Yesterday morning I was reading the newspaper when I heard a commotion on the deck. I got up to check it out and found two dogs in my yard, a big white shepherd/chow mix and a small brown mutt.
I went out and greeted them and the big one approached me in a friendly way. I let him sniff my hand and spoke to him and he seemed just fine. Then I slowly turned my hand to pet him and he just lunged at me, teeth bared and snarling.
Thankfully I still have a few quick reflexes left in me and I managed to turn quickly enough that he only got me in the arm instead of my face or neck! I had long sleeves on so I only ended up with a fairly minor bruise instead of a bite.
I think I’m pretty good at ‘reading’ animals but this one didn’t even give me a hint that he wasn’t going to be nice!
I went into the house but they just hung around harassing the chickens and poor Tux and Nellie. So as much as I didn’t want to, I called animal control. He came out and told me that he has had ‘dealings’ with this particular dog before. He belongs to a hoarder that lives near-by. When he approached the dog he was greeted with a snarling lunge as well. So he got the catch pole and managed to get a hold of him. His little cohort was LONG gone by this time.
Once he was on the catch pole he acted all sweet and normal! I feel really, REALLY bad that I was the one to send him to the Humane Society for an evaluation and he will probably be put onto the ‘dangerous dog list’ since this was not his first offense, but if his owner let him run around like that and he approached a little kid… the results probably wouldn’t look like this …
It was a good, but scary reminder for me that I can’t always read an animal’s temperament.
And also a wake-up call for folks that let their dogs run loose.