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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

For the first time I get the meaning of that phrase. We have lived in the rural country for 13 or so years and while we have always had fences, I have to admit, they are in desperate need of some repair.

Our dogs pretty much have always stayed in our own yard regardless, although every single dog in the neighborhood like to come to our yard to visit/play. We've never had a problem with that as our dogs are pretty friendly as long as not threatened, and they enjoy the company...usually....

Recently quite a few of the domestic dogs have started running in a pack of wild dogs. These normally sweet family pets can become quite unfriendly when in a pack. Their behaviour can be very different while in a pack then what it is at home with family. The same dogs who play well with your grand kids and other pets can turn vicious in a blink of an eye when in a pack, then come home that evening and sit by the fire with you like nothing ever happened.

We witnessed this first hand last week and the results were devastating. My dear, beloved Sequoia was mauled to death by two such dogs. Dogs who have lived next door to me for years. Dogs who my children have played with, and who had played just fine with my little Beagle.

I was showering and heard incessant barking, but didn't think too much of it as it sounded like the annoying barking these dogs have been known to do while running along the fence line playing with/teasing my dogs. All of a sudden my son called me out and said three dogs were killing mine.

I went out to see my two neighbor dogs on top of mine with him on the ground already looking half dead. A third dog, a stray from the pack earlier mentioned was standing over the scene barking and barking.

I yelled at the dogs to get off at no avail. Then I threw sticks at them only to have them pause and look at me for a moment, before returning to attempt to kill my dog. Finally I threw pieces of metal and pipe at them and they ran off. I quickly got my dog to the vet. The next day I picked him up and he looked like Frankenstein the way he was all stitched up. He had probably about 60 stitches, in no less than 12 wounds, and several more uncountable wounds not stitched.

I will spare you the details of the care he needed and the mess and stench, even the photos I was going to share, but are just too painful. Just a little less than 24 hours after bringing him home, 48 hours after the attack, by sweet Sequoia layed down his head and died..............

Words can't even express the anger, hurt, rage and sadness we feel. This was a strong, brave and majestic dog. This was a large dog at 86 lbs, and these dogs took him down like he was nothing.

This post is to share my pain and loss, but more importantly, to warn you, that if you have pets, a strong, sturdy reliable fence is a MUST!!! That should come even before you think about bringing a pet home. I would have never guessed in a million years something like this could happen. The horror of helplessly watching your beloved pet being malled to death is unspeakable, the pain of watching your protector, defender and best friend die a slow, and very painful death is pain beyond pain. Please don't let this happen to your pet. The effect on the children of the house is pretty brutal too. It is a hard thing to explain. IT is hard to teach them not to hate their neighbor because of what their pet did is a hard lesson. It is a hard lesson for mom and dad to learn as well. Don't even put yourself in a situation where this could possibly happen.

The neighbor did voluntarily accept financial responsibility(the vet bills alone were close to 400 dollars) but the money doesn't replace my dog. My dog is unreplacable. He is keeping his dogs locked up behind hotwire, but I still live in fear of my one remaining dogs life, not to mention my children's. We have gotten a puppy to ease the pain a little, but I fear letting him freely run my five acres and am keeping him on a leash like we lived in an apartment. I live in fear for my younger children. IF these dogs did this to a strong nearly 90 lb dog, what can they do to my 60 lbs 10 year old or my 35 lbs 3 year old?

Here is a photo of my beloved Sequoia, and soon I will share just what kind of dog he was...


Anonymous said...

Your son going in the military soon.... maybe some pre-boot camp marksmanship practice with a rifle is in order....

Red said...

I think I would have to ask these people to put their dog down. Who's to say it will not happen again and this time it may not be just someones family pet. It could be someones child.