Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dog Fight

So, I was in the middle of a dog fight last Monday.

I have to start the story by explaining the day that Will and I had been having. His morning nap was too short, and he didn't seem to want to sleep in the afternoon, either. The result was an overtired, fussy baby and an overtired, frustrated mommy. It was kind of a tough day. Despite the crummy fall weather we were having, I decided to get us all bundled up and brave the elements to get some fresh air. It usually works wonders for both of us to get outside, plus I knew that my two dogs would appreciate the exercise.

A few minutes into our walk, I was so glad that we had gotten outside. Will was dressed warmly enough and the brisk fall air felt good. Despite some serious storm clouds, it wasn't raining, so I opened up the cover on his stroller. He stopped crying and I was relieved to see that his eyelids were drooping. He was as good as asleep. I breathed a sigh of relief that we were both getting the rest that we needed.

The next thing I knew, I felt a bumping into the back of my legs. Startled, I gave a little yelp. I looked down to see a brown dog at my feet. A brown dog that happened to be a pit bull.

Now, allow me to say that I am a dog lover. And I know that pit bulls can be loving creatures with a bad wrap. However, when this dog stuck his head into the stroller, my heart stopped beating. I think this would have been my reaction no matter what the breed. I screamed and pulled the dog back from Will's face.

My little dog is a terrier and as terriers usually go, he is stubborn and full of fight. He decided that he did not like this interloper sticking his head into "his" baby's stroller. So, he growled. And of course, the stray dog did not like being growled at by a dog that he could eat for dinner. So, he growled back. And my big dog, who is not much of a fighter, decided that he couldn't let his brother take this on alone, so he joined in the growl-fest.

The next thing that I knew, I was in the middle of a dog fight. Try as I might, I could not pull the dogs apart. I found myself in a web of leashes, trying to stay upright and keep the stroller free of the snarling dogs.

Luckily for me, a car stopped and the passenger hopped out to help me pull the pit bull off of my big dog and give me a chance to disentangle myself from the tangle of leashes. By this point, I was crying and Will was screaming. So much for our peaceful walk and Will's nap.

The kindly strangers scared the pit bull off and then followed me home to make sure that I got back all right. Shaking, I got in the house and vowed to never leave home without my pepper spray again. I looked over both dogs and found only a small bloody scratch on Rocky's ear. We seemed to have emerged mostly unscathed.

I sat on the stairs in our entry way and clutched Will to me. I was still teary and unsettled, but he seemed no worse for the wear. In fact, as I rocked us both on the stairway, he finally fell asleep. Even though the danger had passed, I started to cry again as I thought about how scared I was when that dog stuck his head in the stroller. If something happened to Will . . . I can't even process those thoughts.

Really, he was never in any danger, but I find that the aftermath of my struggles with infertility is that I always go to the worst case scenario. After all, the worst did happen to us. So many times. Our babies died. And babies die. No one can tell me that it doesn't happen. I sometimes still feel as if we somehow "cheated" the fates and wonder how long we will stay lucky.

I pray that it is forever.


AwkwardMoments said...

wow how very scary. i am glad there was help

HereWeGoAJen said...

That's awful! I am so glad that someone stopped to help you. We have a loose pit bull that wanders our neighborhood too. (I don't see him often or I'd call someone.) Luckily I've been able to keep our dogs from crossing his path, but I still worry. I'm glad everyone is okay.

Geohde said...

Goodness. This is exactly one of my fears when I go for a walk with my twins.


Anonymous said...

I am so glad you, Will and the dogs are ok.

We used to live in a complex, and at the time, we had three dogs, one of our own and two of my mom's on a six month extended visit. One of the dogs got out and ran towards another dog and the owner started screaming at us to get the dog away. She said her dog was trained as a fight dog and was trained to kill anything that got in its path. I couldn't understand why someone would have a dog that was trained to kill, as a pet, in a complex full of dogs and small children.

Joy said...

You were very brave! I see many strays wandering around when I'm walking. Pit bulls are generally nice unless antagonized. If you ever see him again, keep walking and ignore him and he should leave you alone. If not, call 911 immediately so they can either come shoot him or have Animal Control pick him up.

That would have scared the heck out of me. I'm glad Will was okay!!! And I know what you mean about fearing for your child's life. That will never go away.

I check on my girls every single night, even though they're over the SIDS danger zone. I envision the worst case scenerios.

BUT... I have to stop myself. I have to tell myself, "They're alive, they're well, they're healthy. ENJOY this time!" I can't live in fear of the unknown. I just take it one day at a time!

RBandRC said...

So scary! I am so glad that you, Will and your dogs are ok!

Prairie Girl said...

Oh my goodness!! I was shaking while I read that. I HATE pitbulls. I don't care if they CAN be good pets, they can also be nasty, snarly scary dogs who hurt and sometimes kill. The only pitbull I don't mind, is one on a leash and in a muzzle. (jmo)

Anyways I am sooooooooo glad that someone stopped to help you. I am so happy. That recollection had me soooo worried!!

Abc said...

Very scary!

I saw a very similar situation in my neighborhood yesterday, with a grandmother (I assumed) pushing a stroller and her husband walking a dog. A german shepherd was harassing them as I was pulling out of the driveway and she asked me how dangerous he was. I told her I had never seen the dog before, but I was peeved that they (and you) have to deal with idiot dog owners who don't understand the concept of a LEASH or a FENCE. I've called animal control about the stray problem and they told me I had to catch the dogs myself and they would pick them up. Riiiight.

I watched as the dog started to wander away from the people before I drove off, not sure what else I could do.


Mindy said...

Yikes, that's horrible. I'm a dog lover and I agree alot of breeds can get bad wraps (my sister used to have 2 Rottweilers who were the absolute sweetest, gentlest dogs ever), but who in their right mind let's a dog, ESPECIALLY a pit bull roam free. I hope if you or someone else sees that again it gets reported. I'm sorry you had to got through that!

Ms. J said...

I am SO in touch with what you wrote, from start to finish! Every time we go on a walk I say to myself "Crap, I NEED TO GO BUY PEPPER SPRAY!!!"

And the thing about the fates and cheating it?! I battle that, too. Constantly. I have a toddler, and yet I still check to make sure she is breathing when sleeping. I can't even think too much about her springtime surgery without sobbing over the "What ifs" (and then quickly remind myself the mortality rate for children her age is near zero and how safe it is noawadays).

I can't imagine how scary that was for you. I was shaking just reading it.

Yoka said...

what a scary experience. I am glad to hear that no one was seriously hurt.

Waiting Amy said...

Oh Katie, I'm so sorry. I just wanted to encourage you to keep a close eye on your guys, even if all you found was a scratch. Generally with dog fights the injuries are puncture wounds which sometimes can be hard to find. Look our for any new lumps or swellings over the next day or so.

Hang in there sweetie.

Polka Dot said...

gah how terrifying!

I'll be the first to admit to generalizing about pits, but my sister and her kids have several and all of them are great with the babies and toddlers. It's each other that they sometimes have a problem with.

And, as strange as this may sound, it's possible the pit was trying to protect Will. Odd, I know. But I've seen it with my sister's dogs - one of them will be by a baby (she has 4 grandkids) and hear a growl (usually a couple of other dogs playing) and up that dog goes, putting itself between the child and the other dog. Teeth are bared and the dog sounds nasty, but it's protecting the child.

I say this especially since the pitt seemed to pretty much ignore you and Will both, choosing instead to 'defend' itself against the other dogs.

I'm really glad it ended the way it did. If that were a serious fight, it could have been much worse.

Anonymous said...

How scary. I'm glad everything turned out o.k. though.

That is one reason why i hate to go for a walk in our neighborhood. Everyone just lets their dogs run around and I am terrified of getting bit.

Jen said...

What is it with pitbull attacks lately!?!? It seems like I hear about a new one every week in the news.