Today’s puppy panic – Maya was “attacked”

11 Feb

Today on our walk, Maya and I were just one hundred yards or so into the woods, when all of a sudden we heard a loud whistle (not even a dog whistle, just a normal whistle, the kind used by sport referees). Whilst Maya barely looked up, i turned around to see what was going on. A little way behind us was a man with a huge German Shepherd walking next to him, and coming towards us at full speed was a Spaniel, a Springer, i think.

My first thoughts were “yay, a friend for Maya, someone who obviously wants to play” – this is something Maya will often do upon seeing a dog, take off and sprint directly towards them, only going into a play bow at the last moment before reaching the other dog. As he came closer, Maya spotted him, and went into the play bow pose – good, she wants to play and is going the right way about it.

What happened next, wasn’t so great. Instead of stopping, this Spaniel ran straight towards us and bit Maya on the leg. She yelped and ran off, he followed.

I walked towards this dogs owner, all the while watching Maya and the Spaniel. I didn’t want to overreact, i wanted them to sort it out on their own. I often say, that Maya needs to be taught her boundaries by other dogs, but this was different.

The dog kept biting Maya on her legs and side, and i watched as she went further into the trees, cowering and yelping.

Man: “Is that your dog crying, or mine?”

Me: “My dog is the one cowering and crying, your dog is the one biting her”

Man: “Oh, that’s just how he plays”

After one particularly loud yelp, the kind you would expect to hear from a dog that had just been kicked, I had had enough.

I know that the last thing you should do in a dog fight is step in between them to try to break them up. The only real “safe” way of breaking up a dog fight is for two people to each day one dog from behind and pull them apart. This guy obviously wasn’t doing anything to help, so it was down to me.

After trying to call Maya towards me, and her just being chased off again, i stepped forward.  By the now the German Shepherd had began taking an interest and I will admit i was a little wary of his as well, despite his owner saying “the big guy is fine”. Between me and the German Shepherd, we managed to get in between the two other dogs and i quickly popped a lead on Maya, keeping her stood still.

The man called his dogs and walked off. Now that they were gone, i took a look at Maya, she was still cowering, and had a lot of foam around her mouth (not really sure what that is about, stress induced maybe?). I couldn’t find any cuts or anything on her, so i turned around and took her on a different walk, making sure to stay calm and not let her think that there was anything wrong. The last thing i wanted to do was panic and make her think that she should be scared of other dogs/spaniels.

On our walk, she limped for a little while, but eventually seemed to be back to her normal silly self.

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I was furious with this man the whole time, and still am. Although my dog was not hurt, she could easily have been. What if the dog had gone for me? Or what if there were children around to either witness this or be a part of it?

I really wanted to tell the man that his dog needs more training and socializing so that it learns how to act appropriately with other dogs. The fact that the man suggested that this is how the dog plays, makes me think that it is down to poor training. I would have also suggested that until the dog knows how to behave around other dogs and people, it needs to be leashed. At the end of the day, i didn’t do any of this. I am a young girl, with a young dog in the middle of the woods, on my own. Who know’s what this man could have done.

Now, I would never hurt another animal, but at that moment, i was ready and prepared to kick that other dog should it take one step closer to mine. It made me realize just how protective i am of my dog.

We all know what to do and what not to do in these situations – but when it comes down to it, we follow our instincts, and my instincts were to protect my dog. I love that silly dog, and i like to think that should the situation have been reversed, she would protect me, even if she is the friendliest, dopiest dog i have ever met.

Should it have been mine that was chasing and biting another dog, i would have stepped in and removed it from the situation.

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Maya has been fine for the rest of the afternoon. Dogs are lucky in that sense. They just forget and move on, it is us humans who think about the past and dwell on things that cannot be changed. Dogs live in the moment. Maya was happy to come home and have some “mummy cuddles” and a bit of play time before going on her last walk of the day.

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3 Responses to “Today’s puppy panic – Maya was “attacked””

  1. jackiewriting February 13, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

    Poor Maya and poor you.. you’re right, neither of you should have been put in that situation, his dogs should be on leads, and he needs some basic training as well as his dogs. It sounds like you handled it in the best way, by trying to remain calm and not show panic to Maya, but it is hard to remain calm in a situation like that, especially as a woman on your own facing a man. I’m glad you’re both OK x

    • taylorr1991 February 13, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

      Thanks for that. When i told my friends and family i had a lot of comments “you should never get in between two fighting dogs” and i replied with, i know that, but what else could i do, she’s my baby! haha! All is well though and it hasn’t phased her one bit 🙂

      • jackiewriting February 13, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

        Sometimes you have to do what has to be done, after all, they’re like our babies and need protecting sometimes. Glad to hear she’s taken it on the chin, good girl Maya 🙂

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