Yesterday was glorious. The sun was out, the park was quiet; so Elsa and I were enjoying our early morning walk. As we rounded the park I noticed a woman with her dog; I'd seen the same pair only a few days before when the dog had lunged at us as we passed. I hadn't seen the dog before it came out Cujo style at us; but it was on a leash when it did. It scared the crap out of me still.
Elsa and I cut the corner, staying far away from the little monster. But he still managed to muster up what he thought of us as we passed by. But the next time we passed by unfolded completely differently. The woman was heading out with her dog as we walked by each other. Elsa and I gave them a huge amount of space; we were probably thirty feet apart. One reason was that the angry little dog was at the end of his extension leash. The dog ran in circles around his owner; ranting and raving that we were in his park, let alone walking passed him.
Dogs like this need more training and structure than others. The fact that he had free run of the long leash made matters worse. It was like fueling his monster ego and the owner had absolutely no control over him. Plus you all know how I feel about extension leashes.
As we passed by I had a bad feeling and reached into my walking pouch; placing my pepper spray into my hand. A moment later I heard the yelling behind me; the sound that no one wants to hear. I knew what it as immediately and turned to assess the situation. The woman had dropped the leash and the small Cujo was coming our way. I knew what was going to happen and prepared myself. Yes it was a small dog so Elsa was not going to be hurt; but having been attacked before Elsa was ready to defend herself.
The dog made one huge leap, growling and snarling at Elsa and she retaliated. I pulled Elsa behind me and kicked the dog on his next attempt. It took the wind out of his sails long enough to get my thoughts together and pull Elsa further behind me. The woman was walking our way calling to her dog. There was no sense of urgency in her pace so I yelled out to her. "Grab your dog or I will pepper spray him."
She grabbed a hold of the leash and turned on a dime. She never said anything and started walking away. I was not done, I yelled at her a bit and then tried to calm myself for Elsa's sake. This is all she needed, another attack. So I turned and we walked the other way as I tried to compose myself. But I was fuming and calm was not to come for another mile yet.
As the event festered in me as we walked; I decided that the woman needed to be told, so as we passed each other again at the entrance to the park I let her have it again. "This is not okay, if you can't hold your dog's leash and he is going to attack dogs, then leave him at home." She seemed unflustered so I set to fluster her a bit. "My dog is NOT okay with being attacked." "It's NOT OKAY," I continued. "I don't care how big your dog is, if you can't control him LEAVE HIM AT HOME."
When this sort of thing happens, there is fallout. Of course Elsa does not like strange dogs after being attacked and now again. NOT OKAY. With my adrenaline still running through me we set out to do a few more laps of the park.
What I had noticed during the attack was that Elsa calmed a lot when I pulled her behind me. This is such an important step; that is if you have enough thought process time and the size of the attacker. She understood that I was taking care of the situation and if the dog had been larger it would have been sprayed right away if it was attacking.
Funny that small dogs are far worse and the owners oblivious about it. It is NOT OKAY for your small dogs to attack large dogs. This small dog was lucky that I stepped in and did not leave Elsa to defend herself. Many people think that it is okay for their small dog to accost other dogs because they are small. That is until their little dog is injured or worse. An attack is an attack and if the attacker is small then there is a good chance that they will get very hurt.
Often when we are out walking, little dogs go crazy at us and other passing dogs. Their owners smile as they pass. Sometimes they allow their dog to go right up to other dogs and do this and still smile because of their size. Like I said, an attack is an attack and when a large dog retaliates; the owners of the small attacker will no longer be smiling. If your dog attacks others, then keep them on a short leash. If you can't control your dog; no matter what size, leave them at home.