This post is dedicated to my mom's dog, Daisy. She survived a horrific and traumatic dog on dog attack by a humongous Mastiff while we were walking on the beach Saturday morning.
It started as a normal Saturday morning where my friend met me and we took Daisy to the beach to walk. We started at the Grand Avenue beach ramp in Grover Beach and walked towards the Oceano beach ramp.
As we neared the Oceano ramp we both noticed a large dog on a very long lead which had spotted Daisy. The owner was fishing behind his jeep. As we came closer he stopped fishing and dragged his dog to the side of the jeep so that we could pass. Sadly, we were joking about how the dog kept "peeking" out from under the jeep to get one more look at Daisy.
At this point I had the choice of walking betweent he fishing pole (stuck in the sand) and the back of the jeep (approximately 10 feet wide), or going on the other side of the pole which was the ocean side where the waves could potentially break and get us wet.
I unfortunately chose the former.
What can only be described as an out of body experience was the sudden rush of the giant dog towards us. I attempted to flee to no avail. Daisy was in its grasp immediately as it clamped down and started to shake her violently. The owner rushed to his dog to begin pummeling it to get it to release Daisy. All I could do was stand there screaming, "Oh my God! Oh my God!" over and over again.
By a miracle the dog released and Daisy bolted. She ran and ran and ran as far away as she could get from that horrific scene. I was frozen. Thankfully my friend ran off after her (little did I know how far she would have to run until later). I stayed to call 911 and get someone out to the beach to respond to this attack.
The man was apologetic and claimed that he was an animal lover. He said he would take care of this situation and didn't want me freaking out. Too late for that buddy!
I was eventually forwarded to the Park Rangers who sent out two rangers in response. I gave my information and details of the incident. Of course I couldn't say how badly Daisy was injured since she had run off and was not captured yet. Meanwhile, the giant dog was sitting in his owner's jeep with gobs of drool spilling out.
A young woman approached me to say that they had Daisy in their car and someone knew a vet somewhere. At this point the ranger told me I could go take care of Daisy. All I could think was how hard the call to my mom would be. Thankfully I had my mobile phone with me.
My friend was sitting in this Good Samaritan's front seat holding Daisy in a bloody sheet. Daisy seemed calm but it was clear that she was hurt. The ranger came up and took a couple of pictures and we took off to the Pet ER.
Now, we didn't go to Daisy's regular vet because when I called them, the receptionist told me that there were other clients there and the soonest we could get in was 11:45am. It was about 10:15am at this point when I called. What!?! Even though I explained that this was a dog attack and an emergency, the woman had nothing else to offer. We're going to the ER.
The ER took Daisy in and cleaned her up. She was put on IV fluids and pain medication. My mom showed up and we waited for the update. In the meantime the attacking dog's owner arrived. He paid for the ER deposit (50% of the estimated bill of over $1,000); and promised to cover all of the costs for Daisy's recovery.
This was truly and amazing thing! The Pet ER staff was thoroughly impressed and shocked as they regularly see animals victims of dog attacks where the owners of the attackers do nothing.
We were able to pick Daisy up later that evening. The man returned and took care of the balance of the ER bill. He was truly sorry that this happened and was doing the right thing.
The unsettling thing to me, however, was that his dog was not taken from him. In fact, he made a comment to us in the Pet ER that "No one could take his dog from him unless it was out of his cold, dead hands." The other thing that he had said earlier is that even though his dog had never attacked another dog, it did show aggression to other dogs, small dogs in particular. Very chilling. I just hope that he never brings his dog to the beach again!
This event was even more traumatic to me considering Daisy is my mom's dog AND this is the weekend I am supposed to be working on one of my midterms for the Public Policy Program.
So, PLEASE, if any dog owners read this and think that their dog is good enough to roam freely in a public space, THINK AGAIN! Keep your dog on a leash at all times in public areas. And if your dog is difficult (and you know what I mean), LEAVE IT AT HOME!