We had a more eventful than intended Easter Sunday.
The plan was to spend the day at my parents’ house, an hour away. We packed up the kids, and then as we were headed out decided we should bring Emmett along too. He doesn’t get out as much as he would like and we wanted to include him in the day.
We enjoyed the typical Easter bacchanalia, with Emmett of course skulking in the shadows trying to pilfer from whomever felt sorry enough to slip him a bite of ham. After everyone was thoroughly stuffed, my sister took the kids and the dogs (she has a shih tzu named Buffy) into the backyard to play.
After a couple of minutes, I heard her say in a mildly nervous voice, “Someone get Buffy. There’s a dog here.”
I peeked out the window, and sure enough, there was a pit bull standing right outside the back door. She was covered in scars in the way that some pit bulls unfortunately are, which is never a good sign. “That’s my neighbor’s dog,” my father said. “She must have dug under the fence.” Someone had secured Buffy already, and Grandpa was in another corner of the yard keeping the kids away. Right at that moment, Emmett came over to investigate.
He’s not dog aggressive, but he’s not easily intimidated either. He walked right up to this dog and started the usual sniffing routine. I edged out the door, hoping they would do their greetings so I could then lead Emmett inside. Then the pit bull attacked him.
To my family’s credit, no one threw themselves on the dogs or started yelling. I think it happened so fast we were all in shock. Emmett was mostly standing there looking shell-shocked, while the other dog had a death grip on his ear, shaking from side to side.
Hearing the ruckus, I saw the neighbor’s head pop over the top of the fence, and I let him know in no uncertain terms that his presence was required. Or something to that effect. I turned on the hose, but it wasn’t attached to the water supply so it just sat there limply while the dog gnawed a little more on Emmett. I wouldn’t let anyone grab them, though my mother in law had apparently found a broomstick and was trying to figure out what to do with it.
By this time the neighbor finally pried his dog off mine, and proceeded to beat the heck out of her in front of everyone, which was almost as horrifying as the attack itself. Then he carried the dog off, ominously promising “This won’t happen again.” Poor dog. She didn’t know any better. I actually like pit bulls, normally; I’m not a supporter of breed specific legislation and I think they are often fantastic pets. But obviously this was one of the dogs that has not been raised the way one would hope, and here is the result. I feel for her too.
What a day. Emmett has a few lacerations but nothing serious. I am just so grateful because obviously things could have been much, much worse. I am glad she went for Emmett, who is big and confident and held his own, as opposed to Buffy or one of the children.
I’ve heard of the wheelbarrow technique for separating fighting dogs, but I’ve never seen it done in person, and in this situation I wasn’t comfortable asking anyone to try it. Does anyone have experience with this way to separate dogs? Does it work? In this case we had no way of securing the other dog once separated and I’d be worried about what would happen if the person holding the dog stopped moving. I really didn’t want anyone to get bit.
Poor Emmett. Fortunately he got away with minor lacerations that should heal just fine.
He really is good at the mournful expression.
Buffy ponders her close call.
After a little cleaning up, some good pain meds, and a dose of antibiotics, he felt much improved.
Getting to sit on the couch helped too.