Today’s post will be a pretty long one, I am not writing to defame or cyberbully anyone. Please, if this post brings about very negative feelings to you, you are free to skip this post and move on to the next. I appreciate it if there can be no bashing or crude comments for this. Note that this post is also not for sharing, it is a sharing of what happened to my dog and our experience with the owners.
My intention for writing this post is to create awareness for all dog owners. You have to be alert at all times during walks. I’ve seen owners staring at their phones while their dog dashes up to other dogs, or they follow wherever the dog pulls them to. Dog owners should also be responsible for your own dog’s actions and not be so tyrant about it. It’s the same logic behind every parent’s responsibility towards their own children’s actions.
Here’s a recount of the incident,
Last Saturday, our family dog, Truffles, got attacked by a neighbor’s young female bulldog. It is every owner’s worst nightmare looking at your dog screaming and trying to get away from the other dog. It ended with her having a punctured wound on her inner thigh and another wound on her right front paw.
My 5-year-old son and I took Truffles out on our daily morning stroll around our condominium and we met this dog and her owner. Both dogs excitedly tugged on their leashes trying to approach each other, so I asked the owner (let’s call him Owner A) if his dog is friendly and he replied: “ She’s OK with all dogs.” Cool enough. So we let both our dog sniffed each other when suddenly both dogs stood still.
Before I could pull Truffles away, that dog went right at her and Truffles was screaming and whining. The leashes got entangled and both of us were trying to stop the fight and untwined the leashes. By the time we managed to detangle the leashes, my legs had the bulldog’s saliva and Truffles was panting heavily.
The entire incident scared my little boy so my first instinct was to briefly checked Truffles and move away to calm everyone down. To be honest, I was also freaking out but I knew I had to stay calm. After we walked a short distance away, I saw there was blood on the fur at her hind leg. That’s when I saw that the blood was dripping. When I looked back, both owner and dog were already gone. All that was on my mind was to get my dog washed up because my boy cried, even more, when he saw the blood.
I rushed us back home, told my husband what happened, and tried to wash the wound on Truffles. At that time I didn’t realize that there was another wound as it was not bleeding as badly as the one on her inner thigh. I called up the vet clinic, informed them of the incident, and rushed her down to avoid the risks of infection.
At 11.15 am, the vet told us that her wounds had to be stitched as they are very deep and she has to be sedated. General anesthesia can be risky for a canine as there are high risks of them not being able to wake up from it. It will be my ultimate nightmare if I were to lose her due to this attack. Nonetheless, there was nothing I can do and so the 2h wait for the vet to call up felt like decades. It was only then that they found the other punctured wound on her right paw.
It was around 3 pmwhen we got back. I was wondering how we can find this owner to inform him about what happened. Lucky for me, I have great neighbors and after asking around, I managed to find them. We went to their place, in peace, but the attitude and reactions of that owner were what triggered my decision to engage a lawyer and lodge a police report.
My husband and I went up to their place and his wife (Owner B) answered the door. She was shocked to find out that her dog attacked our dog, as according to her, their dog was very friendly. Owner A came to the door and asked her to go back into the house, while he deals with us. But, his wife was fuming and she insisted to stay on. Fair enough.
So we showed them our vet’s report, pictures of the wounds that the vet helped to take and the bill, saying that we are seeking full medical compensation. Owner A looked through the report and in a very cool tone told us that he is only willing to pay half or we can go to a lawyer. No apologies no feelings whatsoever. Go to a lawyer for a $300 medical bill?? I told him that we are seeking full medical bills as these are the injuries that his dog caused on our dog.
Instead of speaking to me, he verbally attacked my husband, demanded that he is standing with his hands across his chest like he’s trying to be defensive and that if we’re not happy we can call the police. That ticked my husband and they got into a heated argument while his wife and I were trying to work something out.
My intentions were simple. Your dog bit my dog, as any dog owner will do, I am here to seek compensation. We were not there to pick any fight whatsoever, yet Owner A went further, calling my husband names, accusing him of being rude and having a bad and stinky attitude when he wouldn’t even give my husband much chances to defend himself. He wouldn’t even let my husband have to report back when he asked him from it. Instead, he lifted his hand high and told him to try and get it back. Oh my goodness. At that second, whatever ounce of respect I tried to contain, evaporated. HOW CAN ANYONE BE SO CHILDISH AT THE AGE OF 34?!!
He felt that they were just dogs and dog attacks are very common. He said that I should be responsible that my dog was being bitten and gave an example of a pedestrian being hit by a car while he’s crossing the road, it will also be the pedestrian’s fault. I was speechless when I heard him say such things. Firstly, they are just dogs?! Secondly, you took an oath for your occupation and you made it sound like every pedestrian deserved to be knocked down. How is that possible?!
It felt very clearly like Owner A was trying to provoke my husband to hit him so he can have a case against us. Owner B was trying hard to get her husband to stop, and so I suggested that they take some time to talk it out, let her husband cool it off and then we can talk again. I exchanged numbers with Owner B as Owner A refused to give us any details (maybe he was worried we will stalk him and all his details will be out on Facebook *shrug ), and we wanted to leave. While I was exchanging numbers, Owner A stormed, and I mean stormed with heavy feet pounding the ground, out of his home and shouted at my husband: “NOW I’M OUT OF MY HOUSE ALREADY! YOU SEE RIGHT, I’M OUTSIDE NOW. YOU WANT TO HIT ME? HIT ME LAH! COME YOU THINK I SCARED OF YOU?!”
I stood there and looked at his wife, oh my goodness, if I am that woman, I want to bury myself way under the ground and never appear ever again. The only regret I had was not recording it. With a profession that many people will be jealous of, behaving like my 5-year-old throwing a tantrum, it ruins the image. Personal images must have not been taught during the 5 years course. What a shame.
When we got home, Owner B texted me that she just checked her dog and showed my 2 pictures of skin abrasions on her bulldog. One on her skin, another at the ear. As a dog owner, my first thought was ‘This means they did not check their dog after the attack!’ That’s horrible but I’m trying my best to get the scene of her husband throwing his tantrums out of my head, I simply asked if she will be bringing her dog to the vet too. Her reply was “Yes because there can be a potential risk of infection.” OK.
It takes alot of effort when dealing with irresponsible and/or senseless people. We decided to consulted a lawyer, lodged a police report and wait until the next day to make our final decision of whether we should send out a lawyer’s letter.
On Sunday morning, I texted Owner B to get back our original vet report (I took a picture before we left for the police report and in case the lawyer needed it. Yes I made up my mind while Owner A was throwing his baby tantrums) and if they are willing to be responsible and pay the medical fees. She replied that ‘Out of goodwill, they have decided to split the bill with us’. Come again? Out of goodwill? That pretty much settled it.
But being a nice person, I figured probably we should talk through it again and see if they can be more reasonable. When we met at the lobby, she told us that they have brought their bulldog to the vet, which I then asked her nicely why she did not send the bill to me the previous day? I told her if the vet has written a report and confirmed that it’s from a fight, show it to me I will offset it from my end of the medical bill. She got taken aback when I told her that without hesitation and became uncomfortable, constantly fidgeting about and looking worried, which confirmed my suspicion that she made it up when at first she said “Yes the vet confirmed, and then changed to “Aiya, how the vet can confirm its from a fight, but what else can cause the redness right?”
When I asked her why they didn’t check the dog after the fight, and only showed me the wounds after we informed them of what had happened. Her reply was “I did check, but it was just that redness. Anyway, the injury is just that little bit, how to bring to the doctor immediately?” And she went on to insist that it is both our responsibility as dog owners yada yada yada. Yeah, I get it, you don’t want to be responsible. I’m sorry but it’s pathetic.
Having enough from this couple, I told her that I can offset her amount from my bill or I can get my lawyer to send out the letter. It wasn’t a threat so probably she felt the truth in there. She finally agreed and before we left, I gave her a piece of my mind. I told her forwardly that they need to be more responsible for their dog and get a trainer. Like it or not, her dog bit another dog and that is the truth. She came up with all sorts of excuses as expected, and I left it as it is.
I later found out from a neighbor that Owner A had once told her that his dog was not the friendly type so it’s better not to go near her. If he had been truthful from the start, all the unnecessary pain could have been avoided.
As dog owners, please be honest to other dog owners about your dog. If it is not trained, it’s not trained. There’s no such thing as halfway trained or the dog forgotten its pieces of training etc. Excuses will not only cause pain to everyone but it will hurt your pockets too. If the dog bites any human, legal actions will be taken against the dog owner, no hesitations needed. Do not lie when someone asked you if your dog is friendly for fear of being judged as a bad owner.
Everyone has their reasons for doing things, be responsible for avoiding trouble. If your dog caused injuries, be responsible for it even though you did not permit it to do so. And frankly, unless your dog works for the military or the police, who will give their dog permission to bite?
Dogs can behave in ways that we do not expect, and because they are our family, we are responsible. Do you expect other parents to be responsible for your own child’s ill manners? Responsibility is perceived differently but as dog owners, first time or any time, we need to be willing to pay the price when the hurt is caused. A very simple logic yet disagreed by many.
Good news, today is the third day since Truffles misfortune. She is healing very well, and is back to being our white fluffy happy pill. We are glad the whole ordeal is over, although it is sad to have such irresponsible owners in our estate, but glad that our princess is fine again. Peace out! ✌