So, this happened. I walked the big dog, Pepper, yesterday. At the end of our walk, I saw a tall man I’d never seen before with a tiny dog, and the dog wasn’t on a leash. Our paths were about to cross, so I stopped and waited.
“My dog’s not friendly,” I said.
I didn’t want that fluff of fur running over to check out my large dog.
“After you,” the man said.
“I just live over there,” I said, pointing to my house on the edge of the greenbelt.
“Have a good day,” the man said.
I got home, let Pepper inside and let Daisy out. She and I play ball in the park daily.
Daisy ran ahead of me to the park, as she always does, and then I heard a man yelling and cursing. Daisy had run into the park, straight for the fluffball.
Imagine a sixty-something woman in slow motion, realizing that her dog is being bad, realizing that she needs to run, her eyes telling her brain to tell her legs to go, and finally running as best as a senior citizen can.
My voice worked better than my legs as I called my dog, over and over. “Daisy! Daisy! Daisy!”
By the time I got there, the man had scooped up his tiny dog. He was cursing a blue streak at my never-before-this crazy agitated dog. She finally ran over to me. I got her by the collar and dropped to the wet grass, holding her heaving body with both hands.
“You need to put down than effing dog!” the man yelled.
I apologized again and again while he stood there and let me have it.
“She’ s never done that before!” I said.
My handy woman stepped into my front yard, and I called her to come help me. She’s younger and stronger, and she carried my wiggling dog home and into the house. By that time the man was gone.
Flash forward seven hours. Now the man was ringing my doorbell, reporting the vet visit and what Daisy had done to his 5-pound dog (she’s okay, thank goodness). I offered to pay the bill. He told me that I needed to put the dog down and told me he would’ve effing killed her if he could’ve caught her.
I went to bed and woke up this morning from a nightmare. I knew the man was right. My dog had become a huge liability.
I called the vet office when it opened at 8:00. I told the phone person that I needed a consultation about my dog and a dog fight. She promised that the vet would call me. I went about my day with my phone at the ready. Neither Pepper nor Daisy got their morning walk or ball-throwing session.
The vet called at 2:00. She listened to the recap and said that Daisy needed anti-anxiety meds to take the edge off. She said that Daisy considered the greenbelt to be hers and that she was showing territorial aggression. Daisy could no longer be trusted off-leash.
The vet said that I didn’t need to put my dog down, but that I needed better management skills with her.
“My son says Daisy needs better training,” I said.
“No mere mortal could train Daisy,” answered the vet.
She’s known my three-time rescue Jack Russell dog for four years.
Daisy gets to live another day. She will not, however, be running free in our greenbelt . . .
. . . ever again.