Thursday, May 26, 2016

Discombobulated

Today's post was originally going to be about a couple of recent outings, with a bit of local flora and fauna thrown in for good measure. But early yesterday evening something happened that has left me feeling very upset and unsettled. Thus, that planned post will have to wait for another time to make it onto my blog.

Almost every evening now that the weather is nice and the days are longer I take Fergus for a walk at the small off leash area here at The Cottages. It's really more of a path that follows the dike above Frost Creek than the traditional wide open area you would associate with a dog park. Fergus loves going there, and so do I. While he runs around sniffing every blade of grass, wildflower and weed that grows along the side of the path, I enjoy the sound of the creek running nearby, take in the trees, the rock facing on the other side of the stream, and if I'm especially fortunate watch one of the resident bald eagles soaring overhead. 


Fergus at the off leash area, photo bombing my shot of this wild Columbine

When we were there yesterday a friend phoned. I sat down on one of the picnic tables to have a chat with her while Fergus meandered down to the gate, waiting to go back home. One minute everything was lovely, peaceful and calm. I was chatting and laughing with my friend and watching Fergus look at me with a "can you please hurry up" look on his face. Then in an instant it all changed. A huge German shepherd came charging through an open door in the fence at the edge of the off leash area and attacked Fergus. At this point all hell broke loose. The dog's person came running behind, making a feeble attempt to control her dog. I was yelling at her to get her dog on the leash. Fergus was cowering in a little ball under the Shepherd. (In hindsight I think Fergus's fearful nature is probably what save him from getting hurt. Had he attempted to fight the dog off I think it would have ended very differently.)

As the person approached her dog it started walking towards me. I was still yelling at her to get it on the leash. Then it turned, ran back at Fergus, and attacked him again. It wasn't until this second attack that she managed to leash her dog. I had assumed she was a camper from the nearby Thousand Trails site, and was appalled when she punched in the gate code for the Cottages and walked through. The whole thing was bad enough when I thought it was some random camper that I would never encounter again, but when I realized that dog resided in the same community as me everything changed.

This dog was vicious. It attacked my dog. The attack was totally unprovoked. Thankfully Fergus wasn't hurt, but he was terrorized. But the fact that he wasn't physically hurt doesn't change anything. That Shepherd's intent was to harm him. And what if I had had Lucy or Ella with me? It makes me sick to think of what could have happened. 

My dilemma now is I have no choice but to report this dog to our strata. If I didn't, and then found out that it had gone on to harm someones pet or child I would never be able to forgive myself. But we are a small community, and pretty much everyone knows everyone else. I hate to stir up trouble. I just want to live my quiet, peaceful life here, minding my own business and being a positive part of the community. I feel like that is no longer going to be possible. 


This was taken earlier yesterday, before the incident with the vicious dog. I thought it was funny how Fergus had seemed white until I cast on a project with this white yarn and compared the two.



31 comments:

  1. What a horrible thing to happen....poor Fergus!
    Yes, you should report the incident for the reasons you state...but would it be an idea to go and talk to the woman first...if she could accept that she needs to control her dog - perhaps take a training course with him - then your report could include that and it might lessen the risk of a rift in the lute.
    If she is a nice person then she too is probably horrified at what her dog did and a positive suggestion about training might be accepted...but it will need all your tact when you are justifiably upset by the incident.

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  2. Dear Kristie - I feel for you! But you should definitely report the incident. It won't be you who is stirring up trouble; that was done by the irresponsible owner of the German Shepherd, which is obviously not reliable off-leash and should not be permitted to be off leash unless it is muzzled. I say this as a former Shepherd owner myself - these are big, powerful dogs which must not be allowed to show any aggression towards people or other pets. Personally, I would not approach the owner if I were in your shoes, but would let your condo association/strata deal with the issue. Who knows, you and Fergus might not be the first ones to have had this unfortunate experience.
    Shepherds are wonderful dogs, but they do need firm handling by their owners. - Ruth

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    1. P.S. I just remembered something that might cheer you up - one day when I was out walking our German Shepherd (on a leash!), he was attacked by an off-leash Golden Retriever. Strange but true! It was the nastiest dog in that neighbourhood.

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  3. Poor Fergus! I'm glad to hear he is okay. Hopefully he can get past the fear and enjoy his local walks again.

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  4. Hi Kristie, As a fellow cottage owner I think you should report this to strata council. I am always on the dog's side as it is the owners' responsibility to have control over their animals and be aware of its natural strengths and prey drive. I hope our sweet Fergus is okay.

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  5. I know this dog and owner definitely report it.I've had my concerns and doubts myself.Hope everyone is okay.

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  6. Gosh, Kristie, how upsetting. It must be extremely awkward and worrying, knowing that the dog and owner are neighbours. I hope you're able to resolve it all without further distress. Take care. I'm sure you're giving Fergus some extra fuss! Do hope he's ok (and you!). Sam x

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  7. Wow. I am glad you both are okay. The dog and owner definitely need to be reported to the strata council, but you also need to report it to the Chilliwack animal control people (I think you are in the boundaries of the Chilliwack municipality?) Or the regional district that the cottages are in. Vicious dogs are scary and can't be ignored (think about what happened to the man and women up in FSJ this winter). - Christina

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  8. How distressing for you and poor Fergus. Hope it doesn't stop you going on your wonderful walks together. You must do what you feel is right. Take care.

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  9. Oh, Kristie, this sounds awful, I hope wee Fergus is not permanently traumatised. You are right to report this to the strata, this vicious dog needs to be on the leash and the owner should be asked to attend dog training classes before she is allowed back on the walking meadow. Wishing you a less traumatic day. x

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  10. Oh dear Kristie, poor Fergus. He is very lucky to be unharmed, and you definitely have to report this. When we had a small dog the size of Fergus we were out walking one day - our dog on the leash, and met a neighbour with her German Shepherd which she had let off leash and it attacked my dog and bit him on the neck, then jumped up and pushed me as well. The owner was trying to control the dog with words, ineffectively, until we could get away. At the moment we could not see any blood but next day our doggie was very ill and the vet found the puncture wounds which had become infected. We got half the cost of the vet from the neighbour but it was a bad experience. Owners must control their dogs. I hope you have a nice weekend. x

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  11. So sorry this has happened to you and Fergus. You mustn't feel like you are stirring up trouble, you are doing the right and responsible thing which I'm sure others in the community will see. The dog owner has to take responsibility and make sure nothing like this happens again. x

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  12. Oh, I'm SO glad Fergus wasn't hurt! I hope he will not be afraid to go to that area again--it sounds lovely. As for the irresponsible owner of the German Shepherd. She should, on her own, realize that she cannot let her dog off leash again--EVER--ANYWHERE. If she can't see this for herself, then the authorities will have to be the ones. Report her, by all means! If you feel like you're stirring up trouble, just remind yourself you are doing HER a favor. How would she feel if an animal or child came to harm because of her dog. And if she didn't feel any remorse over that, then I think she would be sorry to be the object of a law suit or even prosecution.

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  13. So glad Fergus was okay. You should not have to live in fear that the German Shepherd will attack again. I would report it. Be safe.

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  14. Of course you have to report the animal, it could be a child next time. So glad Fergus is ok. We lost our cat, the one before Miss Kitty, to a dog attack--they came in our yard and attacked him. He had an $800 vet bill before it was all over. We reported it, but not much was done.

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  15. Totally agree with others here...this must be reported, before this dog seriously injures another dog or even a child. I doubt that you are going to be the first person to complain about this dog. Give Fergus a cuddle from me !

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  16. Poor Fergus, thankfully he is okay. I wouldn't feel bad about reporting her & her dog. At the very least, he should be leashed & muzzled while outdoors.

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  17. I am so sorry to hear this. My sisters cat was attached by a dog and very shaken up. The next week he died. It was just too much for an older cat. You have to report the dog, as you said what if it was a child.

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  18. I was so sorry to read that your lovely walk with Fergus turned in to a nightmare. I hope he isn't too traumatized by the event poor boy. I'm sure Tavi would have attempted to fight back whereas Daisy would have done the same as Fergus. If the woman can't control the dog she should have it on a lead and muzzled. I share your desires of living a quiet peaceful life and I know how hard it is to upset that balance it must have shaken you to the core. Sarah x

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  19. I agree that you need to report the dog...it could have been a child. I hope that both you and Fergus recover from this nasty event.

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  20. First of all I am so glad you are both okay, traumatized I know but not hurt. How horrible for this to have happened. I understand how you are feeling about reporting it but in all honesty you have to. The dog is dangerous and like you said what if you had had one of the girls with you. I am so sorry this has happened and affected the way you feel about your community.
    Meredith

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  21. Fergus wasn't the only one terrorized and traumatized -- you were, too! I'm glad he's OK, and I hope you are recovering some equanimity, and have decided what to do about reporting the dog's owner in a way that you feel most comfortable doing. xo

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  22. Gosh, that is not good. Yes ma'am, you do have to report the dog. The deed is done and obvious the dog is beyond their owner's ken. A child, a friend, an elderly person and dog - my goodness. My rescue dog turned out to have a bit of a reactionary behavior (boxer/terrier/dauschund mix) so after the 2nd time, we don't go to dog parks anymore. Rather we are training and doing purposeful socializing with a trainer in downtown walks, training in special dog (and owner :)) class. Hugs to Fergus and you!

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  23. Glad to hear Fergus was okay -- that could have turned out so different. Sorry that you have to deal with the situation -- I guess it depends on the attitude of the owner whether it ends up turning into a big deal. One of our 'neighbors' in FSJ had 2 dogs that I refer to as 'devil dogs' and they were so bad, we couldn't walk or ride past them. Our other neighbor has 3 young children and they bit one of them. We all approached the guy and he said he moved out of town so his animals could 'run free' (not only dogs, but pigs, horses, cows would show up others yards/garages etc) and wouldn't do anything about it. They moved a few months ago thank goodness!

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  24. I will be praying for Fergus. Poor you! and poor him!! I get really really angry when I walk my dog on a leash and one is not on a leash. They think that their big dog is fine. Well guess what? Frodo thinks he is a German Shepard and I don't trust him not to bite. I would not be liable since I have him leashed but I do not want to witness that kind of interaction!! People are crazy...

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  25. I read this and thought how lucky Fergus was. Then it happened to me yesterday. We met a dog on a lead and were told that is was nervous around Black dogs. It went from full submissive pose to having Anni's face in it's mouth with no signals in between. Actually mate, I think it's aggressive to black dogs - thankfully no damage but luckily my dog is not aggressive or it could have been awful. People need to take responsibility for their pets and aggressive pets should have a muzzle in public. Glad he is ok and hope you've gotten over the shock - did you report it?

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  26. First I had to look up the translationoptions for the headline, then I could really take part. Of course you must report this and it has nothing to do with being a bore or something, dogs must feel secure in knowing who is in charge. If not, they can go real bad like this german shepherd. Seeing the other comments I understand we all think you should. Poor little Fergus, I hope he will regain his confidence in the outdoor life and fellow dogs.
    A friend of mine was badly bitten last year when protecting her dog, I am so grateful you are ok and that the small ones wasn't there with you!! Blessings to you, Kristie!!!

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  27. I'm so sorry you and Fergus had such a terrible experience--thank goodness you're both okay. It will take a unified front to make any impression on that irresponsible dog owner. As a boy I lost a beagle to a German shepherd (and owner) like that. My brother swore the dog was about to attack him and our dog intervened. That GS was always trying to sneak up behind us to attack. The adults did nothing--I think because all dog owners in the area let their dogs roam freely. No, wait...my dad did do something. He taught me how to get a dog to go for my throat so I could jam my forearm in its mouth...and well, you might remember that story.

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  28. Longtime lurker here, just popping in to say -- so very glad that Fergus is okay physically. And wishing you both peace to recover from the emotional trauma.

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  29. What a horrible, frightening experience for you both. Of course you should report the incident without hesitation. It could have been so much worse. Comforting hugs for you and Fergus xx

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  30. Hi Kristie,
    I'm sorry to hear about the dog attack, and agree you should report the dog and owner to proper channels.
    On a much lighter note, I noticed an article in our local paper about a new brew pub with an unusual name. Thanks to your blog, I already knew their name definition:

    http://www.philly.com/philly/food/20160529_LaBan_review_Bar_Hygge_noisy_brewpub_quirky_craft_beer.html

    Thinking good thoughts for you and Fergus,
    Erin in PA

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