Monday, October 10, 2011

UNBELIEVABLE

On Friday, my mom and I decided to take our dogs for a walk on an old railroad bed.  Normally, it is a wonderful trail because it is flat, nearly 2 miles, and you can see up ahead and behind your for a long distance.

I had brought Seven and foster greyhound, Sahara Sand.  Mom had her three dogs, two small mixed breeds and an Italian greyhound.  We were headed back when some noise caught my attention on the ridge to the left of our trail.  It sounded like someone did not have control of a dog. 

Suddenly, a black mixed breed dog comes down the hill assertively with hackles raised and begins to threaten my Mom's dogs.  As one of Mom's dogs tried to get away, I pepper sprayed the unwelcome dog as he ran by me.  The dog then started to go after one of Mom's other dogs and I sprayed him again. 

By now the owner, her son (five years old maybe), and another dog were on the ridge trying to get the dog to come to them and finally it did, but then they ended up letting go of their other dog and it came down barking.

The woman said something about the dog being friendly (never mind the unfriendly behavior it is also displaying).  It got a thump with my foot and a spritz of pepper spray too.  Once her dogs were under control, I expressed that her dogs should have been on leash.  That she was a stranger that had totally interfered with our walk and that it was inappropriate for her to assume we should trust her and her dogs. 

She started to run her mouth and swear at at us in front of her young son who began to repeat what she was saying.  Mom and I kind of laughed and said something about her being a really great parent.  "KEEP MOVING" she threatened several times. (Well geez, what did you think we were trying to do when you interrupted our walk?)

Finally, my mom and I were quite a ways down the trail when Mother-And-Responsible-Dog-Owner-Of-The-Year (MARDOOTY) realized I pepper sprayed her dog.  Well, duh.  What did she think I was doing with it?  She had even mentioned it in one of her tirades.

MARDOOTY - "You Pepper Sprayed My Dog!"

Me - "Yes."

MARDOOTY - "You Pepper Sprayed My Dog!"

Me - "Yes." (What doesn't she understand?)

MARDOOTY - "You Pepper Sprayed My Dog!"

Me - "Yes." (Is she expecting the answer to change?)

Well, MARDOOTY suddenly takes off in a sprint in my direction leaving her little boy with the two unleashed dogs.  I am not sure if she expected me to run or what, but I calmly squared up to await her arrival.  Now recall that I still have the foster dog's leash in my left hand (welcome to life after the track, Buddy) and Seven in my right, pepper spray armed hand.  She grabs my arm and my shirt and starts to wrestle with me.  I kick her in the crotch and spritz her with the pepper spray.  Oh my gosh, did I really do that?  Yep.  I still have a heard time believing I did that, but she charged and put her hands on me.  I was actually quite calm about it.

MARDOOTY let go and started to walk off.  She threatened to call the police (Would you like to borrow my phone?).  So off she went in the other direction while continuing to run her mouth.

I reminded MARDOOTY she could have avoided all of this if her dogs had been leashed.  Hopefully that message sinks in as she washes the pepper spray off herself and her dogs and ices her crotch.  I just feel sorry for MARDOOTY's son.

I am very thankful that she did not touch my dogs (Mom's dogs were fine too).... she would have a lot more than a bruised crotch to contend with.  I can somewhat understand her charge and anger because I would have felt the same way if someone hurt my dogs, but she probably will never take responsibility for her role.  Plain and simple, your dog should be leashed if you cannot call it away from distractions or danger.

Lastly, I have to admit I am a little unsettled about returning to that trail.  Does a crazy person like that learn her lesson or does she formulate a plan of revenge?  I probably will let some time go by before I return.

Hey, Happy Monday!  And Happy Birthday, Mom!

36 comments:

Andreja said...

Ugh... I was hoping for some sort of happy ending, but this is just as you titled it - unbelievable.

No, I don't believe the crazy lady will avoid this path in the future. I had several encounters with a young person and her very friendly, but totally obnoxious adolescent Stafford who would run full speed toward any dog she saw. The person didn't mind, if people would ask her to put the dog on leash she would say it isn't hers (with a leash in her hands!).

I am trying to teach Ruby to ignore other dogs on walks so I was quite upset when I saw all that. The first time she ran to Ruby I took a hold of her collar until they leashed her. The next time I threatened that I will take her with me if she doesn't belong to them, since she's such a nice dog. They threatened they will teach her to bite. Oh really? That's a great threat to make if you own an obnoxious Staffie!

The third time I started feeding her treats when she came to play with Ruby. The owner really hated that :) Luckily the girl loves food. It kept her away from Ruby (who wanted to hump her).

Then I stopped going there. I get so angry every time I see them... it's just not worth it.

gyeong said...

That sucks that crazy irresponsible lady ruined your peaceful walk. She may not change, but hopefully her son will think about what happened. Sadly, provably not. You have convinced me to take pepper spray on any walks. Hope she hasn't ruined that place for you forever.

AgilityIG said...

Did the pepper spray have any effect on either person or dog? I have had encounters on my walks and don't carry anything. I have thought about getting pepper spray though...

Glad you and your dogs are ok!

jcp said...

Wow.. that's a little more excitement on a walk than I typically look for. You handled it great I think... but as you say I would avoid that trail for a while. No one needs that kind of excitement, so no sense seeking it out.

jet said...

wow, you are bad-ass!! I think I'd be too scared to pepper spray some random crazy lady. Unless she hurt my dogs. Then I may be provoked :P

Cat said...

Having seen a dog (in my case snapping it's collar and breaking free from it's leash to owner connection) whom the owner claimed was never aggressive, bound towards my leashed dog, grabbing her by the throat and start shaking her as I was doing everything in my power to get the dog off - hoping my screaming dog was not being killed right in front of me - holding her after the fact as the vet examined her torn open throat - sitting up all night with her whimpering from the meds post surgery - I commend you for what you did and wish there was some magic wand that would enlighten this woman to her personal responsibility. Maybe, just maybe, that kid is smart enough to reflect back and think, wow, Mom really put us in a bad situation with her choices. Maybe not, but one can hope. I trust no dogs now. None. It isn't worth my dog's life to not hurt your feelings. As far as going back, stupid people do increasingly stupid things, I'm not sure I'd feel okay going back but I hate that you'd lose a favorite spot.

Kim, Rambling Family Manager said...

OMG!! So glad you're all OK. There are crazy people everywhere; it's so unfortunate you ran into one of them like that. Good for you for sticking up for yourself and your dogs.

Mad Red Hare said...

OMG! That was surely scary for all of you. People amaze me. I won't get on my soapbox.

Trina said...

wow..that sounds scary! I would be wary of returning as well. it is amazing how people react. They can't take responsibility for their children's actions..so I suppose it is too much to ask for them to take responsibility for their dog's.
But good for you..

Hiking Hounds said...

Wow, that is absolutely crazy! I'm so glad that you, your mom, and the dogs are okay. Although, I know that emotionally something like that is very upsetting. You totally handled it great! I bet she wasn't expecting to get her butt kicked. :-) Funny that she threatened to call the police when she and her dogs were the ones doing the attacking. You would have have been completely in the right to call the police and press charges on her. Scary that she is a mother and her son is already picking up her habits. I hope you and the dogs have a good relaxing week. Happy Birthday to your mom!

Kini_pella said...

Omg, Jennifer! I am so sorry to hear about this. I probably would have called the police, since she actually assaulted you. I know our society overdoes it when it comes to suing people, but I have to admit, I would be so tempted to do so. You did nothing wrong, and everything would be in your favor.

In short though, I'm so glad you're all okay. I keep reading about such scary stories lately with dogs...I think I will attach my pepper spray to Ferguson's leash, just to be prepared!

K-Koira said...

Wow, what a horrible incident. Unfortunately, some people are just idiots. But, it doesn't sound like the pepper spray had any effect on the dogs or the person. I'd question the effectiveness of carrying it around. Maybe exchange it for a nice sturdy walking stick that could double as use for protection if needed.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Andreja, good idea using food for a repeat offender.

I was always spraying the dog from the side and never got a spray straight in the face. The one other time I have used pepper spray it was a direct spritz to the face and it worked beautifully! The dog ran off immediately. I also did not get MARDOOTY directly in the eyes.... I was really hesitant to really spray her good. But it started to make me consider whether stick was better or not. Probably good to have both, but you need to know what you are going to do first. If a dog was latched onto my greyhound, I'm sure I'd be using my bare hands and pounding it in the face and eyes with my fists.

Samantha said...

That is crazy! I'm glad Rugby is small enough that I can pick him up in those situations. I am tempted to get pepper spray after this story though!

There are some CRAZY people out there!

angelofthemind said...

Andreja, next time that happens, you should just take the dog. Hey, if it isn't hers, best to turn it into the humane society!

Wow, what a witch with a capitol "B"! If someone had pepper sprayed my dog, yes I'd be angry, but at the same time, I wouldn't be letting Holly run off leash, especially out of my line of sight! (and at this time of year, the squirrels... ugh!)

I've got to start carrying pepper spray as well. Usually around here people are really good about leashing their dogs, or calling their dogs over when they aren't leashed. But there's been one guy with an aggressive (not reactive) dog. He lets it run off leash, and completely out of his sight. It's gone after Holly, and he's gotten angry at me... not sure why... next time I see his dog, it's going to get a shot of pepper spray to the face.

Glad you and the pups are unhurt! Happy Birthday to your Mom! It's my Mom's Birthday as well. :)

Cat said...

BTW - if you made it through all of this, Dr Pepper free, I'd say you're cured.

IHeartDogs said...

There are some crazy folks out there!
You did an amazing job protecting yourself, your mom and all the pups.
So glad you all are fine.

Jennifer said...

Wowwwwww. This is unbelievable. You should have called the cops and charged her with an assault!!!!

Jen

WeeMasonMan's Mom said...

Wow, I totally would have called the police. First off, in 90% of everywhere, having her dogs offleash and out of control is illegal. Second and most importantly she assaulted you! She should be charged with assault and battery now before she does it again and again. And to act like that in front of a child? How freaking scary!! Glad that things didn't turn out even worse.

Jennifer H. said...

OMG!!!!!!!!! That is flipping insane!!! GOOD for you for standing up to that psycho!!

Greyhounds CAN Sit said...

Well done! That's a very scary incident and I think you protected everyone very well. People like that amaze me. I can't understand them at all.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

The reason I didn't call the cops is that I didn't have a mark on me. I figured the police would just send us both home. Other than Mom as a witness, there really was no proof.

Cat, you just had to bring that up, didn't you? :-) I must admit that I'm restarting my no soda today.

houndstooth said...

Holy Cracker Barrels! That takes a lot of nerve on MARDOOTY's part if you ask me! You're right, she'll probably never realize her role in the whole incident. Good on you for standing your ground, though! Maybe next time you should carry the pepper spray AND a big stick. She's probably the same bimbo going to school and griping because her child hasn't turned out to be a Rhodes scholar.

4-legged Wiums said...

Wow I'd have been shaking a bit after that encounter!
MARDOOTY sounds like a really crazy person, It annoys me to no end when people don't have control of their dogs, when stranger dogs come running up with hackles raised etc.
Argh!!
Good thing you had pepper spray tho!

What Remains Now said...

Wow-wee! That's everyone's nightmare, isn't it? I'm glad you kicked her butt! She sounds like a bully. Glad everyone is okay. Boy is your next post going to be boring :).

Tucker The Crestie said...

OMG that is awful awful awful!!!! I'm so glad you are ok!!!!

Muttsandaklutz said...

I'm double checking the date on the calendar to make sure it's not April 1st...

That is just craziness! Glad you, your mom, and your dogs all got out of that in one piece. What a ridiculous thing to have to go through!

EVAinDC said...

Your calm when faced with crazed dogs and one truly bat%$*! owner, makes you a Zen Bad-ass!

Sientay L said...

Way to go Jen! I hope she will walk her dogs on leashes from now on, but I have a feeling she won't. Glad you, your mom, and the dogs are ok.

Marta said...

Hi,
Though this all sounds very crazy and I agree that it is not ok to let a dog run around like that woman did, I still can't approve to pepperspray somone or a dog in the face just like that.
After all the dogs just behaved unfriendly and did not attack - or did I understand something wrong?
Where I live (Austria, Europe), I totally would say you overreacted...
That's my oppinion about this - sorry to have to disapprove...

Marta said...

PS: Have you ever thought of that you could make a dog even more aggressive and put yourself in real danger by pepperspraying it? Just a thought...

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Hi Marta,

I personally know 3 greyhounds (as in I actually know their owners and the dogs took my classes) that have been killed this year by off leash dogs. I just can't wait for the attack before I take action. It was not going after my dogs, but it was trying to get the smaller dogs I was with and it definitely wouldn't have taken much to kill my mom's Italian greyhound. I'd much rather err on the side of caution and pepper spray as it does not do permanent damage. Its uncomfortable temporarily, but it does not require medical attention. Ultimately, it is the owner's fault and its a shame that her dog got punished for her stupidity, but its not not worth any of my dogs needing stitches or worse.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

P.S. I think it would more likely teach the dog to think twice about approaching. Might be a lesson that saves his life one day since an off leash dog could just as easily be attacked by a leashed dog.

Also, the woman chased me down and grabbed me. Trust me I did not want to spray her and hesitated as long as I could. I did not spray her face.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

One more P.S., Marta, if you wait for the attack. Pepper spray does not often work. Much better to catch them on the approach. Everyone stays safer that way.

If the off leash dog is sending friendly signals, I do not spray. I've only ever used it one other time a few years ago and I'm certain I saved my 12 year old from an attack in that case.

Marta said...

Hm... Ok, I appreciate your answer, thank you. It's a little bit difficult for me to put myself in your position because I've never made such bad experiences. I've also been often barked at (which I don't take very serious) but I've never felt that threatened. However with your expereices behind you I can understand why you reacted that way.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Marta, I really appreciate your response. Thank you. May all our future walks include only friendly dogs.