Life in the Slow Lane

Life in the Slow Lane

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Puppy Chow

When I was 19 years old during the late summer I went for a walk after dinner. This was unusual for me as I am normally a ‘sit in front of the TV sort of after dinner’ person but for some reason this night I wanted to scout the neighbourhood. I was several blocks from my home when I saw three people walking towards me with a beautiful Rottweiler on a leash. I love dogs and as I walked past this huge beast I looked into its eyes and thought to myself, “What a beautiful dog!” The very next second it lunged at me and pushed me to the ground. There was a man attached to the other end of the leash and he was no match for the power of this pooch. He was dragged behind like a limp rag. I have heard people say that when in crisis that time slows down and this is what happened to me. Total slo-mo. The dog had pushed me down so hard that I was laying in the middle of the street with the dog standing on me. He went for my throat and I blocked him with my right forearm. I have heard that Rottweilers have incredible jaw power and I can tell you this is true. The dog ripped a chunk out of my arm right through my denim jean jacket. The two other dog walkers were screaming and trying to pull the dog off of me but couldn’t. The dog was huge and really pissed. I managed to get up and onto my feet and the dog lunged at me again and pushed me down again. This time I used my left forearm to block his jaws. He bit my arm but hardly broke the skin this time. It was so surreal and it literally took all my strength to keep those teeth away from me. I kicked the dog and this distracted him. He went for my foot and sunk his jaws into the top of my foot and the rubber sole of my shoe. I think his teeth got caught in the rubber and so I kicked and was free again. At this point I was covered with frothy slobber from the dog. It was so thick on my shoes I had to throw them out after. It wouldn’t wash off. The dog was insane.

At this point I ran into somebody’s front yard and hammered on the door. It seemed like I waited there for ages and there was no answer so I walked onto the street and looked around wondering what I could do to get help. I was bleeding pretty badly at this point and it turned out that a really nice lady was home after all. She followed my blood trail onto the sidewalk and got me to sit down on the stairs. She turned out to be a nurse and kept my arm up over my head while she called my dad. My dad didn’t think it was very bad. I guess she didn’t tell him much except that I had been bitten by a dog and needed a ride. So my dad showed up in his flashy convertible expecting me to be the drama queen I really was. When he saw the gaping hole in my arm he got really pale. We drove to the hospital emergency room and they stitched me up and disinfected everything. My mom held my hand the whole time. Apparently I was really calm and made silly jokes through the whole process. I do tend to get funny while under pressure. I don’t know why.

The dog’s name turned out to be Giant and he was an abused dog. Not socialised and kept in a small cage for long periods. Coincidentally a friend of a friend lived next door to these dog owners and they actually kept a baseball bat on their porch as the dog used to lunge at then over the backyard fence. They had complained but since the dog had never escaped from the yard nothing was done. Back when this happened there was no dangerous dog laws and as a result I couldn’t even charge them criminally as the dog was never technically off its leach. Now things would be different. The owners did the right thing and phoned the local emergency room to check on me and did end up euthanizing the dog per the insurance company’s instructions. They couldn’t get house insurance otherwise. I did sue them civilly and they settled out of court for a very small sum. I regret I didn’t get more money, as the scars are pretty bad. At the time I was just thankful it wasn’t my face that was chewed up as that was where the dog was aiming. I have a sizeable scar on my right arm with some skin puckering as the dog actually ate part of me and the remaining skin had to close the gap. I have fang marks in my foot. I had nightmares for a while too.

When I first moved into my apartment the downstairs neighbour owned a Rottweiler named Günter. He was the biggest marshmallow but every time that dog rushed down the stairs to greet me my heart would pound. What I would do is focus on his frantically wagging stumpy tail to reassure myself he was coming for the lovin’. I am still nervous around Rottweilers but ok around other dogs.

I have always wondered what the dog saw in me that caused such a response. I had played earlier in the day with a friend’s Lab that was in heat. Maybe I smelled like frisky dog. But wouldn’t you think Giant would have just humped my leg instead?


Udge said...

Nasty story, poor Kranki. I'm not surprised that you are nervous around them still.

kalki said...

My heart is pounding and I have broken into a cold sweat! Damn, Stacey. What a terrifying experience. I am SO GLAD you had the instinct to protect your throat. It's incredible to think of the things people have experienced that you'd never know if they didn't tell you.

I'm going to go snuggle my cats now and thank them for not being scary dogs. ;)

Anonymous said...

There are parts of this story that Stacey is leaving out.

1. Not four hours prior to this terrible event, Stacey was with me petting a lovely pit bull named duchess, who never bit no one. Stacey is great with animals, so it was a huge shock that a dog would choose to bite HER.

2. That particular evening we had planned to see Zodiac Mind Warp and the Love Reaction at the Commodore, and she couldn't go. She soldiered bravely on, at home, nursing stitches and huge wounds and lamenting the loss of a great jacket and a pair of shoes, encouraging me to go see the gig and enjoy myself. She didn't want me to even come over, she wanted me to go enjoy myself, not to worry about her, she had her extra loving mom and dad by her side. I went out by myself like a weirdo and attended the concert. It just wasn't the same with out stacey. honestly.

3. About two weeks later, Stacey on crutches (sp? doesn't look right), we went out to shake our groove things at 86 street in vancouver and stacey was dedicated a song by the band called pitbull attack. wrong dog, right sentiment. stacey was, is, and will always be super cool.

love ya chick, glad to see you blogging so much lately. I visit you every day. So glad to hear you are doing better.

Mrs b

Squirl said...

You said you looked at its eyes. That can easily be read, by a dog, as a hostile act. Of course, this dog was pretty off-balance anyway, but that might be why it went after you. So glad you survived.

east village idiot said...

Mama Mia Kranki! What a hellacious doggy story. I don't understand why dogs bite people when unprovoked. Kranki - thank god you're all right!

abcd said...

I am so sorry we have not been by to say hi. We have been in a bit of a funk. Nikki is still away in the Gulf Region. She should be home the latter part of the month.
We are working on your package and hope you are well.


Closet Metro said...

I've heard the "eye-contact" theory too. I stare down Jack on a regular basis. I bet Chompers the Evil Beast's owners never did (or any other dominance training.)

Good for you, though, to have the strength and quickness to save yourself from the dog.

JessicaRabbit said...

Some dogs are touchy breeds, they get inbred for fighting to make them agressive, and bred for strength and NOT temper, then those dogs get abused and neglected and BAM you have a dog that will kill. Looking into their eyes is a sign of agression, dominance, but this dog was unhinged. A normal, socialized,loved, well bred and well raised dog will look away from people when stared at, submitting.

Rots, Pits, Dobies,Sheperds, unfortunetly get bad raps because they get over bred and not owned by responsible people. Any dog can go bad, but some big strong breeds are more likely to for these reasons. You just dont hear as much about all the small dogs that are biting people all the time because they cant do the kind of damage other breeds can. And you can be a great owner but if you have a dog who is mentally unstable from bad breeding it can turn on you.

I have met wonderful and awful dogs from every size and breed and most of the time if the dog is agressive it has so much to do with the owners, and that is sad because then totally innocent people like you get hurt and dogs who are just being the animals they have learned to be die. Nobody wins.

I am very happy that you are not puppy chow, that would be awful. Scars suck, mental and physcial, but you must of been quite the bad ass to fight off a big Rot like that.

I would of whined like a sissy and let people take care of me though.

I can totally understand why your scared of Rots after that. What about giant Hermione butterfly doggies?

Sharkey said...

Wow, Stacey, what a scary thing. I don't blame you for being nervous around rotties now. Heck, I wouldn't blame you for being nervous around any dog!

Von Krankipantzen said...

udge-those dogs are just so damned BIG!

kalki-it is amazing how your survival instincts kick in. I didn't even think about it. I just did.

Mrs b-I remember about the gig that night but had remebered Dutchess as being a Lab cross. Crossed with pitbull perhaps. I had forgotten about the song dedication. Which band was that? We were pretty cool back then!

squirl-I didn't really stare at the dog but more looked at it as it walked towards me. Just really appreciating the dog. Who knew it would come to blows.

easty-it freaked me out for a few years but I can think of it now without any fear. Just something that happened.

shoshie-so good to see you again. I have been wondering how you all are. Glad Nikki will be home soon. Hugs!

closet-the dog was really abused through neglect. Poor thing. I did feel bad for it. I bet Jack would never THINK of biting a soul.

jessica-I know this dog was more a status symbol to the owner opposed to a living member of the family. I still don't think my staring provoked as it was so brief but I wonder if another dog smell on me might have done soemthing. Then my neighbour's rotti was so wonderful he healed me a little I think. He was a big mush!

Von Krankipantzen said...

sneaky sharkey-actually I was really nervous around small dogs right after too as they seemed really unpredictible to me. My neighbour has a dog and dogs-sits for 2 others everyday and they have helped me heal a lot over the years. But there are a lot of bad owners out there and you just never know.

spoonleg said...

that's why i get nervous around ALL dogs. they're just so unpredictable! scary story~

Susie said...

Oh, kranki, that is just horrifying. Life-altering kind of scary. I am a dog person. What squirl, jess, metro said, is all so true. Sometimes we (I) forget that they are animals, and can be dangerous, even deadly animals. Owners have to be responsible for the socializing, the mental health, the "staring down," that lets them know who the "top dog" is. That animal was so warped, there's no telling what snapped. Just terrifying. It's a testament to your lovely spirit that you still like dogs at all.

fueltank said...

Hey kid... put up a pic of one of the beasts to take your mind off the doggy few...

WORK StatsCan conference call

ScottyGee said...

I dislike pretty much all Rotts and Pit Bulls. They always seem to be very agressive and untrustworthy. I have seen more atttacks at the dog park by Pit Bulls and Rotts than any other dogs. I am sure they are not all bad, but keep them the hell away from me.

Glad you used your superpowers to survive! WonderKranki!

Bucky Four-Eyes said...

See, that would have been me, too. I would have been lookin' at the Rott and goin' "Ooooh, what a pretty baby!" just before it lunged.
Don't know if I'd have survived the attack as well as you did, though. I was right to suspect you are a bad-ass.

LadyBug said...

Geez, that was scary, Kranki. My heart was pounding for you as I was reading.

Closet Metro said...

When she was three, Dizzle was attacked by one of my sister's dogs, a little beagle. Totally unprovoked. All she did was walk past the dog, not even looking at it. She has a little scar on her face now.

My sister had never done any dominance training with that dog. Actually, they never did anything more than train it to go to the bathroom outside. After that, the dog could do whatever it wanted. Once I started learning about dog training, I found a ton of things that they were doing that were making the situation worse, without even knowing it.

Amanda B. said...

Oh jeeeez kiddo. I'm so sorry you had to go through that. My experience with Rottweilers has been 50/50. If they are treated well they are usually fine. If not they are real monsters. It's strange to me that breeds like Rottie's and Pit Bulls are so readily available to any shmohawk that wants one. Attacks like this could and should be prevented.

john boy said...

Damn, scary stuff there!

Anonymous said...

Stacey, your mind is fading as you get older...dear oh dear.

Duchess was a purebred pit bull, randy's dog.

The song was dedicated by Curious George. Dur.


Candace said...

Wow, that was scary to read; I can't even imagine what it was like to live through.

So glad you're ok, even with the scars. Hey, what doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right?


mrtl said...

ouch! He probably smelled another dog on you and thought you were one.

Anonymous said...

You were probably attacked because you looked into his eyes and he took it as a challenge. I'm sorry that this happened to you.

Anonymous said...

To look a dog straight in the eye is threatening to them.