I got into a horrible situation with my dog tonight and it was all my fault! I was walking down my street with my 5yo ds and my 1yo rescued cattle dog/ pit bull mix. It was the perfect storm. Our street doesn't have sidewalks, so when we pass another dog there is no barrier and the dogs are curious to sniff each other.
I am so ashamed that I didn't hold onto my dog. We saw a man with a dog who I thought was a dog she always played with, and the dogs seemed curious so I tried to be friendly and assertive which turned into a disaster. I was trying to be friendly and let the dogs sniff each other so that they could be okay with each other and keep on, as I have done many times before in the past. I let go of my dog's leash. Because I was thinking that the leashes made them aggressive. That is the part that I am so ashamed about. That I thought it would be okay to do that. Because I haven't even told my husband because he would say he told me so many times not to do that. His last pitbull was a rescue and he never trusted her off leash. My last dog was a husky shepherd mix who was calm assertive with everyone. We've had this dog currently for a year and she amazes us with her sensitivity, but she has a threshold where if she feels extremely cornered she will defend herself. I feel so bad because she so rarely snaps back at other dogs, but she is growing older and more protective of her family. I see she is figuring out dominance when we are out of the house.
I will never ever let go of my dog's leash again for her own protection. I saw the whole thing go down, moment by moment. The other dog was a big hound bitch. Izzy did not respect her personal space. The dog reprimanded Izzy and she didn't back down because she felt tangled and cornered. The reason it turned into the perfect storm is that Izzy held tight onto the tuft of fur at the very base of the spine before the tail starts, and the man turned out to have a deep hatred for pitbulls. He pulled Izzy off his dog (she was wearing a harness so it was easy to do) and then he rolled her on her back and punched her in the face several times, shouting various slurs at all pit bulls in the world. I just told him that it was okay, he did the right thing, it will never happen again, i'm so sorry.
Izzy ran away as fast as she could, right to my 5yo, cowering and hunched over with her tail drawn up tight between her legs. The hound bitch stood tall and proud with her tail up high. The man spat and cursed and put all his anger of everything wrong with the world right into me and my dog. I apologized and assured him it would never happen again. That my dog was terrified of him and his dog and would never approach him again. I asked if his dog was okay, and he checked her and she was. No blood. I saw him look over his hands for some bites and there was nothing. I was relieved that she had controlled her bite not to break skin on either the dog or the man.
Even though she has only done that once or twice (and it was right after we got her) to another dog, I will never risk hers or another dog's welfare again, by letting go of the leash, unless it is in a place like the dog park. I am ashamed of myself as a dog owner, but I can learn and I wish I had apologized more to the other owner. I recognize that her behavior changes as she matures and she may be more protective as she matures; she is not a little puppy who submits to all anymore. I feel I have to write this to be accountable for my actions and try to find peace with the fact that I made a mistake.
I am ashamed at being seen as everything that is wrong with pitbull owners. I *know* that his dog started it, but she was only doing exactly what her owner felt. It doesn't matter anyway because it never would have happened if I hadn't protected my dog from him, and for that I am ashamed.
Surprisingly, my 5yo barely noticed what happened, the whole thing happened so fast. Ugg. Life gets better. I know it does.