…Life stops for the good dog’s owner.  I’m an artist and this is my busy season. The galleries and shops that sell my work need me to produce new work for their customers who want to purchase beautiful gifts.  My annual studio sale is coming up which adds to the chaos and mayhem in the studio this time of year.  But this is about my dog…I’ve pondered whether or not to publish this post and decided yes to share my story with you, my gardening friends, because this can happen to anyone…

My busy season.  Usually I’m in the studio up to 12 hours a day this time of year but make time to take my inquisitive dog, Treasure, a Belgian Tervuren out for a walk. We walk anywhere from a quick mile to three miles. Sometimes we hike down the mountain, but last Sunday we took a medium, 2 mile walk. Or at least that was my plan.

Just under one mile away from home a pit bull mix came sauntering out of a field. Always leery of loose dogs approaching us, I backed up but didn’t want to appear nervous or afraid and let them sniff noses. Everything seemed fine but before I could blink, the pit mix grabbed Treasure! In shock and horror, with both Treasure and I screaming, I tried pulling my dog away while kicking and pushing the aggressive dog off.  It would not stop or let go.  Trying to keep my brain calm and THINK what to do I recalled reading somewhere to release my leash if an attack like this ever happened, so I did.

Screaming at the top of my lungs I realized no one could hear me and although there is usually debris laying about on the road there was nothing to pick up to use as a weapon. All I could do was continue kicking at the dog until I saw a large tree limb as we moved up the road during the attack. Managing to break off a small branch it was no better a weapon than my feet or fists. Then suddenly the attack stopped but the dog stood there and I feared he would start up again, so I continued screaming at him to get away and shook the stick as menacingly as I could muster.

Finally a car came around the corner, my neighbor Chris as it turned out.  She began yelling at the dog and honking her horn until it finally disappeared back into the field. I quickly checked Treasure’s injuries, grabbed my treat bag & leash from the road & anxious to get home gratefully accepted a ride from Chris.

Treasure’s injuries were too significant to treat at home, so I finally found an available veterinarian on a Sunday afternoon and rushed my dog down the mountain and up to Mt Hood.  Dr. Kathy was wonderful while treating Treasure, reassuring, methodical and thorough. Bandaged and medicated we arrived back home and spent a very long night as Treasure wouldn’t or couldn’t sit or lay down for long without yelping in pain, so stood almost the entire night.  She has a large gash on her side, multiple punctures and severe bruising.  We spent the next day and night trying to keep her quiet and resting, giving pain medication to keep her comfortable.  Monday night I realized the bandage was possibly pulling her hair, keeping her from lying down, so we went to see our regular vet to remove the bandage and check progress that the injuries were healing.

Treasure is now Sleeping Beauty with the bandage that had covered her large gash removed.  Dr. Kerry advised the best treatment plan was hydrotherapy!  A brief shower twice a day to gently wash away any bacteria & keep debris out.  This along with antibiotics, anti-inflammatory and pain medications is speeding her recovery process.

The police report and letter sent to the dog’s owner will say ‘potentially dangerous dog’ and list the address. It will remain in that status until/unless it bites a person. Then it’ll be listed as a ‘dangerous dog’ & the owner will have to contain it in such a way that it cannot dig out; carry a huge insurance policy and keep it muzzled. If it bites other dogs it will still just be listed as ‘potentially dangerous’.  I hope and pray it never bites another but fear it will.

Needless to say, my life and work has stopped for a moment while I tend to Treasure and her needs.  Besides the physical mending she is glued to my side, moving with me when I leave for any other room in the house.  Occasionally a routine noise causes her to shake uncontrollably.  As she recovers from the physical injuries I’ll look for ways to reassure and help her over the emotional trauma as well.

Questions:   Is danger lurking everywhere & I simply never noticed?  Are my safe rural walks and hikes tainted forevermore?  Will Treasure greet friendly dogs as enthusiastically as before?  And how will I know that it’s a friendly dog?  To post or not post since this is not about my garden?

Lesson: Carry mace and cell phone always on our walks!  I suggest you do too.

Final notes:  As of this Saturday morning posting, Treasure is ready to play again.  We are still trying to keep her quiet as the gash in her side isn’t healed yet (it looks a lot better), but she is raring to go.  I’m teaching her new tricks and playing thinking games and hide and seek games with her instead of run, chase, and fetch games.  I slowly walk her up to the mailbox and we roam the back fenced yard.  Yesterday we walked as far as the neighbor’s driveway but it was not planned and I felt a bit nervous about not having mace in my hand.

I’m thankful it wasn’t worse…..and thankful you stopped by to read about Treasure instead of my garden this time.  Please take care on your journeys out…be aware of potentially dangerous dogs…  Until next time……

Advertisements

This is my busy season with work, so a leisurely visit to my garden is a luxury not often enjoyed right now.  I notice changes quickly along the driveway as I speed in and out making deliveries and picking up supplies.  Mostly I see a blur of brown with a tinge of green from conifers as I come and go.

Just a peek

My dog insists we take a daily walk, so I take a different route through the garden each day trying to catch hints of progress, or should I say demise as she pulls me forward trying to get me to move at a faster pace, more to her liking.

Come out where I can see you better!

Last week, as we re-entered the property, much to my surprise and delight I noticed a Red-breasted Sapsucker!

Red-breasted Sapsucker

I ran in to grab my camera & he waited for me! I snapped as many shots as close as I could get until he flew into the fir tree across the garden.

Fall.Maple

As long as I was there with camera in hand, I began searching for color and looking to see what else was new since I last explored.

conifer

The first to be noticed were maples changing colors and conifers.

Surrounded by angelsAnd conifers changing color.  My Dawn Redwood  will drop her needles soon.

Dawn RedwoodI see I forgot to put away my yellow chairs.  How could I have missed those bright cheery yellow chairs?

Yellow ChairsAs I looked up into the trees, I noticed all the berries still available for interested birds….

Poke berriesThe Poke berries,

Mt.Ash.BerriesMountain Ash berries,

RedTwigDogwoodBerriesAnd the few berries left on my Red Twig Dogwood.

Heuchera.Peach.FlambeAs my gaze shifted from sky to earth I saw my heucheras were still looking good, including my current favorite, Peach Flambe!

Liriope

Growing near it more Liriope blooms were pushing their way up!

CyclamenAnd sweet little cyclamen!

Fall Crocus

Not to mention several patches of fall crocus still blooming!

ZebrinaAs I ambled further into the sunny area I was delighted to find Zebrina smiling at me!

NigellaImagine my surprise when I found this lone Nigella!  It is Autumn, is it not?  Someone forgot to tell her!  Or perhaps someone thought I’d like this reminder of summer, knowing I wasn’t quite ready for Fall!!

Cement SadFaceSad Face Cement block that I made several years ago indicates my reluctance letting go of summer.

Thanks for stopping by.  Until next time….

%d bloggers like this: