Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Boxer

There is a boxer that lives a few houses down. She's had it in for me since I moved to this house on this block.

She comes after barking and snarling, if I'm out in my yard when she's out, loose, and that is fairly often. Usually her owner calls her back.

She's cornered me against my house. I stand there, do nothing, don't move. That hasn't helped stop the problem. She is not aggressive to other people out in their yards, that I know of.

I was intimidated when I moved here, by my relative social status compared to other neighbors. I wanted to fit in and not be noticed or cause problems.

I also had become dog shy. I'd been bitten five times by five different dogs in the space of six months, when out helping each dogs' owners with cats.

Three of the dogs bites came from Pomeranians. All three dogs were friendly, albeit yappy, when I arrived. All three had allowed me to pet them. It was when I turned to leave in each of these Pomeranian cases when the dog bit the back of my leg. Two of these bites were hard enough to draw blood. When I turned around to face the little yappy dog, the dog retreated behind his or her respective owner. None of these three Pomeranians were fixed.

The fourth dog bite I experienced in those months occurred was when I was returning cats to a stable. I had helped the stable owner get many cats fixed. She had lots of dogs who had been very very friendly towards me in the past. It was dark. I got out of my car, was just about to open the door to the stable when around the corner came about four dogs. In seconds, the largest one, previously friendly to me, latched onto my knee cap.

Just as quickly, as if realizing his mistake, he let go. My knee cap was badly bruised but the skin not broken.

The fifth dog bite I endured in those months was far more aggressive. I was returning cats to a Millersburg family, whom I had helped not only with about half dozen cats at their place but also trapped over a dozen at their barn. The dog was a known biter.

When I knocked on the front door of their place, the husband, who knew the dog would bite people, let the dog out when he opened the door. The dog went straight for my leg. There was absolutely no time to react. He bit me repeatedly, before the man of the house, a local businessman, got him off me and back into the house.

The woman, his wife, was horrified her husband had let the dog out when answering the door. He knew that dog would bite me, she claimed, as they argued there. My leg was a mess, with blood draining down into my shoe. I was fricking angry that I had been helping these people out, with my time and labor, and then this guy lets a known biter out to go at me. It felt like an assault by dog.

I didn't know then how many times that dog had bitten other people until one of the man's employees, whom I encountered when trapping at the barn, asked me, "So, has the white dog bitten you yet?" He said the dog had bitten many many people.

I still have scars from that attack.

So I'm dog shy now. Several of the dogs who bit me were super friendly to me before they bit me.

I'm a former big dog owner. I had a big dog for 16 years. Denali never bit anyone. She went to obedience school with me when she was six months old and she was never off leash around people unfamiliar to her except when I'd take her to the beach or was way out in the forest.

Yesterday, I walked down to another neighbors' garage sale. They're moving out. They haven't lived here long but said the rent is too high in the house they've been renting. The boxer was out loose and came charging at me growling and barking.

I had not seen the dog loose, only when she came running out at me. I do my usual, standing still as stone, facing the dog. I never thought the dog would ever bite me. But this time, before the owner was successful at calling her back, I felt that dogs mouth open over my hand. It was a split second, a test I think by her. Next time, I think she'll bite me.

I consulted a friend who has had experience with dogs. I asked "What shall I do? This dog has terrorized me from the day I moved in here." She said, "Kick her in the neck next time."

She said I need to show dominance over her.

I know I need to do something. I knew I needed to from the start, but what stopped me was my desire to not cause problems with neighbors when I first moved in and because those neighbors are friends with city cops.

I didn't want trouble. I didn't want to report them or threaten them over their dog. I figured after the boxer started harassing me that if I reported it, nothing would be done anyhow, because of the neighbor's friendship with city cops.

The neighbors are good people. But they breed that boxer, which of course makes me cringe and she is probably still nursing a litter now, or just done with it, which makes her defensive/aggressive.

Ain't my problem. My problem is my own safety in my own yard.

This will end. I will pepper spray the dog or otherwise attempt to show dominance next time. I don't want to be this dog's target again.

UPDATE: I talked to a neighbor who said she has also been charged by this dog. She's going to talk to the owners. She says they just sold the last of her last litter and are going to get her fixed. Maybe that will help. Hopefully this will all have a happy ending for all involved, including me, a huge animal lover, who doesn't want mauled by a dog and who does not want to be forced to hurt a dog attacking me, but will, if the need arises.

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