Dog fight, or, always trust your gut instinct

So. Reasons for the bit of silence here lately: Had a really rough weekend.

On Saturday afternoon, Rainer got in a fight with a potential adopter’s German shepherd, which landed my husband, this dog, and this dog’s human in the ER. The good news is that everyone is physically OK (although still kind of emotionally shaken); the woman and her dog required stitches, and my husband a tetanus shot and a lot of pain meds, but we will be OK. Rainer was uninjured.

I learned a lot of things this weekend, after this very traumatic incident, but the main thing I learned was this: Always trust your gut instinct.

When this dog was walking down our driveway to meet us, I brought Rainer out on leash to greet them. The dog immediately lowered his head and stared straight at Rainer. One of those cold, hard stares that is instantly unnerving. His human said not to worry about it, that he did this with other dogs… and so I did the thing that my gut was telling me NO, NO, NO, DON’T: I let Rainer walk forward to meet him.

In a split second, Rainer had the dog by the throat down on the ground and he was not letting go. The fight was completely silent, which made it all the more terrifying. Rainer was not trying to scare this dog off; Rainer was trying to kill this dog. In the madness, the woman and Guion got bit; I was kicking Rainer as hard as I could to get him off. Finally, after a third or fourth kick, Rainer loosens his grip and I am able to drag him off. The other dog’s ear was ripped a bit at the base and he had a puncture wound in his ear. The fight felt like it lasted for hours, and even though it was over in two or three minutes, it was a horrible, horrible span of time.

Rainer has to be quarantined for 10 days, according to Animal Control’s rules, and they are going to let us quarantine him here. The only complicating factor is that we’re supposed to go out of town for a full week on Friday, so the rescue is going to arrange a boarding situation for him.

In the future? I’m going to listen to my gut. I’m going to say, “Nope. They shouldn’t meet. I’m sorry,” and walk away. Even though that feels so rude to me. Dogs give us really clear signs with their body language, and we were stupid enough to ignore these signs on Saturday. Sigh. Lesson learned, the really hard way.

The bit of bright news in all of this is that Rainer has another adopter interested in him, a young couple with no children and no pets who can give him the care and attention he needs. I explained Saturday’s incident to them on the phone, as well as some of his other issues we’ve noticed, but they sound well-equipped to care for Rainer and give him a secure, loving place. Hope that it will work out. I will keep you posted!

Whew. I feel REALLY ready for this beach week…