Drama on the Green
by, 08-26-2011 at 08:19 PM (1338 Views)
About three weeks ago I was walking my Jack Russell as usual on the Green near our house and I noticed a crow hopping about the field. There had been quite a few crows about the field this year, with at least two couples producing offspring.
This crow stood out as it appeared to have no tail feathers. I proceeded to watch it from a distance, and it became clear that it couldn’t fly. I continued to see the crow, and usually another pair with it or nearby. I presumed they were its parents.
I don’t know about you, but I always want the underdog to win, or survive or get on in life. The crow seemed to develop a good strategy for avoiding the dogs and their owners on the field, and hung around two poplar trees which are near our local brook. It used the reeds next to the brook, but could also flutter for a distance. Other walkers noticed it too.
There were inevitably threats around. A little, but incredibly aggressive tabby cat called Evil Eddy lives just over the brook. Foxes live around the area, and of course there are other cats and dogs about. Anyway, after a couple of weeks, the crow disappeared.
So once again I was walking my dog around the Green a couple of days ago. Near the road, we cross a road bridge and usually walk on the other side of the brook where the crow lived. We were just walking past some terraced house ends when a reddish dog appeared from nowhere and raced after Dorje, my dog.
I had not seen this dog before. Mine, being a terrier, is often aggressive to other dogs, and I always have him on a lead. This time, there had been no such provocation, and this unknown dog was after him.
I quickly picked Dorje up and swung him away from the dog; he has a harness which goes under his chest which makes this easy and not painful for him. The attacking dog missed, and came again. By this time I was shouting at the other dog to no effect. He was running around me, jumping and biting. I began to kick it in the ribs, all the time shouting at it and looking round for an owner. There was none.
By this time I had shifted Dorje under my arm and was fighting this dog off. Luckily for me, it was completely intent upon Dorje. It managed to bite his tail and back legs which were dangling as it ran around and jumped up. I was having hardly any effect on this dog despite trying to kick it as hard as I could. It merely deflected it whilst it continued to run around me and jump. I resorted to punching it in the face as well, but this also had no effect. I was getting tired pretty quickly, but it was clear that if this dog got hold of Dorje, it wouldn’t let go and would kill him.
I was getting a bit desperate by this time.
I managed to get into the brook, as I was at a shallow part, and climb onto the other bank next to a tree so that it couldn’t run around me and leap up. I thought the brambles I was standing in would perhaps keep it off. It seemed to take a bit of a breather, but it wasn’t going, and was still trying to lunge at Dorje.
Again, fortunately, another bloke had been walking on the other side of the brook. He managed to distract it for a while, and, for a few moments, I thought it would go with him, and we would be able to get away. I re-crossed the brook again to the other side, but it soon turned and came running back. I’ve never seen such persistence in a dog before. The bloke – I’ve never seen him before – came back too, and was shouting at the dog.
My arms were getting tired, and I looked around for something to hit the dog with, as I was having no effect at all. Then there it was. I picked up a stick from the grass – perhaps some kids had been playing and left it there. I just hoped it was strong enough. The dog came at us again, and I hit it right across the face. The twiggy end snapped in its face, and for a moment I thought the stick wouldn’t hold, but the rest of it proved to be more flexible, and I hit it across the face again.
The dog looked at me in a kind of surprise, and I noticed what a handsome dog it was, and seeming without any of the snarly aggression towards me that you would expect. It then turned round and disappeared from the way it had come.
Mightily relieved, we crossed the brook once again onto our side and walked for a short while with the bloke who had tried to help. I hope I see him again so that I can thank him once more. I put Dorje on the ground, and he was walking ok, so there were no breaks of too much damage. He had five bites though, which were bleeding, and when I got him home, my daughter helped me to clean up the wounds.
My wife soon returned too, and it was clear that Dorje had to go to the vet to get cleaned up and have an examination. I’d had shorts on as usual, so after clearing up the bramble scratches, we went in a taxi to the local vet.
The veterinary nurses know us, as they live quite near, and they came straight over to see Dorje as soon as my wife had explained what had happened. It seems that they knew of this dog, a pitbull, and the reddish one I mentioned in particular. It is owned by a young lad, who clearly uses it as a “I’m hard me” dog, but he never has it on the lead. There have been complaints before, and our neighbourhood wardens know the family, and have visited this pitbull before.
They asked us to report it, which we have done, and we talked for quite a while. It was clear to me that the dog, whilst not a direct threat to humans, could easily overbalance some of the old folks who walk their dogs around here. Then again, in the rough and tumble of an attack, it could easily bite an owner. It was also a clear threat to any small dog it encountered.
I was also sad to hear that the dog, and its sister, had attacked and killed the flightless crow on the field a few weeks before. So that little mystery was cleared up. That’s “Nature red in tooth and claw”, though it would not have happened if the dogs had been on leads. Sad really.
Since then, Dorje has been fine. He wore his head trumpet for a night before managing to shake it off. He’s very good though, and hasn’t disturbed the bandages on his tail and legs. We’ve even been out, but now I carry a stout stick with me in case the dog shows again. It is unlikely as we’ve never seen it before, but you never know.
I also heard that the lad in question often takes this particular dog – with no lead - over to the bookies near our shops. I’ve been wondering what I’ll say to him if and when I see him. I’ll definitely mention the vet bill. The thing is, it is hard to be angry with the dog. His owner should have it under control, and as such, it is completely the lad’s fault. I read the following passage on Wikipedia:
Temperament (From Wikipedia)
The APBT is a breed that is loyal to friends and family, and is generally friendly towards strangers. Many have strong instincts to chase and seize cats and other fleeing creatures, including deer and livestock (prey drive). As with any dog breed, proper training and socialization at an early age is a must. According to the UKC, "aggressive behavior toward humans is uncharacteristic of the breed and highly undesirable."
It seems to confirm what I was thinking during the attack. Dorje was a small dog it saw and chased as part of an impulse. It didn’t even growl at me, even though I was kicking and punching it. It would be terrible if this animal were to attack another dog and kill it – as it easily could. There are a number of small dogs around with elderly owners. It hardly bears thinking about. It would also be terrible if, what could be a good dog, if controlled properly, were to be put down because of an irresponsible owner.
The attack was potentially traumatic. I could easily have fallen over in the brambles, or dropped Dorje, or been knocked over. I’m fortunate in that I have been in minor aggressive situations before, and they haven’t affected me, or left any longstanding anxiety. The trick is not to speculate upon the “what could have happened”, and to focus upon managing to get away. I have seen people in the past seeming to suffer extra because they go over what might have been, and it’s almost as if they are going through that pain too. It might be human nature to do that, but I’m quite sure it doesn’t help.