I’d had a horrible day and was fretting. Rich left the house to take Ralphie, our 10-month-old Cocker Spaniel for a walk, and his departing words were: “Don’t worry, everything will be fine.” 20 minutes later he rushed through the door carrying Ralphie, blood everywhere. Not fine, not fine at all.
I had no idea who to fuss first and with Rich clearly in pain I did a mini panic, managed to find out that Ralphie had been attacked by another dog and Rich had been injured trying to rescue him. My poor boys!
To cut a long story short, Ralphie was fine, amazingly. His tustle with an Alsatian – yes, a whopping great big Alsatian – left him battered and bruised and on doggy painkillers but luckily with no puncture wounds or serious injuries, just a bit of shock. Rich, on the other hand, although refusing a visit to A&E had a fair few gashes in both hands.
I know, overall, dogs don’t carry as much worth as humans, but having your dog attacked is like seeing your friend or relative being attacked walking home from the pub. It’s horrible for the victim of the attack and the people close to them.
So my message to dog owners who have temperamental dogs, whatever their shape, size or breed – and there are plenty of them – is to keep them on a lead or muzzled when in public places so those with socialised dogs can enjoy their walks without fear.
Sadly, the humans who inflict violence on other humans can’t be leashed, but dogs can. Just like parents are responsible for their children, owners are responsible for their pets and should consider not only their own dog’s safety but the safety of others around them.
To be fair, the Alsatian owner seemed to have his head straight and was apologetic for what happened – and looked pretty devastated by his dog’s behaviour. We discovered this when we confronted him later – all Rich and Ralphie wanted to do when it happened was run home sharpish, understandably. Thankfully, the couple of times I’ve seen the Alsatian since he tried to eat Ralphie, it’s been on a lead and the owner also coughed up for Ralphie’s vet’s bill. Result.
Fortunately Ralphie has bounced straight back and is full of beans. He stays closer on off lead walks than before but wags his tail, greets new dogs with excitement and is just as eager for walkies as he ever was. Love him to bits, my brave little bow-wow. I think secretly he believes he saw the Alsatian off but the reality is he had a lucky escape.