What if your dog gets attacked

I was driving down my street the other day and noticed a sign on a light post.  I stopped the car and got out to read it; it had the word ATTACKED on it so I was curious.  It basically said that this person's dog was attacked by a very large mastiff/shepherd/lab mix and if you own "said" dog to contact this person.   So I'm thinking that the dog who was attacked was more than likely walking down the street when it was attacked by a stray dog.  A very scary situation and one that I have had happen to me twice.  The dog was not a stray but it was on my daily walk and very scary.

The first time was with my very first dog Mandy.  An adorably sweet and friendly Airedale gal, I was all of eighteen years old.  I was out walking before work, it was mid summer, probably around 6:00 am.  We were walking the neighborhood when a huge German Shepherd ran out of his open garage, grabbed Mandy by the neck and started shaking.  She never even saw it coming, I had barely enough time to see it in my peripheral before it was on us.  The dog was far larger than Mandy and shook her like a ragdoll.  I was screaming for the dog to stop and yelling at several men standing at a nearby bus stop for help.  Just as suddenly as it started, the dog let Mandy go and ran back into his garage.  I stood in shock, none of the men at the bus stop had stepped up to help.  They stood there watching and no one offered anything.  I scooped up Mandy and ran home. 

Once we were home I checked her over and found a large puncture wound in her neck.  I called work and then head to the vets.  Now this was some thirty years ago, it cost just under 500.00 to flush her wound and stitch her up.  She was given some antibiotics and we headed home.  Apparently a woman who had seen what had happened that morning had gone and told the owner of the German Shepherd and they had paid every bit of the vet bill.  The never challenged the bill, they obviously knew that their dog had committed the crime. 

From that moment on I never walked the streets again and preferred to walk in parks where I could see what was coming.  That was until we moved here to Southern California.  I decided to take Luke for a walk, I already knew that a very unfriendly German Shepherd lived only two doors down from us.  I looked down the street to be sure she wasn't out and off we went.  I got only a few feet and she came charging out of her open garage door at us.  With my adrenaline rushing through me I screamed at the dog, again the dog was much bigger than Luke.  The owner came out and called the dog luckily and I then screamed at him.  This dog was known to be very aggressive, it had already gone after several people and bit one jogger.  The owner should have known better.  No sooner did he turn his back and the dog charged us again, the event played out as a carbon copy version.  I screamed, the guy called the dog but this time I gave the guy a blast and told him that I would report the dog.  The dog was euthanized shortly after for biting someone else. 

As a side note, I am in no way putting German Shepherds under fire here, it just happened to be the breed that was involved with both of these incidents.  I love the breed myself.  I have had many big time dog issues with other breeds and mixes, these two happened to have been while walking on the street.  What is sad is that both situations could have been avoided had the owner taken responsibility for their dogs and not allowed them to be running around free.  Dogs can become territorial when on their own property.  Now most dogs will just muster up some bluster and noise and not attack but it can happen.

If it does happen it is essential that you report it.  If you do not report the incident and it happens again, there will not be a prior.  What if that dog went after a child the next time?  As much as I love dogs, some people with dangerous dogs do not ensure the safety of others by being lazy and irresponsible.  People who have dangerous dogs and do not keep them contained are the real criminals, not the dogs.  Sometimes dogs are simply not socialized as I believe was the cause of the second of my street incidents.  A dog that has aggressive tendencies added with the territory issue and perhaps fear can be a very dangerous situation. 

The best thing for everyone involved is socializing to start with.  If you have a problem dog you must go above and beyond to keep that dog contained.  If there is even the smallest chance of a dog slipping out, going over or under a fence it must be fixed.  It simply cannot happen.  Often a dog fenced in a front yard becomes frustrated by all the people and dogs walking past their property.  When they do finally get over the the fence, they are a big hazard to anyone walking by.  It is all caused by frustration.

If your dog does damage to someone else's dog, step up and do the right thing.  Your dog, your bill.  If someone else's dog injures your dog, go after those people until they pay.  And report the incident so that the people are held accountable for the safety of others around their dog.  And, if you should ever see someone in need of help, step up and do what you can to help.  It is always the right thing to do.