I know it’s been a while since we’ve had a puppy update. Until now, there hasn’t been much to update. Obedience classes are going well, beyond a pretty nasty hornet bite the size of a golf ball 2 weeks ago, things have been normal. This week, however, something happened that got me thinking.
Boyfriend and I have been taking Arrow to the little gem of a dog park not far from our respective homes to learn to socialize and gain some confidence around other dogs. Arrow has made huge progress in confidence around big groups of dogs and he is learning how to play with everyone. He has also learned how to tell who doesn’t want to play. A few weeks ago, there was a Jack Russel terrier, or as Boyfriend and I refer to him as “Jack-Ass Terrier” that came and appeared to be herding our pup, but then things got nasty and he bit him on the base of the tail. No harm done, though. So we continued letting the kids play, separately. Arrow shook it off and ran with the other dogs and the little one ran his own way with a couple of dogs he already knew.
We took a week off of the dog park because of his hornet sting, as advised by the vet. We were all alarmed it might have been muscular, good news! It wasn’t. Upon our return late last week, things went well. Wednesday, however, we went to meet a friend with their dog, Seamus. This dog, although big and built like a brick house was AWESOME! Arrow and him hit it off no problem!! And they were playing like crazy!! It was heaven to watch. About a half hour in, The Jack came in. All the dogs ran to the front gate to greet him, as per dog park etiquette. As soon as the Jack came in he targeted Arrow and went for him. Before anything major could happen, Riley’s mom was able to get between them. I say between them like Arrow fights back… NO. Arrow tucks his tail and tends to scoot behind the closest pair of legs he can find. He has never even growled at another animal. Not even the cat. And she is an evil temptress louring him behind furniture and trapping him. She always escapes his grasp.
A few minutes later, myself, my friends and our dogs were on the other side of the park from the Jack. The Jack’s owner was on the other side of the park talking to other owners that she knew. When out of no where the Jack came flying up to Arrow and Seamus, and perhaps one of the other regulars and “broke them up” singling out Arrow. He bit him on the leg. Arrow yelped and was trying to hide and the Jack was chasing him for another attack. Luckily, Boyfriend was able to hoist him up in his arms like a football, no easy task at almost 50 lbs! Even then, the Jack kept bouncing up and circling Boyfriend to get another chance to get at Arrow.
The owner finally made her way over about then and kept yelling for her dog by name “MAX!” Yep… Satan’s hell-hound has a name. And thy name be Max. The woman laid the blame on our dog. Saying “It’s because your dog is timid!” Excuse me… I didn’t raise a little ragamuffin sans soul! She escorted Satan to the other end of the park and we walked Arrow (limping slightly) away on his leash. We got him alone, gave him a real good once over where he was bitten and it didn’t even break the skin. Fortunately for that dog. After some private quiet time we went back over to our friends and their dog. Now, the hound from Hell was again on the other side of the park from us. After he realized Arrow was over by us again (still on his leash at this point) he circled back again and kept coming by us and doing what I refer to as a “drive by” where he will run by, intimidate him by a growl, a nip, some form of aggression and then run off.
From the minute that dog entered the park, it was a nightmare. The owner was oblivious. My dog was targeted. Boyfriend and I were a nervous wreck! For the first time ever, Arrow pulled us, by leash to leave the park. He willingly jumped up into the car like he was afraid and he laid down before we were even out of the parking lot. This never happens. I have never been so angry. This woman allowed her animal to wreak havoc on another dog without correction and then laid the blame on us because our dog didn’t fight back?! Excuse me while I choke on my cold coffee, you psychotic old bitty. If you can’t discipline your dog, don’t have one. If your dog has a history of attacking or being unfriendly, don’t take it to a dog park. PERIOD. No discussion.
Until this week, the park has been a lovely place for us to go and play (supervised) after a long day at work. He plays by my rules in the office all day, I let him blow off some steam and play and run and get rough with dogs a couple of nights a week. But now, I’m hesitant to bring him back. What I don’t want to do is sour him on the experience, but I do want him to stand up for himself. Not at the risk of hurting himself or anything/anyone else, that is where we have a difference of opinion. Arrow’s father wasn’t like that. And Arrow is just as gentle. Has anyone else experienced a hound from Hell at a park? How did you deal with it? Ideas, opinions?