First, an update on the newest member of our household. After learning that Brittany was not a Brittany Spaniel, but perhaps a Springer Spaniel, Kristin and I changed her name to Vera so that she wouldn't have to live her life under a lie. If you know how Vera relates to a Springer Spaniel, then you have too much time on your hands...
Anyway, we took her to a vet and had her scanned for a chip. Nothing. There are no flyers posted looking for her. No one we have talked to in the neighborhood knows where she belongs. Short of calling Animal Control again, we may have hit a dead end looking for Vera's home. But, I'm not all that concerned about it. See, this dog is a jumper. I let her out into our yard to play with our dogs (SOOO CUTE! The way they were all playing) I went inside and after a few minutes I heard Oscar and Oliver barking up a storm. So I poked my head out and Vera was in our neighbor's yard playing with HIS dogs. She had jumped the 5 foot fence. Of course, as soon as she saw me she ran up to the fence and started whining, as if she had no idea how she got in the neighbor's yard! I ended up letting her out of the yard myself and back into our yard. The point of this story is that Vera can get out of our yard any time she wants to. So, my thinking on this subject is that if she had a loving home to go to, and knew where it was, or really really wanted to go back there, then as soon as she had eaten and rested she would have been on her way. Instead she has settled into our household and our hearts with a web of steel threads.
She adores Julia, Julia adores her. Vera will lie there with a big doggie grin on her face while Julia pulls her hair and pokes her eyes. Oliver is loving having someone to play with and boss around, and the plants, well, the plants are thoroughly loving being eaten. Yes, Vera is a plant eater. Oh well. We continue in our quest to find the owners, but if they remain unfound, we will hold onto this dog until Lauri comes. And hopefully Lauri will give her a good home. If not, maybe we can convince my mom to take her. Unfortunately we can't keep her long term. Three dogs is two dogs too many. And with her escape artist talents, I don't want the worry of her disappearing. Plus, our dogs could totally escape our yard if they wanted to, or if they knew they could. We just keep them spoiled and content and stupid so they don't. I don't want them to learn bad habits from Vera...
In other dog news...
I was bitten twice by a dog this morning. I had just dropped Julia off at A's house, when I stepped out onto A's walk and began moving toward my car. Suddenly two dogs came tearing out of the alley barking and snarling. I froze and kept my hands hidden. The light brown dog made a beeline for me. I avoided eye contact and kept still and the dog bit first my left leg and then my right. I couldn't help it, I yelled and A opened up her door and the dog took off. I've been bitten, I told her. And she asked if it had broken skin. It hadn't, but had shredded my heavy twill pants.
A told me where those dogs came from, and that they've bitten 3 people recently. So I walked across the alley to the garage where the dogs had run to. There was a woman in a jeep with the dogs and she nearly backed over me. When I told her that her dog had bitten me, she apologized and said that she was having a fence put in, but she didn't offer to pay for my pants. She just kept saying that he was a rescue dog and they were having problems and thanks for understanding. I guess my mild demeanor misled her. I don't understand. Not at all. See, I had a violent rescue dog once, too.
Phooka was a rottweiler/pit bull mix. 80 lbs of pure muscle with a locking jaw. I found her on a rainy night on a country road. She was maybe 4 months old. Had been abandoned. She was a very sweet dog, to me and the immediate family. To anyone else she was a nightmare. It wasn't a big deal when I was living with my parents. They have 2.5 acres, and we had a large kennel to keep her in. But when I moved into a small apartment in the city, it was apparent that I had a HUGE problem. She would try to attack anyone she percieved as a threat. Anyone. Even small children. But she didn't bite even one person. Why? Because I knew my dog, and I kept her on a leash, and when I had guests in my apartment, I put a muzzle on her. I could tell when she was going to attack, and I could pull her back and away. I walked her late at night or early in the morning, when people weren't around, and if people came by I moved with her out of the way and warned children before they got close that she was not a nice dog and they weren't to touch her. Even though I was living in a very bad neighborhood, and for a few weeks I had a peeper that she kept scaring off and she kept me safe and physically unmolested, it was difficult on me, and I worried that it wasn't good on her to be so anxious and trigger-happy all the time. So I paid for private training with a trainer who specialized with overly-aggressive dogs. It was in training that I had the closest call with her.
During most of the training I was the one holding the leash and giving the commands, since the idea was to get her to listen to me. But maybe during the third session, the trainer took the leash from me to work with Phooka himself. He gave her the command to sit, and when she didn't (she hated to sit) he corrected her. And time slowed down as I saw her rear up on her hind feet and thrust her face, lips pulled back in a snarl, every tooth exposed, into his face. I forced my muscles to go limp and somehow I managed not to gasp or call out. I knew that if I demonstrated any fear or stress at all, that she would take that as impetus to complete her attack and rip his throat out. We all stood there for a minute as she continued growling and holding eye contact with him, her teeth millimeters from his jugular, and then she decided that she had made her point and backed off. He handed the leash back to me and called an end to that day's lesson. He told me to put her down, but if I didn't she needed to be muzzled during lessons. I didn't put her down. I continued to work with her for another year. And during that time the only person she ever bit was me, and that was because I jumped in the middle of dog fight.
I say this so that it's clear why I don't understand why that dog was allowed to run free and bite me. That woman is not doing that dog a favor. By not keeping it on a leash at all times she is going to create a situation where the dog will be ordered destroyed. There are a lot of children that play in that alley, and it's just luck that they haven't been the ones bitten. So, I called Animal Control and reported the bite. I'm sitting here at nearly 11 am, finally getting something to eat for breakfast, with my favorite pants ruined, a bruise forming on my leg, and my bloodsugar all wonky. I hope they don't destroy the dog, but it can't be allowed to run free and bite people, even if it has emotional issues.
I'm not posting a picture of my bruise because I didn't shave this morning and I'm embarrased at my stubble.