Attacked 13

Trigger warning: Hestia was attacked. She appears to be OK, but the adrenaline hasn’t worn off yet I’m sure.

This morning we went to Cherry Park for our normal morning walk. When we returned to our car, there was an empty space on the driver’s side of our car, and a truck parked next to that empty space.

Hestia was standing next to me as I got my keys out to unlock the car when suddenly an Australian Shepherd wearing a service dog vest streaked around from the other side of the truck and attacked Hestia.

The dog picked Hestia up in its mouth and shook her. Hestia was screaming, I was screaming and trying to grab her from the other dog, it was a nightmare. After probably 5-8 seconds, an owner appeared from the other side of the truck to grab her dog.

She put her dog in her truck, and I thought she was going to drive away, so I quickly went around behind her truck to take a picture of her license plate. She came over and was a very nice, very apologetic woman.

She explained that her dog was on a flexi leash (boy do I HATE those leashes, and even more now!) and she didn’t realize the dog was going around to the other side of the truck. The dog is apparently her husband’s service dog, and he is in the hospital, so she’s not used to handling the dog.

I gave her the contact information for a local trainer I like, and the information for Fiesty Fido by Patricia McConnell. Though I stressed at this point she really needed a professional’s help.

By this point, Hestia had stopped screaming, but was still very scared. I put her in the van, and now we’re at home. I appear to have a grazed finger from the other dog’s teeth, but nothing serious. Hestia is walking normally I think, though she may be favoring one of her hind legs just a smidge. I got the contact information of the owner, and she said she’d pay for anything that was wrong with Hestia, so that’s good.

I am so upset. This is the first time Hestia’s been attacked with contact. There’ve been a few close calls where I’ve been able to scoop her up in my arms in time. I just did not think there was any way a dog would be able to make it around a truck and across an empty parking space to us! I didn’t even know there was a dog there!

I am a mess, but trying to hold it together so it doesn’t seem like such a big deal to Hestia. I plan to try to schedule some time with other safe dogs soon. Tomorrow we are supposed to meet the new puppies, and I might see if next week we can meet up with some people from our service dogs on the town class to show Hestia that other dogs are OK.

UPDATE: We are back from the vet, finally!  Long wait!

Hestia has a small limp, but they think it is due to soreness and not some other injury.  She is very sore in her hind end and pelvis where the dog held her.

They gave her anti-inflammatories and pain meds, and the other woman already paid for it all!

The woman has been in contact with my trainer, and has been checking in on us as the day has passed.

The backstory is that they live in Alaska and came here for vacation.  Her husband (handler of the SD) has been in the hospital here for the past three months.  I was able to talk with her about the dog’s service dog status, and she agreed that the dog wouldn’t be working as a SD anymore.  They are going to send her back to Alaska this month to live with their son until they get back there.

She is also throwing away the Flexi leash and has already gone to a pet store and bought a regular leash.

All in all, it seems to have ended OK.  Hestia seems to be in good spirits, though a little sore.  She is now conked out in her crate.

Thank you to everyone who has sent us support, it has really helped us make it through the day.

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13 thoughts on “Attacked

  • Dawn

    Sending you both (((hugs))) – I am so sorry this happened to you and Hestia, you were both very brave and it sounds like even though it all happened in a flash, you did exactly the right things Veronica. Try not to let this spoil your visit with the puppies 💕

  • Paula Sunday

    I am glad you are ok. But your dog needs to see a vet. There could very well be punctures you can’t see or feel. If not treated they will get infected. Happened to a friend of mine. If there are/were any wet spots on her, start looking there even if you aren’t seeing blood. Puncture bites often don’t bleed externally. Plus if you didn’t get proof of a current rabies vaccination from this lady, do that, too,especially since you were bitten. I suggest you wait at least 72 hours to try to take your dog back to that park. It takes that long for the adrenalin to leave her. Again, glad you are ok. This should be reported to authorities. I know you probably don’t want to make trouble for this lady, sounds like she has her hands full already. But, to impress on her the enormity of her responsibility, it should be reported to Animal Control or whatever authority is appropriate.

    • Veronica Morris Post author

      Thanks. I called my regular vet and they are in surgery all day today and can’t see her, so said I should take her to the emergency vet. We’re heading over there as soon as Brad gets out of the shower. She may be limping a slight bit, but I’m not sure, so I really want her seen and thoroughly checked over ASAP. I’m not sure that I want to report the person to animal control– she really had no clue her dog would do something like this. I think I’ll play it by ear if she is responsive to covering the bills etc. (Sorry posted twice because it had me as anonymous for some reason the first time!)

  • Deanna VThompson

    Oh my God, poor Hestia and you. That is extremely scary. Maxwell was attacked by my boss’s dog at work about 5 years ago and was bit. Maxwell was traumatized for awhile but with love , support and gentle training he recovered. I hope the same for you and Hestia. I may want to report the inside t to animal control so that dog does not do that again. The owner needs a warning call from authorities so she’s more carful next time. I agree——flex leashes need to be banned. I’m sooooo sorry you had to deal with this. I’m here for you if you need to talk it out.

  • debandtoby

    I was so sorry to hear this! But glad the woman followed through and paid your bills. But it still should have been reported. What if that dog did something again? I’m glad you were able to educated her about service dogs, and flexi-leashs (which should be banned they are a danger, especially as it seems the persons using them are the least educated in their use.

  • Bit

    Oh Veronica, how horrible! I’m so glad that you got to do some education. I, too, despise flexis. So many bad things can happen, and people are clueless.

    Hugs to you and Hestia. I hope there will be no lingering effects for either of you.


    • Veronica Morris Post author

      Thanks! Hestia has a couple of opportunities to be around safe dogs coming up. Tomorrow we visit the puppies, and on Monday we’re going to hang out with some of our local service dog friends. I hope that will help her mentally!

  • windy williamson

    Oh my goodness, I hope she is not to scared to be around other dogs anymore. This is why I use a treadmill, shopping with my friend (without my card) cause she takes forever to make up her mind and we spend hours at a time looking for things. When we get home from shopping with her Eva is so done she does not do anything but go straight to her crate and sleep. She usually sleeps with me however, she is so tired she wants to just sleep alone. LOL