Please leash your dog

We love our walks. They have been great for us physically, mentally and emotionally as well. Sometimes I just need to get out of my own head and walking helps me do that. Walking also helps with Petal’s behavior. She gets to burn some of her endless energy and seeing and hearing other dogs on a daily basis has helped tremendously with her manners.

Thursday’s walk was a little rough, however. But before I tell you about that you should know that we’re both fine. I’m fine and so is Petal.

Sepia image of Petal with mountain views behind her.

Thursday morning, during our usual morning walk, Petal’s thick and long collie coat literally saved her butt when a loose dog attacked from behind. We were walking down the sidewalk through a neighborhood we’ve walked through many times before with no issues whatsoever. Thursday was different. As we walked I noticed a loose dog on the opposite side of the street. The dog was running around the driveway of its home, looking happy to be out in the sunshine. He/she looked like a well behaved dog, staying in its yard and not wandering. I didn’t feel any need to turn around, we were at a safe distance from the other dog, it was with its owner and from afar it showed no desire to leave its yard. Still, I wanted to prevent Petal from barking at this dog or pulling on her leash. I asked her to sit and wait at my heel while I adjusted her leash, making it shorter. She did so perfectly and then walked very politely at my heel, her eyes locked on me with perfect focus despite the loose dog she had seen. I was so proud of her and praising and treating her like crazy. As we got closer it looked like the dog had gone back inside the house. I felt we were safe to keep going. Petal was behaving perfectly and the other dog had vanished, possibly into the house.

Sepia image of Petal standing and looking to the left. Mountain views behind her.

We walked past the house, a whole street between us and the house, minding our own business. Suddenly I see a black flash and hear snarling from behind, before I could react the dog was biting Petal’s back legs. I started yelling, the dog moved to the front, ready to go for the face and I yelled louder, which seemed to make the dog hesitate and Petal’s face was not bit. The dog’s owner called the dog over and crossed the street to meet his dog half way. He took his dog back to the house, said a simple, “Sorry about that!” And I watched as the dog struggled to spit out a huge chunk of Petal’s fur.
He did not put his dog in the house.
He did not leash his dog.
He did not ask me if I was alright or if Petal was alright.

We got away from that house as quickly as we could and then I did a thorough check of Petal. No broken skin, no scratches, no tenderness. She was fine. But had she been another breed of dog, had she had less fur or been a smaller dog, I don’t think we would have been so lucky.

Sepia image of Petal standing on a bench and looking out over mountain views.

Petal, for the past couple of years, has had issues with loose dogs. I’ve talked about this on the blog before. They make her nervous and/or jealous when she sees them running around with no leash while she is confined to one. I have been working with her on this issue for awhile now and I’m so proud to say she has made a lot of progress. This event proved that as Petal did not loose her cool, not one time, not even for a little bit.

This loose dog jeopardized this progress and more importantly our safety. I do not blame the dog though, I blame the owner. His/her inconsiderate owner pissed me off. If your dog has an issue with other dogs, keep them on a leash. If you are not diligently watching your dog, keep them in the house or on a leash. Even though me and my dog were clear across the street and I had Petal on a leash, I still took the time to stop and shorten her leash and to encourage her to be on her best behavior to avoid any conflict. And she was! She was perfectly behaved and did not bait or taunt this dog at all. She didn’t even fight back when she got attacked. She didn’t cower or hide, that’s for sure, instead she stood in front of me and gave the dog her warning look, but she did not fight back.
While I’m still shocked and a little angry with this irresponsible owner, I am so proud of Petal and so grateful for her thick coat!

Sepia image of Petal standing on a bench overlooking the mountain. Petal looks closely at the camera, at me.

Despite what happened Thursday, we still love our walks.

Ruckus the American Eskimo Dog Blog Today we are participating in the Sepia Saturday blog hop hosted by Ruckus the Eskie. Thanks Ruckus!

18 thoughts on “Please leash your dog

  1. Oh no! I am so sorry that this happened and I am so glad you are both okay. I know it’s hard, but remember that some of Petal’s reactions to encountering off leash dogs is fed from your reactions to off leash dogs. This advice comes from my own issues/problems too! I have heard so, so many stories like this (with less “we’re fine” results) and I am terrified of illegally unleashed dogs. So it’s no wonder I have two leash reactive dogs! And honestly, one way I have solved this is by carrying dog repellent spray (the kind mail carriers have with them.) I had it with me when we met in Ogden. Of course, I certainly hope to never have to use it but it makes me feel a little bit safer and more confident which rubs off on how the dogs react when we see an off leash dog. I’m not saying you should go to this extreme, but remember that if Petal senses you are afraid, she will react to protect you. This kind of love from our dogs is a blessing and a curse. Again, I am so glad you are okay and yes, people, please, please leash your dog! Leash laws (like speed limits) exist for the interest of public safety and MUST be obeyed!

    • Thank you Bethany! I was sad to find out today that I may have been wrong about Petal making it out without a scratch. I found an inch long scratch on her back left leg. It’s not an open wound anymore but it appears that it may have been at one point. It also appears to be healing up just fine, though it is a very sad shade of purple. :( I don’t know for sure if it was from this incident because I did look her over very well after the incident and saw nothing. However I can’t think of many other reasons for this scratch. Regardless of how the scratch was obtained, I think I will be buying some spray; I jump at every bark I hear while walking Petal now and she’s definitely picking up on that. I would hate for my nervousness to cause a major set back in her training. Do you have a specific kind/brand you can recommend?

  2. Oh, I see what happened. So, anyway. Your blog looks great! I’m so glad that you are both fine. Petal behaved with nobility! Wish you could report the person who let the dog off leash. Wherever you are there will always be people who are unaware, self-centered and ignorant.

    BTW, I met Huxley at Blog Paws, and fell madly in love with him. Petal seems a perfect match!



    I often felt that Matilda looked like a collie without the fur!
    Terry Cramer recently posted…Sepia Saturday: Sleepia SaturdayMy Profile

    • Thank you Terry! I kind of wish I could report him too. It’s true though, there will always be people like that. I think this experience has taught me to be more prepared.

      Hehe, thanks! I think they’re a perfect match too. 😉

  3. Oh no, that is one scary moment. Super glad to know that you both came out of it with no physical injuries. Shame on the other dogs person for this interaction, which could been completely avoided. And then to just run off like that without even making sure you were both ok? That’s just awful.

    So sorry this happened at all.
    Poodle At Play recently posted…Sepia Saturday and a requestMy Profile

    • Thank you. It was awful and definitely could have been avoided. I have learned to be more prepared though.

  4. You’ve hit on one of my biggest gripes– idiot owners of dogs who think the leash laws don’t apply to them. They think their dog is so wonderful that it won’t attack or just don’t care if it does. They give you attitude if you tell them to leash their d**m dogs. I’ve got news for all of you who let your dogs off leash. Your dog is not special, neither are you…. the laws are for EVERYONE, obey them. My little terrier was attacked while on leash in her own front yard by a pit bull mix– it ran around my husband and chomped down on the back of her neck. Luckily, he punted it off of her before it killed her. Another neighbor was in her front yard with her mini dachshund when a loose pit bull attacked her dog and then her. Her little dog had hundreds of stitches and staples and almost died. She also needed stitches. Don’t get more dog than you can control and are willing to control. Petal did excellently– I don’t think my terrier would do as well, she still is terrified of pit bulls and pit mixes.
    FinleyWestie recently posted…I TURNED EIGHT YESTERDAY!!!My Profile

    • Oh my gosh, that’s horrible! I’m so glad everyone was mostly okay, in both incidents. That’s just awful. I’m sorry. Do you carry spray deterrent with you now? I’m looking into getting some to avoid any more incidents like this.

  5. How terribly frightening for you and how inconsiderate of the dog owner. I often think about this when I’m walking the Boys – especially early in the morning. so many pet owners are too lazy and think early in the morning they can just open the door and let their dog out without a chance encounter with another dog. Geez… so happy you and Petal are okay, thanks for sharing your nightmarish experience with us.
    Cathy C Bennett recently posted…SEPIA SATURDAY | THERAPY DOGSMy Profile

  6. That’s terrible! I had a similar experience with Nola when she was 10-12 months old. An aggressive Golden Retriever charged us on a walk and pinned Nola to the ground before I could kick it off her. Not even so much as a “sorry!” from the owners. It took a solid year to work with her to be okay around large dogs, and to this day she’s still leery around large, light colored ones. People are useless.
    Dachshund Nola and DM recently posted…Charlotte SaturdayMy Profile

  7. Horrible experience for both you and Petal :( This is one reason I take my dogs to the beach far away from people and dogs. Another reason is the my dogs certainly prefer to be tearing around sand dunes after bunnies than on a leash walk around town, lol! If I did have to do on leash street walking with my dogs I think I would certainly be investing in some sort of dog repellent spray as Bethany suggests. So glad neither you or Petal were physically injured. I know it will take time to get over it though! Hopefully it won’t happen again.

  8. Glad you’re both okay! That wouldn’t have gone as well if it was Maggie & Duke, they don’t have Petal’s nice floofy fur. Or her good attitude. :)

  9. So glad you all are okay. People can be so inconsiderate too. At obedience class last week there was an Elkhound (that is out of control on leash) break its snap and took off after a Lab (who was with his owner on leash). The owner of the Lab did his best to try and get the Elkhound off his Lab without getting bit and the owner of the Elkhound blamed the Lab owner and was going off to him. People in class were saying his dog is who broke loose and to get better control. The Lab owner didn’t get so much as an apology. Jerks! The week before he lunged at Teach and luckily didn’t break loose. Again so glad you and Petal are fine and you may want to take Bethay’s advice with the spray just in case. Petal did sound like a star though considering!
    Rebecca recently posted…Black & White Sunday: Its a bird, its a plane…My Profile

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