Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Who is the most dangerous - dogs or their owners?

Not written a blog for a long time as been so busy! However, felt compelled to write on this subject which is so important to dog owners. Some readers may already know that I run the Hound Dog Hotel near Gosford, Central Coast, and one particularly long stay guest of mine is a dear Cavoodle, Coconut. 

How pretty is this little girl?!
Coconut has been staying for three months. She is a real character, feisty, confident, fun and very active. She's not scared or nervous around other dogs. In fact in my hotel it is the other dogs, often four times her size, who are wary of her!!
When out on our Adventure Walks she loves to play and run and chase dogs of all sizes, she's happy to be chased too.
But recently something happened which every small dog owner dreads. We were in East Gosford at a place called the Friendship Walk where there is a small leash free Oval. There are some nice areas either side of the Oval although dogs have to be on a lead in them.
I’d been out about an hour, at this point Coconut was on leash, and we were returning to the Oval. Since I’d left the Green earlier, two women had arrived with 2 dogs and one was a brown cattle dog.  I looked at it and did wonder about it so actually asked the owner if it was Ok. She replied yes, so I let Coconut free, off for her final stint of play in an leash run about. 
In the blink of an eye one of the dogs started to chase Coconut but then the cattle dog joined in and I could see straight away this dog was aggressive and meant to get her. 
Coconut was scared, crying in distress and running fast trying to escape. Then she yelped out in pain as the dog, all teeth and viscous intent, got her.
I was trying to get to the dog and managed to distract it by bellowing and then got in between it and Coconut - but it still was trying to get her.
This all happened so fast I couldn’t get my stick - which I always carry - off my shoulder quick enough to hit it, but I did had managed to clump it with my handbag at some point.
I was shaken but furious and had a confrontation with the woman. However, did not find out until I was leaving that her dog has ‘form’ in this behaviour. (As I was leaving at man with a couple of dogs I’d spoken to earlier passed me and said he did not blame me for having a go at the woman as people had “had words with her before”. )
Why do these morons know their dog is unsafe yet continue to let them free in a public place with no muzzle - and I’d even asked her if it was ok?
After getting back I checked Coconut and the dog’s top two canine teeth had made contact with her back. To my huge relief the wounds are superficial.
Fortunately because Coconut was so fast she had been able to avoid a full bite, plus as I was right there to intervene the damage was limited - but this could have been so much worse.
Coconut as usual in thick of it playing with Leo & Toby

Yes these sort of incidents are rare - Coconut must have been on 100 walks with me during her long three month stay and nothing like this has occurred anywhere else.
So who was to blame for this? 
There is only one answer - it is ALWAYS THE OWNER.
Do you believe it when owners say 'Oh they've never done that before'. In the case above the woman knew her dog was a menace yet (1) she even confirmed it was OK and (2) she brings it to an off leash area and (3) she does not have a muzzle on it.
I run a local Facebook page called 'Davistown Dogs' and one of our members posted this event which happened after the Coconut one :
"Was out at Terrigal dog park today and someone let a pit bull run around with it's muzzle removed and guess what? It attacked a female labrador twice before anyone could get to it - the attacks were for no reason".
It's time these owners who have no regard for anyone else face huge fines AND the risk of having their dog taken away and banned from keeping dogs. How else can the rest of us keep the dogs we love safe?

Some more pics of cutie Coconut and pals below. Head on over to my Hound Dog Hotel for some great videos of which feature some of my guests, including Coconut (Cavoodle), Leo (Labradoodle) and Toby (black Labrador).

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