You’re Playing With The Big Boys Now

, , , , | Friendly | November 4, 2020

I adopt a spayed German Shepherd rescue dog. She is a little over a year old and bonds with my family right away but needs to socialize with other dogs. If large dogs approach her on walks, she’ll sniff cautiously but without hostility. Small yappy dogs, however, trigger her to bark angrily to warn them away. I have learned that this is a common reaction of large dogs to smaller ones.

A fellow dog owner recommends I take her to an off-lead park in town where she can interact with other canines. There are two clearly labelled enclosures — one for large dogs and one for small dogs under twenty pounds — so I feel things will be safe.

The first time I take her, everything goes beautifully. She has some dominance interactions with other dogs to learn her place in the pack and has no problems. On three occasions, she chases a whippet around the area until both get tired.

The second time is a different story.

We have been there for about forty-five minutes in the early evening when three women enter the sally port with a husky on lead. My dog wanders over and gingerly greets the new arrival. Then, I realize that one of the women is carrying a chihuahua. Before I can react, she places it down in front of my dog. It yaps once and my dog reacts, picking it up and shaking it until I grab her collar.

The other animal is badly hurt, bleeding, and in shock, but walking. I leash my dog and wait. I am prepared to offer something toward the vet bill, but the owner and her friend have other ideas. They start screaming at me.

Woman #1: You are responsible for our baby’s injuries!”

Woman #2: “You had better cover the entire vet bill!”

That pushes any charitable thoughts out of my mind. Yes, my dog bit hers, but she brought the mini mutt into an area specifically designated for large dogs when there was a separate and safe area for small dogs right next to this one.

Me: “Why didn’t you take your dog into the small dog area?”

Woman #1: *Pointing at the husky owner* “She has an injured arm and can’t handle her dog by herself. What else were we supposed to do?!”

Me: “That’s not my problem!”

Woman #3: “We’re going to call the police, and they’ll make you pay!”

Me: “Go ahead! Then there will be a police report proving your negligence. And for your information, in our state, amounts under $10,000 go to small claims court and neither party can have a lawyer. Also, as the defendant, I can and will appeal any decision against me, but as the plaintiff, you can’t do that. I think I’ll take my chances. Now, you’d better get to a vet.”

I was never served with a claim.

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