The $400 Lesson

Yesterday we picked up Silas from school.  Upon arriving home, Silas and Isaac were driving me CRAZY bouncing off the walls.  I had had enough of it.  Time to get OUT!

I decided we’d go to the park and gather some fallen leaves for my compost.  The kids were being insane, the dog wanted to come…I couldn’t find her leash.  Grab rope. Go.

I had my dear Cleo tied to a tree as we (more like just me) gathered some leaves into bags.  The kids were running around like chickens with their heads cut off, sticks in hand, being maniacs.  Finally I had finished and the kids wanted to go run in the field nearby.  NO ONE was around so I let cleo off the rope so she could have a little frolick and get some exercise.

As I was walked to the field, I noticed an old woman with three dogs.  I had hoped Cleo wouldn’t notice them before I got in between them and her.  She saw them and wanted to go say hi.  The lady had her Jack Russel and her Pitbull mix on retractable leashes and let them come over to her to say hi.  Obviously they were safe for Cleo so I let them begin their sniffing business.

They were REALLY pulling hard, I went to sort of free the pitty from being hung up on a pole and right then I heard a howl.

They were on TOP of Cleo, shaking their heads with her neck in their mouth.  I grabbed the pitbull but it did nothing so I stepped back and I kicked it in the head as hard as I could.  He let go…success.  I punted the Jack Russel as hard as I could and it, too, let go.  I was shaking I was so scared.  Cleo howled for such a long time after.  My poor baby.

I only noticed one point of bleeding, surely if they had gotten her elsewhere there would be copious amounts of blood.  There wasn’t.  The lady came with a tissue to blot Cleo’s wounds, never said sorry.  She tried to say it was just how dogs are sometimes.  I couldn’t believe it.

I found another small puncture wound and I just couldn’t hold myself together anymore.  I needed to get Cleo and my kids away so I could have a cry.  I wasn’t thinking clearly, even though the thought crossed my mind, I didn’t get her info.

I sped away and bawled my eyes out and Silas cried along with me.  It was awful.  I hate being THAT scared.  I took her to my neighbour who has been a vet tech and she had a look over her and we found that she was WAY more injured than I first thought.  A giant gash, you could see her muscle through her skin.  My neighbour just said over and over “Cleo you’re sooooooo lucky”.  She definitely needed stitches though.

Off to the doggy hospital.

There the vet said he had to keep her and put her under while he stitched her up.  I was so reluctant to leave her but I did.

When I returned that night to pick her up, she had TWO tubes that had to be put in and LOADS of stitches.  Seeing the area shaved, you could see more wounds from those miserable dogs.  The bill was $400.

Cleo is resting on my couch now, cone of shame around her neck, trying to be comfortable.  She’s on a dose of antibiotics.  The tubes come out on Sunday and the stitches come out 5 days after.

Big lesson here.  Big lesson.

I learned from the vet tech that dogs are more likely to attack if they are on leash like that.  My new rule for Cleo is that she ALWAYS has to be on leash unless she is in a dog park and she is NEVER allowed to say hello to another leashed dog in passing.

Having a leash on your dog is for THEIR safety too.

I thought leash only laws were to keep dangerous or obnoxious dogs away from others.

I feel super guilty about this.  I was in the wrong.  I should have obeyed the leash rules.  It’s hard when about 80% of people don’t follow the rules.  That lady even had a dog off leash.  I also concur that a pit bull and a jack russell on a retractable leash…the very end of it no less…is just as good as being off leash.  Especially with a meek old lady at the other end of it.

So I’m on a man hunt.  I’m trying to locate that woman and try to get her to pay some of the bill.  People recognize her description, she’s a regular at that park.  I WILL find her.  Her dogs need to be reported and muzzled and SHE would be very kind to pay at least half my vet bill.  If not more.

I would do so much different if it happened again.

1. I would kick the dogs right away as opposed to trying to use my hands

2. I wouldn’t apologize after for kicking the person’s dog

3. I would get the person’s info no matter what injuries I see

4. I would check my dog over completely, photograph wounds and photograph the dogs who did it

5. I would call the local animal society and report the incident RIGHT away

Hopefully it won’t happen again.  My poor lovie.  She’s really sore and uncomfortable.  I just cannot wait until those tubes are out of her.  It makes it so she’s wet under her chin all the time.  I’m cleaning her up a LOT.

So I beg of you.  Please please please please please keep your dogs leashed.  It’s for their safety.  Also, if you’re small, meek, weak…etc.  Don’t have a strong breed for a dog.  Get a basset hound or something like that.  Also…retractable leashes AREN’T really a leash.  They’re annoying.  Your dog shouldn’t be walking in front of you ANYWAY if you want them to be obeying you.

Please learn from my mistakes.  I feel awful but I hope that maybe I can change someone’s mind about using a leash.  It’s super upsetting when something like this happens.

UPDATE: Cleo healed up just fine.  A year later, she still fear pees when she sees a put bill.  We never ever ever let her off leash anymore.  I did find the woman and I did get half the vet bill, not without a massive guilt trip but whatever, my dog would never instigate a fight.  Cleo went through so much pain and we went through so much stress trying to heal her up and dealing with her gross oozing neck.  I’m so glad that’s all over.

Warning, the images below are slightly graphic but I hope they scare you enough to want to keep your dog leashed up.

poor baby girl looking sad

drainage tube #1

The whole thing…she has so much skin

the poooor baby.

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