Since starting this blog, I’ve worked hard to keep it honest. Living with 12, excuse me, 13, dogs has its ups and downs, and we have been blessed that most of what is reported are ups, and our downs really aren’t that far down.
I considered the possibility of saying nothing about what happened last week, but if I didn’t that would make this entire blog a lie. So here goes:
We had a serious dog fight. Not a tussle as happens in any home with multiple dogs, easily stopped with a “Knock it off!”, but one so serious the vet said had I not broken it up, Willy may have been killed.
Here’s the thing: I didn’t break it up. I was making a salad in the kitchen, and when I was done, I let the kids in. Willy came in bloody. I heard no fight. I heard no screams.
I’ve written and re-written this entry so many times since last week, but I couldn’t get it below 2000 words, and, well, I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t sit through that much reading with no pictures, so here’s the cliff notes:
We are lousy parents to a Hoard of great kids.
It was our fault that we never insisted the kids ‘go outside’ in an orderly fashion, especially when Vito the Wolf, Slugger the Stupid, Angus the Flirtatious and Sweet William the Moody had shown in the past a propensity to try to instigate a rumble if the humidity, temperature and wind speed/direction were just so.
A new dog next door, running along the fence + a large Hoard of wild misfits running at top speed + a physical bottleneck at the far end of the property apparently ended up in a may lay. What started as separate “Get off me!” scuffles turned into a several against one (Willy). Nothing displeasing happens in Willy world that doesn’t have him shrieking like a little girl, the shrieking in this instance caused the others to go “pack” on him since they were all already agitated.
The incident occurred far enough away from the house that I heard nothing. I wasn’t there, as the vet assumed, to break it up. No, for whatever reason, the kids, despite an initial “pack” reaction, simply stopped and let Willy up. That my kids are the best is clearly evident in the fact they realized they took it too far, and on their own, where according to the vet any other dog(s) wouldn’t have, stopped it.
Back to the bad parenting part. I don’t care how good my kids are, how they leave the house is incredibly important. To have always let them barrel out, no pun intended, Willy Nilly, in obvious retrospect, was completely and totally irresponsible on our part.
To me, their actions leaving the house that day was ‘normal’ so I thought nothing of it. The wildcard new dog was not normal. Of course our kids are going to want to see what’s up with the new kid on the block. That they did it as a very large pack caused the newbie to flee along the fence. The Hoard took chase, and eventually ended up in the one spot in our yard where space is limited causing a pile up. Thus, the fight.
Had the kids been disciplined to leave the house in an orderly fashion, there would have been no stampede. Indeed, I would have noticed the ‘lead dogs’ going toward the new one, and would have had the intelligence to have observed rather than simply shut the door and go about making a salad, oblivious to the disaster occurring outside.
Willy is OK. He got messed up pretty bad though. We immediately went to the most wonderful vet in the world (ding! ding!) Dr. Kirsten Young at Daisy Mountain Animal Hospital, Anthem, AZ, where Willy received a necessarily bad haircut to expose his injuries, the worst of which needed staples. That first night was sleepless for both of us, but Willy’s recovery was much faster and easier than I was warned to expect. On Monday, he will return to the vet to have his staples removed.
Angus, Slugger, Emmi and Morty all had marks from the incident, the little ones, Gracie, Sarah, Maude and Marcy, thankfully, were all unscathed.
The following is a video posted as my penance, forever on the Internet, to remind me that it doesn’t matter how much I love my kids or that I would walk through fire repeatedly for any one of them, laziness on my part almost cost me the boy who loves me the most.
There is a second purpose to the video as well. I want everyone to see what can happen over something as simple as undisciplined exiting of the house. Such a little thing that can have devastating results. Don’t let this happen to you.
Please forgive the blips into dog porn in this video taken the day after the fight. Part of the time I was recording I wasn’t actually looking at the screen. I really should have edited in a fig leaf at a couple of spots.