Over the last couple of years, I’ve sort of let my guard down on keeping the dogs reigned in tightly. It’s pretty common to play fetch with them in the front yard. They are generally so into the game that they don’t pay much attention to the passersby. If it’s just me, I may call the dog closer to me when I see a dog walker coming close – just to be sure they don’t run over to greet the dog and get hit by a car in all of the enthusiasm. Simba is friendly but way over enthusiastic. Ronin, on the other hand, is nearly blind. So I don’t trust them in this regard.
There are times when unknown persons linger in their parked cars in the dark of the night. It often appears that they are waiting for to buy drugs or some other up-to-no-good activity. My oldest generally walks over to their car, bangs on the window, and shoos them away. For this reason, I often leave the front door open when I take out the trash, allowing the dogs to follow me out so long as there aren’t any late night dog walkers out. Such was the case last week.
I was home alone cleaning up after dinner and decided to take the trash out. If the boys were home, I might have asked them, but they weren’t and I did not want to wait until they were. So I grabbed the trash from kitchen and the bin full of the recyclables. Simba followed me out and immediately went for his ball. I told him “no” and had him sit & stay by the courtyard opening while I did my thing at the garbage bins. There was nobody in sight.
While I fumbled with the recycling, a woman came into view. She was a couple of houses away and a similar build to the neighbor who lived in the house she was closest to. She hollered over and I waved thinking it was her. Simba continued sitting until she yelled “DOG!” In his typical excitement, he bolted over in her direction. This was when she started screaming and sat down in the middle of the street as if she was being attacked. Except Simba was still in transition. That was when I realized this was NOT my neighbor.
I dropped the can and ran over but the dogs were now in a tussle. Although Simba’s tail was initially wagging, I couldn’t tell if it was friendly play or not. They screaming made me think it was not but I couldn’t be sure since she had screamed from the very start. Just as I was nearing, the interaction turned to fighting. Simba pulled away and I grabbed Simba his collar and backed away. Then Ronin wandered over, blindly trying to assess the situation with his nose. He was clearly not attacking but the woman started swinging forcing me to bring Simba closer to grab Ronin and pull him away. I yelled, “He’s BLIND and NOT doing anything wrong.” “He should be on a leash!”, she yelled back. I said nothing; I could not dispute her complaint.
Adrenaline pulsating through my entire being, I pulled the dogs toward me house. I was petrified that she would sue. I yelled at Simba as he wiggled in his usually enthusiastic way.
I roared at him:
I was pissed at myself for not closing the door behind me, or at least the gate. I was pissed that the garbage was full, making me feel as if I had to take the trash out myself. I was pissed at the woman for not turning in the other direction when she saw a dog off leash – as I would have done. I was gushing blood from my big toe all over the floor and couch. UGH! If that wasn’t enough, I was all wet. What the heck?
Fight or flight mechanism was apparently fully in-effect.
The following afternoon, I noticed that Simba had been licking his right shoulder to the point of soaking the front of himself. Inspection revealed that he had been bit in the dog fight. I guess that was why he pulled back. I feared the other dog had also been bit. The woman never mentioned anything (and I’m sure she would have) but I honestly couldn’t know for sure. I put ointment on the red area and a cone on Simba.
The next morning, I found that Simba had managed to fold back the cone. He lay there sleeping soundly in YaYa’s room, his wounded area wet with saliva. I immediately changed to the hard cone. We dodged the attack of the wild-cone all day long. I was so happy when it was finally time for bed.
In the wee hours of the night, I was awakened by the sound of licking. I got up from my bed and looked in on the dogs. Simba was still wearing his cone so I returned to my room. The following morning, Simba emerged from the room completely wet and the exposed area was now inflamed and red. I looked at Ronin and immediately realized that he was the one helping his wounded buddy sooth his owie. Ugh!!!
Well, you KNOW how I spent my Mother’s Day? My boys had been entertaining a number of ideas including a ferry ride in the San Francisco Bay, lunch… All of these plans were postponed/modified due to my errant dog owner ways. Sadly, after 3 days on antibiotics etcetera and wound care three times each day, Simba had to go through surgical intervention and has been in isolation with no unsupervised visits with Ronin until further notice (read: until fully healed).
And he is so wiggly (even with pain killers and sedation) that he no longer sits still by my yoga mat when I am practicing. Nope; he’s all over my mat wiggling and jiggling and panting excitedly. His down dog pose just isn’t happening these days — and, when I am practicing near him, neither is mine.