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Bernie And I Got Attacked On Our Walk


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Greytalk friends, I’ve not yet posted anything yet about Bernie’s current ordeal since I’ve been too busy dealing with his injuries. Last Sunday, July 12, Bernie and I got attacked by another dog on our evening walk. Bernie’s injuries were worse than mine, and I would absolutely trade with him any day!


Here’s what happened: I went on a walk with Bernie on Sunday. I saw the other dog (beagle) and owner at a distance, walking just fine. As we got closer, I suddenly saw the owner wrestle his dog down to the ground. I was totally shocked and immediately thought, “OMG, he’s hurting that dog,” and I started approaching them. (Motherly instinct, I guess, to go toward the dog that I thought was being hurt.) When I was within about 20 feet of them, I realized he was doing the Cesar Milan "submissive" tactic where the owner keeps the dog on its back against the ground. But then the dog was thrashing around too much and got away from the guy (or slipped its collar? I honestly don’t know) and charged right at us. Bernie got bit twice on his back right thigh, and I got bit on my hand and hip. With my adrenaline through the roof, I hightailed out of there with Bernie — we ran back home and planned for the e-vet.


Justin took Bernie to the e-vet, and I went to a local hospital’s ER/urgent care department. Bernie stayed at the e-vet until Monday PM when we took him home. He got stitched up in two locations and had a drainage tube (grenade-style Johnson Pratt drain) in his thigh. He was prescribed Gabapentin and Tramadol for pain and Clovamox as an antibiotic. (And is still taking these.)


We took him to the e-vet Tuesday since we thought something was wrong with the drain. Turns out the drain was okay, but that vet noticed some swelling in the lower part of his leg, so he wrapped up the leg. He said the compression would help with gravity so extra fluid would not stay at the bottom.


Last night (Thursday), we took Bernie back, according to the discharge instructions, to remove the drain. Last night had good and bad news: the original drain at the thigh worked well and did its job. The bottom part of his leg that showed some swelling earlier was actually full of puss. They removed the thigh drain, drained the lower leg puss, put in a different lower leg drain (penrose drain), and re-wrapped the leg since the new drain will just let stuff ooze out. They took a culture of the fluid to determine if Clovamox or a different antibiotic will work best. They said that will take 3-5 days for results.


This morning, Justin took Bernie to our regular vet for a re-wrap. The e-vet last night said Bernie will have to do a new wrap daily and said it should be done by a vet and not us. Our regular vet been in the loop with this, but we’ve been dealing with the e-vet since they did the original treatment and some follow-ups. I didn’t like the vet we dealt with last night at the e-vet, though (seemed rude!), so I’m glad we’re getting back to our normal vet! He just texted me and said they’re done, but with a lot of drainage still going on, she wants him back tonight for another wrap. Temp this morning was lower than last night, so the decrease in temp is a welcomed sign. And so this is where we currently stand!


The original vet at the e-vet who treated Bernie said the extent of his injuries did not come from an “I don’t like you” dog — she said they were from an “I’m going to kill you” dog. She said if that dog attacked a toy dog, the toy dog would be dead.


This has been a hellish ordeal, and I am praying every day and doing my best to get Bernie healthy again!

Lauren the Human, along with Justin the Human, Kay the Cat and Bernie the Greyhound! (Registered Barney Koppe, 10/30/2006)


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Poor Bernie!

 

How are your wounds? Have you been able to identify the beagle's owner to report them?

 

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The other owner is a whole separate story! As you can imagine, once I got the dogs separated (which is how I got bit on my hand — I have no clue how my hip bite even happened), I sprinted back home in my flip-flops (somehow it worked!) with Bernie. I wasn’t going to stick around and chat with the owner about his contact info or about vaccines. In my rush of adrenaline, and seeing blood coming out of Bernie’s leg and my whole left hand covered in blood, my only thought was to run. Justin told me this was my “flight” in the fight or flight scenario; he said his reaction would have been “fight” — and he said if this happened with him walking Bernie, that dog would have been quite hurt because Justin would have been kicking it! (And I’m sure probably kicking the guy!)

 

When I was at the hospital, the staff contacted the local police. They said they have to do that when they have a dog bite patient. (This was about 10pm.) The police actually called me at 1am while we were waiting at the e-vet and after I was finished at the hospital. During the day Monday, the police located the owner and said that the owner is polite and cooperative with the police. Based on my description of the dog and owner, and based on the street where this all took place, they somehow found him. The police gave that owner a form that says his dog needs to be seen by a vet three times during a 10-day time frame after the bite to ensure that it isn’t showing signs of rabies. I assume if the owner complies and the police receive the form with vet signatures, then it’s a done deal.

 

An officer sent me a rabies certificate he received from the owner. For peace of mind, I actually called that vet and talked to him on the phone. He also told me that the dog is current on vaccinations and that he is seeing the dog during the police-mandated 10-day period. The officer also gave me the owner’s contact information. I told him that I didn’t want to sound ignorant, but what am I expected to do with the owner’s name, address and phone? He said since I was the victim, I’m entitled to know that information, and he also said the owner was willing to let me know how to reach him in case I want to discuss vet and medical bills.

 

I do feel that there is responsibility on the other owner’s part because he was handling his dog, and his dog got loose. Once loose, it attacked us — but it could have ran 50 feet the other way and attacked any of the toddlers who were at the nearby playground. (I feel bad that I’m sure they witnessed the whole thing!) I feel so incredibly horrible, though, because I was walking toward the owner and dog when the dog got loose. I keep thinking if I would have just walked past them, or if I would have just turned around and gone the opposite way, this never would have happened. But, really anyone could have been approaching them — a mailman, a jogger, a door-to-door salesman.

 

I do wonder if this beagle really needed that sort of submissive tactic. We’ve seen this dog on walks before near our house. (He lives in the next subdivision over.) It hoots and hollers the whole walk — we always thought it was funny, and we thought it just must really love to be on a walk. When we’ve seen him, he walks well with the leash and does not pull the owner or anything. Once the dog saw Bernie on Sunday night, he started hollering a lot, and I think that’s why the guy thought he should do some sort of behavioral correction to make him quiet. But if the man stood still and stayed calm, then did a quick “hey” or “no” if the beagle made a peep, I wonder if that would have led to a totally different outcome.

Edited by Laurenbiz

Lauren the Human, along with Justin the Human, Kay the Cat and Bernie the Greyhound! (Registered Barney Koppe, 10/30/2006)


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I'm so sorry, so sorry this happened to you and Bernie, how scary for both of you. I'm glad he's moving in the right direction medically and you're more comfortable with going back to your usual vet for care.

 

I hope you're taking care of yourself too--so many of us ignore our own medical problems to take care of our dogs (me too).

 

As for the owner's info, he may be able to get his home owner's insurance to cover the associated costs for you and Bernie or be willing to pay out of pocket to avoid telling them this happened. If that fails, you may be able to take him to small claims court to get them covered. You might also ask the police about pressing charges and how long you have to to make that decision, it might be something to keep in mind if the owner doesn't pay up that will persuade him to do so. I know it won't undo the injuries or how awful this is for both of you, but you shouldn't have to pay for the expenses. You did nothing wrong. You and your dog were attacked, unprovoked, simply for walking by on a public street, regardless of why that happened, it's the responsibility of the owner of the beagle to deal with the outcome and take whatever measures necessary to keep other dogs and people safe in the future.

Beth and Petey (8 September 2018- ). Godspeed Patrick (28 April 1999 - 5 August 2012), Murphy (23 June 2004 - 27 July 2013), Leo (1 May 2009 - 27 January 2020), and Henry (10 August 2010 - 7 August 2020), you were loved more than you can know.

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Poor Bernie!

 

How are your wounds? Have you been able to identify the beagle's owner to report them?

Oops, sorry I didn't respond to this.

 

I went to the ER and got a tetanus shot and was prescribed augmentin. Out of my two bites, my hand was the worst of the two. My left thumb has a bite mark, and the top of my left hand has the other mark. My thumb was really swollen Sunday through about Wednesday and had basically no mobility. It was so swollen that I could not see any of the horizontal lines in the skin on my knuckle. The swelling has gone down some, and I can now move my thumb a little.

 

My right hip (as of this morning) has a bruise about the size of a grapefruit, and two small bite marks. I guess my pants protected me there since that bite barely opened the skin.

 

And I'm thinking I bruised my pelvis or some interior bone in my butt! There's some pain when sitting down (like a tender pain like a bruise.) At one point in this scuffle, I found myself down on the ground (on my butt) for about a second before I popped up and swooped my left arm toward the other dog and around Bernie — I know that's how my left hand got bit. Honestly, I don't know why or how I was on the ground at one point. I don't know at all when or how I got bit on my hip. The event happened so quickly, and parts of it in my mind are just a blur!

 

The day after, I kept finding new scuff marks and bruises all over me. Bernie has several little scuff marks all over as well!

Edited by Laurenbiz

Lauren the Human, along with Justin the Human, Kay the Cat and Bernie the Greyhound! (Registered Barney Koppe, 10/30/2006)


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I agree that it's not your fault in any way. It was probably the owner's handling of the beagle that made the beagle react so violently. All fault lies with the owner of the beagle...all of it!

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Wow.....this is scary but it's so good to read that it appears you and Bernie will be OK. That's the bottom line, but in between, remember people tend to second guess themselves after an event. You have no fault in any of this so don't go down that road.

 

Poor Bernie. I hope he fully recovers physically but also emotionally/mentally. That's a terrible scare for both him and you.

 

IMO, the owner of the beagle is responsible for payment of all vet and people medical bills. Even if he has to pay out-of-pocket and it takes the next two years of payments, he is responsible for the actions of his dog. If the consequences of actions are tough, people will learn the lessons of being more responsible.

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Oops, sorry I didn't respond to this.

 

I went to the ER and got a tetanus shot and was prescribed augmentin. Out of my two bites, my hand was the worst of the two. My left thumb has a bite mark, and the top of my left hand has the other mark. My thumb was really swollen Sunday through about Wednesday and had basically no mobility. It was so swollen that I could not see any of the horizontal lines in the skin on my knuckle. The swelling has gone down some, and I can now move my thumb a little.

 

My right hip (as of this morning) has a bruise about the size of a grapefruit, and two small bite marks. I guess my pants protected me there since that bite barely opened the skin.

 

And I'm thinking I bruised my pelvis or some interior bone in my butt! There's some pain when sitting down (like a tender pain like a bruise.) At one point in this scuffle, I found myself down on the ground (on my butt) for about a second before I popped up and swooped my left arm toward the other dog and around Bernie — I know that's how my left hand got bit. Honestly, I don't know why or how I was on the ground at one point. I don't know at all when or how I got bit on my hip. The event happened so quickly, and parts of it in my mind are just a blur!

 

The day after, I kept finding new scuff marks and bruises all over me. Bernie has several little scuff marks all over as well!

 

I just wanted to add that I feel for you! Our foster was attacked on a walk and it was in no way as bad as this (no bites because thank god the dog had almost no teeth). However, it is still so scary to be in a situation where your beloved pet is being attacked and you find yourself almost helpless to stop it. I hope you can both get past the emotional scars as well as the physical ones!

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PS —

Not sure if the details about DH matters; maybe you're curious. I know I keep mentioning Justin, but he was not on the walk with us. We all had just finished dinner Sunday night, and I said that Bernie should go on an evening walk. Justin already talked to me during dinner about a big meeting that he had with his work that upcoming week. So he went to his office room after dinner to get started prepping for his big work meeting. I decided to take Bernie on a walk by myself. I am so happy I always carry my phone with me on walks! As Bernie and I were running back home, I called Justin and said, "We're coming home! That loud beagle attacked us! We're both hurt! We're bleeding! He's gotta get to the vet!"

 

Needless to say, Justin never made it to that meeting this week!


 

I just wanted to add that I feel for you! Our foster was attacked on a walk and it was in no way as bad as this (no bites because thank god the dog had almost no teeth). However, it is still so scary to be in a situation where your beloved pet is being attacked and you find yourself almost helpless to stop it. I hope you can both get past the emotional scars as well as the physical ones!

Thank you!

 

In fact, just the other night as we were in our front yard taking Bernie out for a potty break, a man walked past our house with a little vizsla type of dog. He said hi, and we said hi. And I had a bad feeling in my stomach when I saw them. I guess my first thought was, "that dog better not hurt us!" But in reality, it was a nicely behaved dog, and didn't really pay much attention to us.

 

Sigh ...

Edited by Laurenbiz

Lauren the Human, along with Justin the Human, Kay the Cat and Bernie the Greyhound! (Registered Barney Koppe, 10/30/2006)


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Glad to hear that you and Bernie are starting to heal, and the news about Bernie's temperature is a good sign.

 

I don't leave the house on a walk without a hiking stick and pepper spray (HALTS2 Dog Repellent) at a minimum. If there is current concern about a stray or a lot of coyote activity, I now take a firearm.

 

Sounds like the other owner may be fairly reasonable other than following anything Cesar Milan has to say. Hope you both are fully healed soon.

 

Ear rubs and scritches to Bernie!

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oh no!!!! That is one of my greatest fears :( :( I hope both of you heal quickly!!! Larry sends his love!

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Oh no! Poor you and poor Bernie, what a harrowing ordeal. This may not be the popular opinion, and you didn't ask, but based on the extent of the wounds and the vet's comment about the attack, I'd want that dog taken away from that owner. Awful, just awful that this happened to you :(.

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How scarey! I am so glad you and Bernie are healing!

 

The terror of situation makes you feel so powerless but your reactions were right on the mark. You protected you and Bernie to the best of your ability and I feel like it could have been a whole lot worse for you both.

 

Don't second guess yourself, you did what needed to be done and got out of there, Bernie to the evet and you to the hospital. I am sorry about your DH meeting, maybe they can reschedule it.

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OMG!!! This is horrible!! I am so sorry you both went thru this. The owner must be held responsible and pay your medical bills and Bernie's. If they seem hesitant please consult a lawyer. They need to be held accountable. Bernie is going thru a hell of a lot because of his bites.

Maybe that crazy way the other owner was handling his dog set his dog off but that dog has some issues. That dog should not be walked around when people and dogs are around.

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I`m so sorry you went through this. Hope both of you are healing and recover quickly. I`d talk to the owner about vet bills since he didn`t control his dog.

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If you haven't already done it, take pictures of your injuries and Bernie's now. You will need them if you go to court.

 

Charlie the iggy, Hada the podenco maneta, Georgie Girl (UMR Cordella), Lulu the podenco andaluz
Angels: Mazy (CBR Crazy Girl), Potato, my mystery ibizan girl, Allen (M's Pretty Boy), Percy (Fast But True), Mikey (Doray's Patuti), Pudge le mutt, Tessa the iggy, Possum (Apostle), Gracie (Dusty Lady), Harold (Slatex Harold), "Cousin" Simon our step-iggy, Little Dude the iggy ,Bandit (Bb Blue Jay), Niña the galgo, Wally (Allen Hogg), Thane (Pog Mo Thoine), Oliver (JJ Special Agent), Comet, & Rosie our original mutt.

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I hope the both of you get well soon. Best wishes for Bernie and you.

 

It can be that Bernie will become wary of unknown dogs on his walks. In this case it is important that you learn to deal with your nervousness. The time will tell.

My Andy was bitten in his head by an unknown dog (before he was with me) and his former family did not work with him on his fright. He learned that attacking is better than defending. He gets aggressive when some dog approaches us, growling, barking. We are working on it, but I doubt that he will ever be relaxed when we see an unknown dog.

Sorry for butchering the english language. I try to keep the mistakes to a minimum.

 

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We had a similar attack a few years ago, and while there were witnesses, the other dog's owner was quite amenable to covering costs and such. However, Riley's skull had been broken (with several punctures, no ripped skin ... so the injuries weren't obvious until about an hour after the attack). Animal Control had to take them to court to recoup my costs, and then they paid on the very last day of the judgment.

 

The police report may serve nicely for all pertinent evidence, but pictures would definitely help explain all of the events if court is necessary (and writing down the details of what happened NOW is much easier than 3 months from now).

 

Gentle hugs ... and don't be surprised if YOU are startled and seemingly overly-cautious for the next few months. It's natural, and prudent.

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So sorry to hear this. Big hugs to all of you.

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