Saturday, September 8, 2012

Dog Attacks

Belly rub please?
I'm so annoyed by this topic that I need to rant even though it has nothing to do with infertility.  I have a 10 month old Chow Chow puppy.  He's a good dog, doesn't jump or chew anything in my house.  The worst he's done since Bean has been gone is steal chicken tenders out of the compost bin.  He learns quick, when you have his full attention.  Doesn't listen to me at all other time.  Like most Chows he's afraid of people and often stands barking at them when they visit.  Other times he surprises me and I don't hear much from him when a stranger is in the house.  He tolerates being pet in public but sometimes has no interest and walks away.  Never snaps when they grab at him.  Even the toddler at the waterfall we went to that was adamant about shoving his fingers in Loki's mouth.  And he LOVES other dog and wants to play with them all.  I have had 0 instances of him being too rough or fighting other dogs at Petco's Puppy Playtime or when he was in doggie daycare.  Going to the dog park is easy with him.  I often just sit on a bench for an hour and he plays happily with the other dogs.  I've even left him alone for a few minutes to go to the bathroom or get the dogs more water and I have NEVER gotten a complaint from another owner about him having an aggressive behavior.  In fact some compliment him about how well socialized he is for a Chow.  Every once and awhile another male dog will try to hump him and Loki will growl at him and run away.  But never bite.  

Case #1 - Early August we took Loki to a picnic for my husband's job.  Walking around there were several dogs on leash.  One which Loki played with at the dog park the previous week so Loki quickly wanted to greet his friend.  That's fine.  We were walking along and for training he is not allowed to have more than a 6 foot leash.  He doesn't get far from us.  We walked past another dog and Loki jumped on his hind legs with excitement wanting to play this dog.  I didn't let him we kept walking.  The owner didn't have the dog on a leash or let go of it.  He saw Loki and came running towards him and began to bite Loki.  Loki fought back and we pulled him away via his leash while the owners of the other dog came running to pull their dog off.  I was shocked but went along with our day.

Case #2 - Mid August after Bean left of deployment I brought Loki to the dog park (one of three in the area).  After an hour of playing I decided it was time to leave and followed Loki to the exit.  Loki was already heading in the direction to greet a new dog that just came in.  This is something he does to every dog that walks in the gate.  The dog park has "STOP no leash" signs as you walk in.  I never have Loki on a leash there unless it's time to go home and he runs away from me.  This new owner brought their dog in on a leash, not sure why.  Loki went to greet the dog and it began biting him.  Loki again fought back and I was close enough to grab him and and pull him away.  I was pissed, why do you bring an aggressive dog into that kind of situation?  Poor Loki.

Case #3 - The other night, this takes the cake.

Loki has a new Pitbull friend from the dog park.  I have a lot in common with the owner so we are friends.  I watched this Pitbull at my house and although they are both puppies (days apart in age) they play rough but nothing too bad.  I have even transported them together in the same car to the dog park.  Loki has never been upset with this dog in his territory (living room, yard, car) or playing with his toys.    The other day Loki went to the home of this Pitbull.  I never took my eyes away from him just in case.  Within a few minutes the dog cornered Loki between the couch and coffee table.  The Pitbull grabbed Loki's face and began shaking him.  Loki bit the dog's leg leaving a large gash.  

This friend was really upset and I helped him bandage the Pitbull's leg up.  It was the least I could do.  He asked if I could pay half of the vet bill because looking at the bite it looked like the Pit would need stitches.  I said I would.

I bought Loki home and examined his body.  He's such a furry dog that in each case he's been really lucky.  The other dogs in Case 1, 2 and 3 have each gotten a mouth full of fluff since there is 4-6 inches of fur on most parts of Loki's body.  I saw no blood on his coat nor did he seem like he was in pain anywhere.  I also opened his mouth and looked at his teeth.  He seems fine so I didn't bring him to the vet.  

I didn't sleep well last night because I was worried for the other dog.  I knew the owner was bringing the Pit in early to the Vet so I was also waiting for the call from him.  I got a phone call letting me know the estimate for meds, stitches and x-rays came to $860.  The owner asked I pay $600 of that.

Wait, that's NOT half.  My dog was attacked and defending himself.  I said I would pay $430 of it.  This was really generous since it was self defense.  The owner accepted the $430 offer.  I ran to the ATM and withdrew the money to have it ready for the afternoon.  I also went to photocopy all of Loki's vaccination records to give to the owner just in case.  

When I was at the bank I began thinking of my homeowners insurance.  The company I have it through, and my renters insurance in the past, is really good.  But I wasn't sure they would cover something like this, especially since it wasn't in my home.  I called USAA and they recorded the conversation about what happened.  I told the insurance I said I would pay half of this person's bill.  They informed me this isn't something covered under the standard policy especially since I was at no fault.  BUT they do have the "good neighbors" program so they would pay half the bill for me.  This is great.  The owner of the Pitbull would have to send the estimate over to USAA and they would send him a check in the mail.  Easy.

I called the owner to let him know and he told me that wouldn't work because he needed the money TODAY.  Umm OK.  He's lucky I was even able to get ahold of that much cash short notice.  I called USAA and changed this.  I gave the owner $420 (what it came to after) and USAA reimbursed my account.

The owner came over to pick up the cash and I needed a copy of the estimate to send in.  USAA is a company for military families and my friend is also military.  I asked him if he called his insurance (assuming it was also USAA or a similar company) because I'm pretty sure they would cover his half of the bill too.  He told me he didn't have renters insurance.  That seemed odd to me since I know many times it's required.  He then said to me he didn't understand why MY insurance couldn't pay the whole $800+ bill.  EXCUSE ME?  My insurance, my dog got attacked.  It doesn't affect me any but why should my homeowners insurance pay his whole bill?  It wasn't even at my home.  I thought I was being more than generous given the circumstance.  Especially since I just hanging that much cash over like nothing.  I'm sorry his dog got hurt.  But I have no idea why one would not have renters or homeowners insurance.  

I was a little upset about that.  He did say Loki is a good dog though.  I guess that made it a tad better.

The claims reps at the insurance company said to me:  "He fought a Pitbull, and won?  Good for him."  Umm thanks.  One guy on the phone mentioned something about Pits attacking children.  I hate stereotyping.  My Chow and my ferrets both have that biting or aggressive stereotype and I hate it.  I hate saying that Pits are fighting dogs.  But each time now has been by a Boxer or Pitbull and honestly I'm worried.

I'm going to stop bringing Loki to the dog park for now.  I can't risk it.  He's 99.9% fine until the other dog bites him first.  I don't know to say: "good dog for standing up for yourself and fighting back" or "bad Loki" and having he just stand there taking it.  So I don't say anything at all to him.  Even though I'm not at fault I can't risk him hurting another dog and having it be a crazy owner who is sue happy.  Or even worse having Loki put down for an incident like this.  He also can't see this behavior as normal of how you treat other dogs.  

I signed Loki up for another level of obedience classes.  He completed Puppy Level 1 in the spring and this class will be Level 2.  I don't think it will help with this ^ problem but it will be nice for him to socialize and be in class with the same dogs each week.  Class starts Monday and they were desperate for one more person to sign up before canceling it so I was given $20 off.  And obedience classes make me look like a better owner.  

So what do you think?  If another dog begins attacking your dog, and your dog bites back in self defense, would you pay the whole vet bill, half of it, or nothing at all to the owner of the dog that began attacking first?


  1. I wouldn't pay a single penny.. The pit ball is at fault therefore the owner should be aware.
    Such a sad case that Loki will miss out on the dog park now. :(

  2. I wouldn't pay a damn dime. If a thief came into my home and was stealing my things and took a swing at me and I happened to cold cock him and knock him out would I pay for his doctor's bills? Nope!

    I agree with you in that I hate stereotyping breeds, but the only type of dog that I've ever seen attack anything has been a pitbull. My mom and her dog were attacked this spring in their yard by a pit because my mom's dog (a 20lb terrier) barked at it while it was half a block away. My friend's son was also attacked last year by a pit while walking down the street with some friends. Pits aren't even allowed in the city limits where both attacks happened.


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