Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Judge This

This happened yesterday. I am still terribly upset over this so I need to document this.

I wasn't there, but Apeman took our 6 year old German Shepherd (Max) to the park for his routine walk. We never let Max off the leash unless we know for sure there is nobody else in the park - or only if he is amongst his group of friends (a few big dogs coupled with a few smaller ones). He is a friendly dog and is only interested in a sniff at any new dogs he meet. I know Max. I carried him home as a three month old puppy, he is a beautiful dog and he sits with me quietly after EVERY single one of my failed IVF cycles. This dog has soul.

According to Apeman - he was watching Max until suddenly from a far distance he can hear a dog's bark. It was too late for him to chase after Max because he already heard the barking. We are talking about an entire football field distance here. Max ran up to the female dog owner, who was carrying a toy dog in her arms, there was also another medium sized dog on the leash. Max did his usual dance - he sniffed at the medium sized dog, hoping to get a few plays out of the dog.

Without warning, the dog took a big bite out of Max, bad enough to draw blood. As a retaliation, Max bit back, he held the other dog down by biting into the back. Apeman pulled Max easily away from the other dog. The female dog owner was frantic and screamed `Get your fucking dog away from my dog!'. She was hysterical.

A do-gooder dropped by, and asked if he was needed as a witness. The female dog owner declined the offer. He then turned to Apeman and spat, `If I see your dog on the road next time I will run him the fuck over.'

This is what hurt the most. He will run my Max over. My Max. He didn't even see the blood on my Max's neck. He will drive past us next time and run us the fuck over regardless because he is a big dog holding a smaller dog down.

What followed was the female dog owner took her dog to the vet - she was still hysterical - and asked Apeman to pay for the $400 vet bill. It covers consultation, a surcharge (since it was boxing day), and the dog had needed a few stitches. We rang up and asked about the condition of dog - the vet told us the dog was fine and it a few skin punctures that required the stitches just to be on the safe side. We paid the bill promptly and made sure the dog got everything it needed for recovery.

Then around midnight Apeman got an SMS from this female dog owner. She wanted him to know she hated him, and hated his monster dog for hurting her dog. I am not sure if Apeman received anymore hate messages from this woman, but Apeman knew I am getting really upset over it so he is holding back the news from me.

I cried all night. I cried because I love my dog too. I cried because this has never happened before. I cried because my Max bled too. I cried because people take one look at my Max (who in comparison to the usual breed, is a small German Shepherd), they think he is capable of killing and want to run the fuck over him. I cried because the owner called my Max a monster - Max has never taken a bite out of anything, not even when a wandering cat was sitting right in the middle of our backyard, he only barked to let us know we have an intruder and stayed away from the cat. My Max who nursed me and is my son after all my failed IVF cycles.

I don't doubt that we are in the wrong. It just hurts so terribly that Max, which is very much a part of me and Apeman, was labeled as a monster. A monster doesn't sit with you and lick your tears away when you are in pain. He was, and never will be, that.


tops-y said...

Drew, doesn't sound to me like your Max is at fault at all - he was attacked first and was simply protecting himself. I would have taken him to the vet if I was in your shoes and presented the bill to the other owner and asked to be reimbursed also. As for the SMS messages, is this not harrassment? I would be contacting the police for advice on that one.
I used to own a rottweiler who was gentle as a lamb, but people would judge her just because of her breed so I understand exactly what you are saying.
My current dog is a much loved dalmatian who has been attacked so many times by other dogs that he now growls whenever another dog approaches as this is what he thinks should be done. It's not fair. Love your Max with all of your heart and know that he is not in the wrong. Although, I would keep him on lead from now on - I don't let mine off at all. So sorry that this happened to you.

Drew said...

Thanks so much for giving me that feedback Tops-y. I am still heartbroken about it (even though I know there is nothing to worry about). I spend the morning looking at Max, from all angles. He kept really quiet and looked back at me with his brown soulful eyes - I don't see monster or evil. I may say that because he is my boy.

The bite marks on Max wasn't serious - it only went as deep as the skin. But because at the time this happened Apeman didn't think Max was hurt - only when he returned home later and I did a check on Max and realise the other dog drew blood on Max as well. But Apeman saw the dog attacking Max first (taking a bite on his neck), the bystander maintained Max's attack on the other dog was unprovoked, that's why he said he will run our Max over. If I was there I will seriously lash out on him for threatening us like that.

Thanks again.

Em said...

Oh Drew. That's rough. The woman sounds well...unhinged! Other people's anger is frightening.

Bugsy said...

oh hun - this post made me cry. I know that woman was probably upset - I would be too if my dog was bitten or bit another, but it sounds like nobody was at fault here - it just happened.

but it doesn't excuse the hatred coming from this woman - that is inexcusable and horrible. I hope Max is okay.

I do hope that is the end of the incident and you don't hear any more about it.