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I walked to town with Ava as usual this morning. We were crossing the street to the post office when out of the blue, another dog pelts straight at her and launches itself against her side, biting at her flank and legs.

This monster-wannabe is only about 15 pounds of dirty gray fluff, so the biggest danger here, other than infected puncture wounds, is that Ava will turn and snap the rotten beast’s neck.

To her credit, Ava — who has a history of reacting sharply to other dogs — keeps her cool.

Me, not so much. I’m cussing and angling to get a clear kick at the mini-Cujo when it suddenly backs off.

Its owner is in a parking lot a few yards away, having just exited her car and released her hellhound on the public.

“Jesus Christ!” I say. Or something like that.

“I know,” the woman says with no sign of apology. “She’s a little shit.”

“Why don’t you have her on leash?”

“She’s a rescue and I don’t know what happened to her before I got her,” the idiot replies non-sequiturially.

I’m speechless. Ava is a rescue and I do know what happened to her before I got her: she was put on a 10-day police hold after biting a three-year-old in the face and only survived because the child’s mother belatedly realized it was her own fault for leaving her toddler alone to try to drag poor Ava into a dark closet.

Which is one of many reasons Ava is never, ever, ever off leash if we’re going to be in civilization. Even though it’s been 11 years since she munched on that kid.

You know how many rescues I’ve fostered and adopted out over the years. I’ve been around rescues and rescuers for 30 years. And I have never seen “she’s a shit” and “she’s a rescue” as an excuse for allowing a known-vicious animal to run free in the street.

“You need to keep her on leash. Please,” I say to the woman’s back as she steps through the employee entrance of a nearby store, taking Fluffzilla with her.

I was shaking. Still am a bit. First with the shock of the attack. Then with rage and disbelief at the idiot bimbo.

We were only a block from the police station at the time and I even considered reporting her — something I wouldn’t normally do and didn’t do. Then I had ignoble thoughts like keying the stupid broad’s car. Which I also wouldn’t do, though it felt good for a moment to think thoughts on her own immature, irresponsible level. But I probably will email my local rescue friends to see if they placed that monster child and if someone from the rescue is willing to talk with the bitch. And when I say bitch, I of course do not mean the female dog, who is just a victim of circumstances despite her foul temper.


  1. rochesterveteran
    rochesterveteran February 23, 2017 10:20 am

    I can so relate, Claire! I had a neighbor who had two pit bull mix rescues that she did not properly monitor or secure and they got loose several times going after people who were walking their dogs on leashes! This woman was so stubborn and thick headed and she kept on letting the dogs out back and they’d get through the gate and fence repeatedly. Finally, my next door neighbor and good friend was walking her little dog and those beasts got loose and chomped that poor little dog up! My friend called the sheriff and animal control as well as the complex office and reported it. The woman got charged and brought to court where she had to pay restitution for the vet bills for my friend’s dog and also fines. The complex evicted her. She did move out and the problem was gone for us, but I often wondered if her dogs are terrorizing another neighborhood! There’s some people who should not own pets, especially rescue dogs that are aggressive!

  2. Claire
    Claire February 23, 2017 10:30 am

    “There’s some people who should not own pets, especially rescue dogs that are aggressive!”

    Amen. Terrible story from your neighborhood! I’m glad Minizilla wasn’t pitbull-sized, but I used to live in a neighborhood where there were dogs and dog owners like that. There is NO excuse for it, even if the dog (as in today’s case) is more fluff than teeth.

    Mishaps can occur with any dog. But to allow a dog to run off leash when you’re already aware it’s vicious is inexcusable.

    I’ve contacted Furrydoc to see if she knows this dog. I think I may know who the woman is. Whichever rescue placed the dog needs to be aware of the behavior; the rescue itself might have some liability if the idiot woman allows this to continue and somebody eventually ends up with vet bills or doctor bills.

  3. david
    david February 23, 2017 10:44 am

    Poor dogs. They come into the world to eat, sleep, poop and chase squirrels. And then some pea-brained humans mess up a perfectly normal, loving little dog and make it suffer forever.

    Humans come innocently too, and we both have the ability to react to one bad event for the rest of our lives. But only we humans have the ability to realize what we’re doing is not beneficial and stop it – yet whatever problems most of us have WE create with bad choices that we cherish and perpetuate. Dogs don’t do that.

  4. Claire
    Claire February 23, 2017 10:51 am

    Yep, you said it.

    Not the dog’s fault. In fact, the poor mutt is likely to come to a bad end if the idiot woman continues to allow her to attack dogs twice her size.

  5. Comrade X
    Comrade X February 23, 2017 1:34 pm

    I keep my dog on a lease not for his safety but for the safety of every other dog we may cross, he’s part Anatolian Shepherd & Great Pyrenees, he’s a 100 pound puppy, we are arranging for training right now too, overall he a good dog accept for his anti social behavior to other dogs. His area of habitat out back has a 6 foot fence but man does he dig holes!

    I hate it when I come across people who can not or will not control their dogs, they definitely get a tongue lashing from me, one they shouldn’t soon forget (And I don’t care what they think of me because they have already proven that they are an a hole for not controlling their dog), until I get him better trained we are trying to avoid contact with anyone with another dog and we will go the other way whenever possible. I have no qualms about putting a boot (better than a bullet) into the head of any dog that their owner has been warned to control and they do not.

    One note; I recently heard of a dog attack in a city near me where a dog was bitten and died because the attacking dog had some type of disease, make sure you keep a close eye on Ava.

  6. Claire
    Claire February 23, 2017 1:40 pm

    Good for you, Comrade X. Your dog sounds beautiful, but both the breeds in his mix are (as I’m sure you’re more than aware) known for their tough, stubborn independence. Hard dogs to handle. And YUGE!

    I would have more easily forgiven that woman this morning had she shown a single sign of being concerned about Ava, sorry for what happened, or willing to listen when I said her dog needed to be on leash. The fact that she was completely blase — “oh well, my dog’s a shit, live with it” — was what got me thinking nasty thoughts toward her.

    I’ll doublecheck Ava to make sure, but I don’t think Tinyzilla got her tiny teeth through Ava’s thick fur.

  7. Joel
    Joel February 23, 2017 1:44 pm

    Oy, yeah. Here in the Gulch feral dogs are a fairly frequent problem – I’ve been forced to hunt down and bury a few, plus some have happily been rescued – and it was with considerable surprise that I learned most of them do have homes. They just have extremely bad owners.

    Poor Little Bear loves to hunt, and he loves to kill and eat the things he hunts. And like Ava he will never for the rest of his life be outside off a leash if I can possibly help it, because he would very cheerfully be one of “those” dogs if he could.

    Hope pretty Ava’s okay.

  8. Claire
    Claire February 23, 2017 2:39 pm

    Thanks, Joel. Yep, she’s still as pretty as ever and is absolutely fine.

    Unlike LB, Ava can happily be trusted off-leash out in the woods. She never goes far out of sight and comes when she’s called. In civilization or around cars or other dogs, though, no way. It’s a shame you always have to keep LB tethered. It must be hard on both you and him, but I remember how fast that (seemingly) lumbering beast could move when he was loose and how quickly he could grab prey.

  9. Dana
    Dana February 23, 2017 4:48 pm

    It’s a pity you can’t send Wednesday Addams over to have a word with her.

  10. Shel
    Shel February 23, 2017 5:56 pm

    My dog has been bitten in a local fenced dog park. I’m very much less tolerant of these things now. I carry a small pepper spray and when I happen to think of it an expandable baton, neither of which I’ve had to use, but I did threaten a neighborhood dog with the baton once. And I did have to swing the leash around to ward off a dog at the park which was growling and charging at me. I’ll work my way, starting with shouting, up to the final option, which I know I’ll use if it comes to that; I’ll just be very careful of the direction. My dog isn’t aggressive; I do know she isn’t going to be a victim.

  11. pyrrhus
    pyrrhus February 23, 2017 6:29 pm

    Several of my neighbors have rescue dogs, all pretty well behaved and get along well with my dog.There are numerous rescue dogs in the next HOA, and their owners are angels…. I’m a lifetime dog person, and what I want to know is, where the hell do all these rescue dogs come from? We are literally inundated….

  12. larryarnold
    larryarnold February 23, 2017 8:55 pm

    Daddy dog + Mommy dog = Puppies X Lotsa food around humans X No predators around humans = Lotsa rescue dogs.

  13. Claire
    Claire February 24, 2017 5:07 am

    There’s a bit more to it than just litters and lack of predators. It’s become a fashion and a status symbol to adopt, rather than buy dogs. Now anybody who gets a dog at the pound or from a “free puppies” box outside a store boasts of doing rescue.

    Also — and this is really toxic — it’s become a thing for so-called rescuers to take big trucks down to places like L.A. where they have a lot of strays and pound dogs, load up on animals they’ve liberated from shelters, and take them up to Seattle, Portland or elsewhere and peddle them for hundreds of dollars as rescues.

    The businesses of trucking mutt-dogs around the country began as a humanitarian gesture after Hurricane Katrina. But even then it had drawbacks (e.g. spreading heartworm to parts of the country that never previously had it). Now it’s become a mini-industry.

  14. Claire
    Claire February 24, 2017 5:09 am

    “It’s a pity you can’t send Wednesday Addams over to have a word with her.”

    LOL! Those little videos make me want to become adult Wednesday Addams.

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