Posted by: heatherinparadise | January 10, 2012

Open Letter to the Woman Whose Unleashed Dog Got in a Fight with My Leashed Dog

Dear Woman in My Neighborhood Whose Unleashed Dog Got in a Fight with My Leashed Dog,

Look, that sucked.  It was late at night and I was taking my dog out for a walk after having left her alone in my apartment for a number of hours, so she already had anxiety about needing to go pee.  Furthermore, the neighborhood dogs were all howling/barking, so that adds to the drama.  We were just outside my dog’s territory–our house, and as I locked the gate, your small, unleashed dog came bounding up to my dog.  I was apprehensive, since I did not know how your dog would behave or how my dog would react to a strange dog approaching her in the area she already feels bound to protect.

The ensuing dog fight let both of us know how our dogs felt about each other.  After we managed to separate them, as you know, I unleashed verbal fireworks the likes of which Calle 28 has possibly never heard.  While I’m not proud of myself for cursing, I am giving myself a pass because I was so upset at what was such an avoidable occurence.

I certainly didn’t appreciate your coming back around again a bit later to somehow try to make what happened my fault.  I’m sorry you got bit and I’m sorry your dog got hurt–part of why I was so upset is because I don’t enjoy dog fights and I don’t want my dog to either get hurt or hurt another dog.  If we would have been able to calm down later and talk rationally, I would have said these two things:

1.  Don’t ever put yourself in the middle of a dog fight–you are guaranteed to get bitten.  You don’t even know which of the dogs bit you–I kept pulling my dog back, but your unleashed dog just jumped onto her again and again.  At a certain point, it’s got to be on, since I’m not going to just allow my dog to get hurt because you weren’t in control of your animal.

2. Leash your dog, period.  You derisively made remarks about my dog not being perfect and needing a muzzle.  No, my dog’s not perfect.  Dogs are unpredictable, which is why she’s on a leash and always under my control.  My dog doesn’t need a muzzle, your dog needs a leash.

I have stewed about this and felt bad about it for days, but the bottom line is that none of this would have happened if only you had chosen to follow the law and had kept your dog on a leash.  For my part, I promise to try to not come so unhinged should this happen again–I can imagine it was frightening to witness my almost totally out of control temper (totally out of control would have been me hitting you when you touched my dog) and for that, I apologize.

Heather and Vinnie
Responsible Dog Owner and Normal Dog

See, we're nice when we're not provoked.

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  1. 100% spot on.

  2. Amen Sister! A week before my poor, worn out dog died of old age and cancer, we were attacked by two Shepards off-leash while we were walking in our Playacar neighborhood on-leash. The Shepard’s owner was nonchalant about the attack which left poor Grady with half of an ear and me bloody and scratched all to hell. I too went totally balistic….and I am still mad. I made sure Grady had one of his last poops right in the guy’s front yard. It made me feel better and I hope it made him feel better too! Glad you and Vinnie are okay and I don’t think you need to apologize to anyone!

  3. Mm-hm. I totally relate and am so sorry you had this happen. I took our big German shepherd on a run a year or so ago. When an obnoxious little Jack Russell ran up and attacked him (from behind!) Wolfric understandably lunged at it. Which knocked me flat and tore the skin off my knee when I fell down. And caused me to shout the F bomb in front of a little girl.

    The mom just stood there as I pulled Wolfric off and resumed my run, knee bleeding. I still have the scar. Aggressive little dogs are SUCH a bummer and totally need to be leashed. It’s unfair that big dogs are seen as the ones who must be leashed when it’s the little uncontrolled yippers who can bring the trouble to themselves. OF COURSE a big dog (even a really, really good dog) will defend himself if a littler dog runs up and bites/threatens forcefully.

  4. i wish i had heard it and been able to come down to help you!!

  5. Well said Heather. Glad Vinnie’s ok.

  6. You betcha, Heather! It’s happened to me many times. If one dog is on a leash, it’s only fair that all dogs are on a leash. In their world it feels like a threat when the other dog is free. I would talk to the perrera that cruises your area. They love to give fines to people that don’t have their dogs on a leash and maybe that will teach her a lesson.

    As for going balistic……..I went balistic every time. I am feeling balistic now just reading your story. Those are not nice experiences for either owner and either dog. She’s an idiot for allowing it to happen.

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