Tuesday, May 07, 2013

The thing I was afraid of

I was worried about a lot of things when we decided to get Gibson, our mini-schnauzer puppy. I was afraid that I would be terrible at puppy raising, that we wouldn’t have enough time and attention to give him, that he might run out of our yard and get run over…lots of things. But most of all I was worried about him getting attacked by a bigger dog.

And my fear came true on Sunday night.


We had spent a lovely afternoon together playing outside in our yard. Then Gibson and I went for our walk like we always do and Chris went to pick us up something for dinner. We went around the block and came up on a house on the right that had a bunch of cars in the driveway blocking the view of their yard. They were outside with their dogs…a mama and a teenager pit bull. The mama dog was chained up, but the younger one was not and as soon as we came around the corner of the cars he lunged at us and attacked. He circled us and grabbed Gibson by the throat. Gibson immediately laid down on the ground, peed everywhere and started screaming like I’ve never heard a dog scream in my life. I tried to reach down to pick him up, but he was so terrified he bit my hand.

By then the dog owners had come rushing over. The guy took their dog off Gibson and into the house and the lady stayed with me to try and calm Gibson down. He was trembling and evasive and wouldn’t come to me at first. Once he realized he was safe I was able to pick him up. The lady said that their dog never leaves their yard and she has no idea why he did. She apologized, but then insinuated that I hadn’t socialized my puppy enough and that’s why the situation happened.

I don’t know how, but I managed to stay calm through the whole thing. My goal was to try and not let my energy aggravate the situation any more for Gibson. Poor little guy… Once I had him in my arms we headed home. A little bit further down the block I put him down and he walked home with me just fine. Once we got back home I told Chris about what happened and he was just livid! I sat down with Gibson to examine him and found that there was blood coming out of his neck and found a bite on him. It was then that we decided we needed to call the cops.

Chris made the call and an officer came to our house to take our statement and take pictures of Gibson and the bite. Another office went to the other people’s place and impounded the dog to watch him, check for rabies and see if it would be necessary to deem him a “vicious” dog.

Of course there were no vets open or available on Sunday night, but first thing Monday morning I took him to see our vet. Since the wound bled so bad he put him on antibiotics and gave him his rabies shot early. He thinks he will be just fine, and I agree with him that physically he will be.


But now I’m afraid of the mental and emotional ramifications of the attack. Just yesterday when Chris was walking him a chocolate lab came over to them to say hi and Gibson rolled over, peed again and started screaming. I am so worried about what going on in that little head of his. I don’t want him to be scared of dogs, especially big dogs, but I don’t know how to help him move past it. I don’t know anyone with big dogs that I feel comfortable with.

So the awful thing that I was most scared of happened. And it could have been so much worse… Gibson is healing up nicely and hopefully will be back to his old self soon. I’m just still so upset that this had to happen to me and my puppy.


Blog Every Day in May” challenge. Day 7: The thing you’re most afraid of.


  1. Wow! I'm so glad he's going to be ok. He sounds traumatized though. I wonder if there's someone a vet might recommend you see, like a pet psychologist. I wonder how that other dog might have reacted to a toddler walking by. You did the right thing by reporting it!

  2. Sorry to hear about that. When I was young my sweet Pekingese was attacked by a dog that was 1/2 wolf...twice. Survived, but it was my fault the second time. I left my yard to answer the phone in my house. I was in middle school. Your poor puppy!

  3. oh my gosh that is horrible! i hope that everything will work out soon. and that he won't be scarred for life. thats just hard.

  4. Aww poor thing! That's so awful! I'm glad Gibson is physically okay. I'll be praying for his emotional recovery!

  5. Poor Gibson!! I'm so glad it wasn't worse and that he's going to be OK. You'll definitely have to work with him to get him past it. You don't want him to always be afraid of other dogs. Do you have a dog park nearby? Or a Petsmart or Petco where you could take him in? Petsmart actually has training classes that are perfect for socializing. We took Duchess to "puppy headstart" when she was little. It was fun, educational, and a great way to get her socialized. Also, maybe you can find a good book that will help work through it. We used Jean Donaldson's "The Culture Clash" with Duchess, and it seems like there is a chapter about fear of other dogs. I'm not positive though...it's been about 11 years since I read it. Sending big hugs for you and Gibson!