Fifteen months into owning Daisy, the Jack Russell terrier, we had a bad event in the park just now.
I taught Daisy how to fetch a ball and have been playing with her in the park next to my house every day for months. The neighbor girls, ages 5 and 7, run out to meet me and to take turns launching the ball to her. Five and seven. We have never had a problem.
So why did Daisy run after a small yapping dog today when she had been so good all those other days?
Here is what happened. I squeezed in a ball-throwing session with the lab at 5:10 p.m. after having been gone most of the day and having a rehearsal tonight. I then returned the lab to the house and followed Daisy to the park with the ball in her mouth. We were doing just fine. Launch, fetch, return, launch, fetch, return.
I saw the three people walking a small dog. I moved Daisy over to the hill, away from the path. Launch, fetch, return. She was doing fine chasing the ball and returning it. This is not the first time I have steered her away from others and continued to play ball with her.
The small dog increased its barking, and at that very moment a kid on a bicycle went whizzing down the hill past us. Daisy dropped the ball and and ran across the path, heading for the small barking dog. The next thing I know she was leaping into the air, trying to get to the small dog while the man kicked at her. The two ladies were gasping and moving in circles, and I was sure one of them was going to fall over.
“He’s biting her! He’s biting her!”
Of course I was frantically calling Daisy by her name, running, and lunging for her. The man kept yelling, “It’s a Vizla! That’s why! It’s a Vizla!”
Daisy is not a Vizla. She is a Jack Russell. She has never done this before, has she? I am her third owner. Maybe she has.
Everyone was in a frenzy, which just made it harder for me to get my dog.
She was jumping up at the dog, like it was prey to her. The guy kicked at her a couple more times. I finally got my hands on her harness, and the people hurried off.
“I am so sorry!” I said. “She’s never done this before.”
That I knew of.
“Did she bite your dog?” I called after them.
“No, she just scared her,” the guy said. “It’s a Vizla. That’s why.”
I guess I can’t take Daisy to the park to play ball anymore. We were making such good progress. Everything was fine until the bicycle whizzed by. That sudden movement prompted Daisy to go berserk.
The little neighbor girls will be sad.
You never know what you’re getting when you get a three-time rescue adult dog.
Daisy is proof of that.