Jennifer Lyon

Wednesday, August 30th, 2023
Another Dog Story

Right on the top of my mind as I write this — Florida friends, I hope you all are safe from that hurricane!

Maggie and I had a bit of a close call this morning. We were out for a walk, and as we rounded a corner, and were suddenly faced with another woman walking two big dogs. She was walking one dog on each side of her (in front of her) and the one on her left instantly barked, growled and lunged.

I reacted, jerking poor Maggie behind me. I didn’t give her a command, I just reacted to get her behind my body and out of that dog’s line of sight. Or I think that’s what I was doing — it was pure instinct and happened in seconds. It was way too close. I didn’t hear or expect anyone there, and she obviously didn’t hear me and Maggie. However, I did have Maggie at my side, I never release her to smell and do dog stuff until I see a clear path. I really can’t say if she had her dogs under control. What I do know is that I’ve seen her waking one dog — an older pit — for years and while she always crossed the street when she saw me, but her dog never reacted. Nor did he today. My sense was she always crossed the street as a precaution or because some people are afraid of any and all pits. I really don’t know.

But I guess the other dog, the one on her right, was new (she told me that), and she didn’t expect this reaction. And while I didn’t hear her coming and she didn’t hear me, I’m betting that dog probably knew we were coming for long seconds, but she doesn’t know him well enough to realize he was loading to attack.

Fortunately, she was able to wrestle that dog back enough that I could cross the street. Once I did that, she turned the dog on a street going away from us. All of which was the safest way to handle it so the dog didn’t go right back into attack mode.

I believe she was caught off guard and will find a way to handle it. If I hadn’t seen her for years consistently and thoughtfully walking her first dog, I’d be more annoyed. And she didn’t hesitate to apply real force to stop the dog, but she didn’t freak out or scream at him which would only have agitated the dog more, which I also respect. This was just an unexpected situation and could have ended badly, but since it didn’t, we both learned something so it won’t get to that point next time.

On the other hand, our walks are usually uneventful :-). There really isn’t even a message to this story, it just scared me (and Maggie) for those few seconds, but it was the first time I had it happen with someone who I think is a responsible dog owner. It really illustrated to me how easily things can go bad even with good owners if we’re not paying enough attention. It’s scary how easily it can happen.

How’s your week going?

4 comments to “Another Dog Story”

  1. Silver James
    August 30th, 2023 at 8:28 am · Link

    8-O WOW! I agree–good dog owner on the lady’s part. She does sound very responsible and now she has an idea of the new dog’s reactions and will be working on training the agression out of him. Pits are “funny” canines. They can be marshmallows or they can be unguided missiles. A lot depends on the owner/trainer but I also believe some dogs are just agressive by nature, though that can be somewhat mitigated by training and nurture.

    I’m really glad you and Maggie are okay and recovering from the fright. You’ll be aware now, due to this encounter, and while you can still enjoy your walks, you’ll be alert. That’s not a bad thing.

    Give Maggie extra pets and treats from Jake and me. And treat yourself to something special too! You deserve it for remaining calm and collected. And yes, it’s a natural instinct to put those weaker and more vulnernable behind us when there’s a threat. You did good, Mama Dog. 🥰

  2. Viki S.
    August 30th, 2023 at 2:55 pm · Link

    Oh my goodness that must have been tense. Sounds like you two humans handled it very well. I’m guessing the other woman is going to work more with the new dog or maybe a muzzle while walking.
    It’s good to know that no one was harmed.

    Well, it was a tornado that took out C’s trees Thursday night. Funny, we rarely get tornadoes around here and we had 12 in two days plus two minor earthquakes. Strange things happen in this world.

    My brother went in for heart surgery this morning at 8:30. The procedure can take 4+ hours with 2 to 3 hours in recovery. It’s almost 4 and I have heard nothing. I’m sure my sister in law will text me when she can. If I’m stressed, I can just imagine how she feels.

    I didn’t make the bar cookies. I was all set and then my time was taken away by hubs, as you can imagine. Oh well.

    Have a great afternoon!

  3. Jenn
    August 30th, 2023 at 6:58 pm · Link

    Silver, yes she did seem like a good dog owner! And the dog being new may just be stressed and scared in a new situation, and this behavior will correct with an owner who gives him clear and consistent guidance. If he was truly dominant-aggressive, I doubt she could controlled him. She was my size, but younger and he’s a powerful dog.

    But yeah, I think we both learned something and that’s always good. It’s easy to get complacent and I can’t do that when it’s my job to keep Maggie safe :-)

    I’m with you on pits, and good owners are everything with the average pit. There are some badly bred ones (like a lot of breeds) and that’s a different and very sad and/or tragic story.

    By the way, thank you for saying I did good. I’d pat myself on the back, but it was honestly pure reflex :-) I think it’s a “mom” thing, but still I’ll say this, I had paid attention enough to instantly recognize the other woman from seeing her walk and so I trusted her to get control. So I do get points for having paid attention in the past enough to make a good decision in this instance. But still — I was just reacting faster than I was thinking.

    Tell Jake that Maggie thanks him for the support! I think she’d like Jake because he’s a chill and cool dude!

  4. Jenn
    August 30th, 2023 at 7:03 pm · Link

    Viki, thanks! I’m glad it was an owner who worked so fast and hard to control the dog! But it was a scary moment. It more just drove home how I need to stay vigilant and not be in my head thinking about life.

    Wow! I had no idea so many tornados hit your area! That’s very scary. And yeah, life can surprise us with a big dose of weirdness. Especially lately.

    I’ve been praying for your brother. I specifically though of him last night when I went to bed. I don’t know if it helps, but I care enough to pay and hope that give you a tiny bit of comfort. I hope you’ve heard by now that he’s out of surgery, all went well and he’s recovering. Please update us if you can.

    Oh man, I’m sorry about your cookie bars. It’s so frustrating when you plan to do this one fun project and then the hard part of life takes that away from you. I hope you can get a chance to relax and do something just for yourself soon. You need a break and you need delicious cookies (or any special treat that’s just for you)!

    Hope you hear good news soon!

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