Registered: 1520093063 Posts: 2
This will be long as I have a lot to say and question. Please bear with me. I will make an effort to be as brief as I can.
My story is a little different then most of these posts. I'm the victim of a dog attack in which I'm not the owner, but I was a very frequent family visitor to this home two houses down from me. It's my Father in laws house and this dog was primarily the youngest daughters dog. The dog was a Great Pyrenees about 2.5 years old. It was previously owned by one of her teen girl friends who just couldn't keep that dog at her place... I've known this dog since it was about 6 months old and it had been nothing but friendly with me. Almost too friendly with a lot of excessive nipping that didn't bother me too much. Their house is very small, so the dog is kept outside 24/7 on a very long leash that's teathered to another longer rope that gives the dog plenty of room to roam the property. As a dog person myself, I've never particularly been fond of the old "leashed up dog outside" way of keeping a pet. I try and keep things civil with the parents in law as they are nice people with good intentions and seem to do what they can. (Personally, I own a Golden Retriever who I would never consider for a second not being next to me in my house). The dog has a big dog house, food, water, and basic necessities. So the daughter has given birth almost 1.5 years ago. Everyone has been extremely focused on this baby as it's probably the cutest baby I've ever seen. (Infact, this is one of the main reasons me and my girlfriend frequently visit this house 4 times a week; to play with the baby) ...Now the dog is outside and basically gets little to no attention from people except when it's given its food. No walks, no trips to the park, etc. It just looks at people walk by and barks in the yard at people and cars. I feel sorry for the dog and always make the effort to stop and approach the dog and pet it. I do it every time I go there either before entering the house or leaving the house. I'm greeted with a dog that lays down and lets me pet his belly, sometimes nip at me to play... Nice dog as I've known it since it was 6 months old. Also, I was the first person to walk this dog and introduce it to lake water where it was extremely fascinated while stepping in it (this was amusing to watch). Come 3 weeks ago, I walked up the road. Dog let out a couple barks when it heard me coming up the road (it does this naturally as it doesn't know yet if it's a stranger or me). Once I get up to the driveway, he stops barking and is just looking at me with his usual look. I started talking to him and saying his name. He wags his tail. I got right up to him at the furthest end of his leash to give him a pet. Nothing was at all different about his behavior. He then lunged up and went completely crazy biting at me. I was wearing a winter jacket and he clamped down really hard on my tricep. I can't remember everything that happened because it happened so fast, but I focused quickly on getting a few steps further back from his bites where he can't reach me on his leash. This lasted only seconds, but I was left with some extremely hard bites. I would say 4 to 6 in total. I was bleeding allover, jacket torn. The severity of the bite on my tricep was really deep and I needed medical attention. There'll be some superficial scars, but no real damage. Luckily I'm a weightlifter and there was a lot of muscle on my triceps to clamp down on and not get deeper to any nerves... (Dog had updated shots a month and a half prior to this.) It was never reported since it was family and I was focusing on recovering my injuries. I was initially really upset with the dog, but when I further researched dog behavior, I couldn't help but shift my anger towards them as the owners. I haven't spoken to them yet, but I just found out that my Father in law made the decision to put the dog down. I now feel a form of guilt a dog that I loved as if it were my own is now dead because of how it attacked me. But I also feel anger towards that family for having not provided better loving, socializing, and good quality of life for the dog. I now have the daughter throwing profanities my way via Facebook for the death of this dog as she was completely against it. I truly feel the dog was going to violently attack someone again and they may not be as lucky as I was to be able to evade out of leash length. I would never have been able to picture them keeping this dog with my nephew possibly having his entire face torn off or any one of them. I never implied or said the dog should be put down. I left it up to them and even tried helping find a possible rehoming on a farm of some sort for herding protection. I felt putting it down was a last resort, but that it definitely couldn't be kept. The situation has not only left me feeling guilty, but it has put an awkward strain on the relationship between me and them. I cannot visit my nephew, who I love seeing, since his Mother is blaming me for the death of her dog. I also want to scream in their face on how they're bad pet owners. I'm just at a complete loss for what to do and how I should feel about it. I'm not sure how to move forward. I should also point out that their previous dog (a friendly white lab) also aggressively bit an ex boyfriend without any provocation. They didn't put that dog down as the bite wasn't that bad... I just can't help but notice the link between neglected outdoor dogs on leashes and sporadic aggression.
Registered: 1520213808 Posts: 8
Hey. This was not your fault. I completely understand your guilt. That is a normal human response, of course you feel awful but none of the blame is on you.
In my opinion they should have put the dog down, they made the right choice. Hopefully they do not get another dog as they clearly do not have any time for one. I just had to put my beloved dog down today due to aggression. It is awful. I do not know how I will ever come to terms with the guilt. Don't let this weigh you down any more than it has to. You were innocent in all this. I hope your wounds heal quickly. And... block the daughter. She is being completely unreasonable and should be ashamed of herself. She should be wracked with guilt over what happened. I know when my dog bit someone, it haunted me ever since. Maybe it always will. She is not in touch with reality. Distance yourself from her and from the family for now.
Registered: 1520093063 Posts: 2
Thanks for the reply. Yeah, it seems even the Vet agreed it was the right choice and the more I looked in to it the more I realized it was the only logical choice. It's just extremely discouraging when you remember the dog was being so good 99% of the time and then have that happen. My physical wounds are healing up well and I'm in well in the home stretch. I'm pretty tough and try and look at it as a warning for something that could have certainly been a lot worse for someone else.
The daughter quickly got over blaming me initially. I know the way she is and how she gets like a spoiled brat and always blames things on every one else. I still haven't spoken to her yet but I will have to soon because I haven't seen my nephew in a while.