming days.  Animal Control is closed on weekends, but I have no doubt she either left a message on their emergency voicemail or will be calling them first thing tomorrow morning.  I've got work so I won't be home...thinking I'll deadbolt all the doors just in case.

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Man terra, thats no bueno. :(  Good on you for keeping your cool, having an irate person in your face can really test one's patience. Hopefully any kind of vet bill that might be charged will be insignificant.  At least your dogs didnt come to any harm, even though they may still reek of skunk.

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I'll gladly pay their vet bill.  Last thing I want to see is another canine go down with an injury because of my negligence.  If that's all that comes out of this, I'll consider myself incredibly lucky.

 

However, judging by the attitude of the woman yesterday she's out seeking vengeance - not just for what happened yesterday, but for the handful of other attacks (not my dogs) that her pup received.  It sounded as if those other attacks went completely unreported because she may not have known who the stray dogs belonged to, but this time around she had someone to take it out on.

 

Just don't want to see any pups hurt over this.  They're dogs, after all, it's in their nature to act in self-defense if they feel threatened.  I screwed up and I know it - I should be the one paying the consequences.  Don't want to end up like one of those news stories where the dog is put down for owner negligence.

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I'm willing to bet animal control just checked with the dogs and left

It's possible.  The Animal Control office in this area is rather finicky.  They used to be their own entity that was pretty poorly funded with only two employees and was run out of the county human society.  They have since been absorbed by the county sheriffs office and received a considerable bump in their budget - they're up to 6 employees now and are driving around in brand new Ford F250's with a kennel house attachment in the bed.  They've also gotten a lot more serious about the job, too.  A co-worker of mine had a similar incident as mine where his pooch did some pretty significant damage to another neighborhood dog and he said Animal Control was at his house within the hour to quarantine his pup and write him up a fine for failure to have his dog properly leashed when outside.  He said his neighbor threatened to sue unless he paid for the vet bill, which amounted to $600.  He initially agreed to pay it until that the owner of the dog took the liberty of getting his pooch a full round of annual shots.  After some back and forth arguing he eventually just paid the bill in full to avoid the potential legal trouble.

 

And here I thought dogs would be easier than children....

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Update.

 

Received a notice on my door yesterday when I got home from work around 8:30PM.  Animal Control had stopped by around 3:15PM and needed me to contact them within 24 hours.  Called immediately, office was closed, left a message.  Called again first thing this morning, no answer, left another message.  Received a phone call back from the Animal Control officer around 2:30PM.  He informed me that an affidavit of complaint had been filed against me for a public nuisance, specifically for permitting an animal "to molest or intimidate pedestrians or passerby."  It's a $250 fine and he needs to meet with me in person to deliver the citation.

 

Okay.  So I knew something was going to happen.  I expected that.  But this makes me angry.  On the affidavit complaint there were a variety of violations listed and the complainant had to pick one.  Some of those options included permitting an animal "to be repeatedly at large" or "to cause injury to a human being or another domestic animal by unprovoked biting," both of which are MUCH more applicable to the situation.  Are either of them any less or worse than the violation I was charged with?  Maybe, maybe not, but it doesn't matter.  What matters to me is the blatant dishonesty in which the affidavit was completed.  I guess I should have expected this considering the delusional mental state that the woman was in when she came to my home.

 

The other thing that really irks me is what ever happened to being neighborly?  I don't understand why the first reaction is to go straight to the authorities.  Why couldn't this be handled in a more civil, man-to-man manner?  I do not know what kind of weight this citation holds.  Perhaps it's simply a fine and I go on with my life, but I have to believe that if a law enforcement agency, even if it is Animal Control, is issuing me a citation then there is some kind of record associated with this.  It's like pulling teeth trying to get these sorts of questions answered over the phone.  I am going to go down to the Sheriff's office/Animal Control tomorrow to see if I'm going to have to lawyer up.

 

And as for the victimized dog, it is in good health, sustained no serious injuries and a visit to the vet was not needed.

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