Hi guys I am just writing because I know you will all understand. Archer was attacked this morning by a white german shepherd type dog. It was at this new groomer's place we were going to try out because our regular place was so booked up. I thought well lets just try it out, I had met the owner during my dog first aid course and she was so friendly to Archer and seemed very concerned about details with her other clients. Also my training mentor is starting to teach classes there. So I thought we will give it a try just for a small grooming.
On my way in I noticed the front door was propped open, which I thought was odd because it seemed unsafe as it faces a main st, but I assumed they had gates and so on up for their daycare part.
Well we got in, did the quick consult where we discussed what haircut he was to get, when a white dog zoomed past us in the front part of the shop. The owner/groomer yelled and tried to call the dog back but he wouldn't come. So then I grabbed a bag of treats to start throwing on the ground so the dog wouldn't run into the road. But by then she had gotten out, and the dog had stopped to sniff someone and she caught the dog and had him on leash. I tried to move out of the way with Archer but he wasn't coming with me and I try not to drag him if I can help it. All of a sudden the dog was in Archer's face (the groomer stopped to let the dog say hello to us) and I let them have a loose leash as I do when my dog greets any dogs. Well with NO WARNING, and I mean that- the dog grabbed Archer and started shaking him!!!! Archer peed everywhere and screamed like I have never heard an animal scream. It makes me sick to think of it. Then the groomer finally got the dog off Archer and I tried to see if he was ok but he was trembling and a total mess. He was walking ok but only wanted to be in my lap. His hair is so long I couldn't see if there was any blood. Then I started feeling his body and felt a strange bubbling/crackling sensation like air near his ribs. He started coughing and I was like "We are going to the vet, NOW." We got there and they checked him out, they shaved most of his side so they could see the bite marks. It doesn't look like it was any puncture from the outside so hopefully no bacteria introduced. Then they did some x-rays and it shows he has air under his skin, it is either from the skin separating from the muscle or from a punctured lung, they don't know yet but he is being kept in emergency for observation so they can xray and monitor the air and drain it if they have to so it doesn't cause his lung to collapse.
I am SO upset, worried sick, shocked and dismayed. Worst part is the owner of the white dog who came in after to get his dog (dog was a grooming client) didn't seem surprised and was like Oh he's not that good with other dogs". !!!! way to warn us buddy. But it is the groomer's fault for having unsafe holding areas and for letting an unknown large dog greet my dog. I could have been any small dog in the shop just looking for food or treats. I know she would never wish for this to happen but it is a warning guys, for how quickly this can happen. The groomer is paying the vet bills so far.
When we were waiting together I said to her "I would bet money that that dog has been punished physically for showing growling or any signs of aggression to other dogs before." She said Well he did come in on a prong collar and they asked the owner not to bring the dog there on it, because it was rubbing the dogs neck raw and they were uncomfortable using it. So there you have it folks, this is what prong collars and the associated punishment/"training" techniques that go along with that package do to dogs. Creates ticking time bombs on leashes who associate other dogs with pain, ans who have no other options except quick aggression with no warning.
I will post updates about Archer here. He was dopey and looked like the shaved Lion on Narnia when I saw him, my poor boy. He is SUCH a sweet soul and he loves all people and dogs... and he actually has really excellent social skills from what I have seen. I really hope this incident doesn't traumatize him in some major way and make him nervous around large dogs.
It is SO hard having these small guys, even constant hyper vigilance (and that's what has got us through the first year and a half) isn't enough to keep him safe!
But at the same time I know never letting him around large dogs is not going to make for a good situation either. To love a dog is such a unique thing. It is like having a little piece of your own heart in a separate body that is vulnerable.