Saturday, March 28, 2009

She's Doing Okay

Ever since Cora arrived two days after Christmas, rain or shine every morning I put on my bathrobe, slip into my shoes and jacket, and my gentle Cora and I go out as the sky is lightening; I stand and admire the bay while she sniffs around (a friend calls it "picking up her pee mail"), wags tails with the neighbor's dog, and does her morning business. The lights are on in a few houses and sometimes we can hear stirrings but we have our tiny street pretty much to ourselves. Then, I bag her poop, we go back inside and she has breakfast while I read my email. We enjoy our ten minutes of peaceful morning ritual.

Yesterday morning, just out of sight in the twilight, I heard Cora screeching in pain and charged over to find that she had been attacked by a pitbull who doesn't live in our neighborhood but was being babysat at a house nearby and was thoughtlessly let out unleashed. I won't go into all the details but I finally managed to make the dog let go of Cora's ear by a combination of shouting, swearing, hitting and choking it with its own collar. The babysitter arrived just in time for me to hand the pitbull to her and run after Cora, who fled home as soon as she was released. We rushed to the emergency vet with Cora's ear all torn and bleeding.

She's doing okay and she's glad to be home. The vet there took a careful, meticulous hour and a half to stitch together her ear while she was under anesthesia. She came home with pain meds, a drain in her neck and antibiotics, and we are hopeful that because she's young and strong, she will retain the ear, but we will love her even if she ends up lop-sided. The kind young vet even offered that with all the "feathers" Cora has around her ears it won't show much even if she does lose it.

I talked to the pitbull's babysitters and they are most apologetic and distressed; they also offered very responsibly to pay all the vet bills. I'm sure the pitbull had no track record of attacks, or they'd have been more careful. Nevertheless, I called the animal services department in my county and reported the incident in case there are ever any more involving this dog. The vet said I was damn lucky not to be bitten, myself, but I didn't think of that at the time and I'm glad I didn't.

I know that not all pitbulls are bad and this dog showed me no aggression,
despite the beating it received at my hands, when I went to the house to tell them I was reporting the incident, but if you have a pitbull or one lives near you, please be careful and cautious. If you own one, don't let it out unleashed - you can never know if or when it will attack. They have been bred for centuries to bite and never, ever to let go. I am sad for my Cora, who is now timid about going outside and in a great deal of pain, but I am haunted by the thought that it might have happened to the aging yellow labrador who lives next door, or a child, or even a grownup.



Blogger Greg said...

That scares me just reading it. Glad she is ok.

Saturday, March 28, 2009  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie, you are one tough cookie.
You both were lucky. Could have been a lot worse.
I am so sorry.
Are you taking up the sitters' offer to pay?

Saturday, March 28, 2009  
Blogger Nerissa said...

I hope Cora heals well. How distressing for you.

Living in an area where most dogs run around off leash, I know how upsetting it can be to have a rogue dog create havoc in your neck of the woods. I think anyone taking care of a powerful breed, including pitbulls, should be very careful when they don't know that dog's psychology and just because it can feel it has to prove something when not in its own 'territory'. It really was foolish of these people to let the dog out unleashed. Very irresponsible.

Saturday, March 28, 2009  
Blogger dancingmorganmouse said...

Zoomie, how terrible for you both, how brave you were fighting for your Cora. And take heat, she knew the way home and that's where she went when she was frightened and in pain.

Saturday, March 28, 2009  
Blogger dancingmorganmouse said...

that's take heaRt obvy! It's sparrow's fart here, my fingers haven't woken up yet.

Saturday, March 28, 2009  
Blogger Baby B said...

Our dog was attacked at a park by a pitbull. She got bit but was OK. It happens more often than people think.

I am so glad Cora is going to be fine! Hope she heals up well and learns to enjoy the outdoors again.

Saturday, March 28, 2009  
Blogger namastenancy said...

I am glad that you and Cora came out OK (well, for now anyway). You are one brave lady! So many owners of dangerous dogs are in total denial of their potential for serious violence; why people have pittbulls as "pets" is beyond my comprehension.

Saturday, March 28, 2009  
Blogger Anna Haight said...

Glad you both made it out alive. The babysitter may not have realized the implications of having that kind of dog in a new situation without a leash. Hope you took up the sitters' offer to pay.

Sunday, March 29, 2009  
Blogger Zoomie said...

All, Thank you for your kind words. I wasn't brave, it was instinctive and thank heavens it worked. Don't tread on me. :-)

Yes, I am taking her up on her offer to pay! Currently, the bill stands at $900 and we aren't out of the woods yet - a costly mistake in more ways than one. At least she took responsibility for her actions.

Sunday, March 29, 2009  
Blogger Buzz Baylis said...

As an update ... the Richmond Animal Control Officer who visited us yesterday couldn't have been more caring or professional. A tip of the hat to her!


Sunday, March 29, 2009  
Anonymous Mrs. L said...

I'm so glad Cora's okay. And that you are okay because yes, you could have been hurt too!

And so glad they are taking responsibility and paying for Cora's vet bills.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Thanks, Mrs. L. The dog warden told me later that pitbulls are far more likely to attack other animals than to attack people. I didn't know it at the time but desperate times call for desperate measures.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009  
Blogger SchnauzerMama said...

My Johanna was attacked by a pit when she was a pup-out an open door. I now carry my sturdy walking stick, pepper spray or cattle prod. I am proud of you for attacking the pit--and being so successful!

Thursday, April 23, 2009  

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