We adopted Sam
from the local Humane Society
in 1991. Number Two Son was 5 and so overcome with sadness when he walked in and saw all the dogs and cats caged, that an employee took him out front. He told me to go ahead
and pick one out for him
, this is how Sam became a member of our family. She was left by her prior owner because of chewing problems. I had already trained two dogs, well they had taken me and my father through General Obedience School
A simple enough problem to break I thought and she is a Golden Labrador-Labrador Retriever mix. Both breeds are known for their intelligence and gentle disposition. They're wonderful family pets, especially around young children because they are more patient and forgiving than most dogs.
Number Two Son named her after Dr Suess's character from his book Green Eggs and Ham. He called her Sam I Am and later on it just became Sam.
Number One Son was 9 years old had just adopted Kiki so he and I spent two very enjoyable summers training the dogs in general obedience and agility. Both dogs won several awards -- Kiki and Number One Son, 'Most Improved Team' and Sam and I, 'Third Place Novice' in obedience. I'm a firm believer in obedience training in dogs having trained five dogs, helping many neighbors with their dog problems. It's a hobby and I'm no professional, anyone can do this. It takes only 10 weeks and is such an enjoyable experience for the owner and the dog -- the end results are that in a very short time I have a well behaved dog for their lifetime!
Last night on my walk the worst thing I could imagine happened. Sam was attacked by a pit bull. We had just crossed a street and she kept glancing behind us. I turned around and smiled at a young man walking behind us on his way the Circle K at the near by corner. Suddenly a pit bull streaked from around the corner and I let out Sam's lead expecting the usual getting to know you snuffling that happens when two strange dogs meet. But that didn't happen. Sam also expected a friendly sniff but the dog reared up and began furiously biting at her face.
Sam was at the end of her lead and the choke chain was choking her while they fought, so I dropped it and said, Okay. Which is a command that means to her she's free to do what she wants, usually scamper around the park or play.
The pit bull was relentless, it tore at her throat and caught her on the right foreleg shaking and tearing it violently. Sam began to fight back, I reached in to pull them apart a tooth grazed my hand.
At first small drops of blood spattered on the pavement then bigger and faster ones appeared..... I could see a trickling stream soaking and staining the long, downy soft fur on her leg.
I didn't know it, but I was screaming, helpless to stop this dog. The young man who had appeared behind me grabbed the pit bull and pulled him off. Sam took off running heading for home, I ran behind her for awhile until my heart felt as if it would explode and break all at once.
A mile and half away, Sam made it home without me and concerned, my husband drove around looking for me. We went back to where the attack happened, by then there was a police officer and a small crowd of people gathered.
One of the neighbors hearing the screams, had waved down the officer and she related that this same dog had actually run into her house and attacked one of her dogs. She took me over to the dog owner's house to get their phone number. The dog has no licence and no proof of vaccinations.
Blood was everywhere Sam had walked through the house. The hallway, on my shoes from the fight, the bathroom where we tried to stop the bleeding and in the car when Number One Son and I took her to the veterinarian. She underwent minor surgery last night where a drain was placed in her leg in one puncture wound where the tooth had penetrated completly through the muscles and tissues of her leg. It had entered from the front and exited from the skin in the back. There's a tremendous amount of bruising and swelling on her leg and several bites and abrasions around her eyes and muzzle.
It has cost $225.00 so far and a night of hearing snarling and screaming...my shoulder that I had physical therapy on last summer to regain flexibility, aches, my hands are sore .....I wonder if I'll need shots for rabies. I had them before when I was 9.
The vet said,
No, the shots I had do not act like vaccinations.
They do have rabies vaccinations for humans but are only given to people like vets who work a lot with animals because they are risky to take. She herself had only been able to take one because it caused such terrible headaches.
The vet insisted I call Animal Control since this was a second attack. They said an officer will be out this afternoon to take a report. No one would answer my questions about what would happen. I love dogs and I'm worried they'll put this dog down, a sad situation for me as well as the dog's family...
The Officer will answer all of your questions tomorrow, was all they would tell me.
I called the owner to let her know the costs of the vet care and to tell her the vet had insisted that the incident be reported to Animal Control. She says her boyfriend is the owner and will try to get him to pay part of the costs. She was so very glad to hear Sam was okay! And I promised to keep in touch with her to let her know how Sam is doing.
The young man who stopped to help us, well he went on his way and didn't leave his name. I may never get to thank him for his help. At the moment I am resigned to grieve and at a loss over how this will affect everyone..
And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.
Genesis 9:16 (KJV)