Updated: Apr 25, 2021
Chapter 1: Facing a direct attack
Angry people want you to see how powerful they are. Loving people want you to see how powerful you are.” — Chief Red Eagle
For those of you who don’t know me that well, I am a big dog lover. I probably love dogs more than people, and I often say that the world would be a better place if we, humans, were more like our dogs. I have had dogs for most of my life. I bought my first dog, Akim, when I was six years old with the money I saved myself. Simply put, dogs are great.
Observation: Simply put, some dogs are a$$wholes, and the same goes for people. Question: Are there more dogs or people who act like ones?
Today my 4.5-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback dog, Alli, my partner, and I went for our usual evening walk. We typically walk 2–4 times a day, and so by now, Alli is mainly on autopilot. She knows our typical paths, and because our walks are for her, we let her lead her way and choose where she wants to go. She enjoys stopping randomly and sniffing many different smells, but one of her favorite things is chasing squirrels. Alli truly enjoys the chase. She is super playful, and I doubt she would know what to do with a squirrel if she ever caught one, but she has much fun going fast after them and trying to catch them. I enjoy watching the chase as well. 😀
This evening Alli took us for our typical doggie playtime walk to a nearby school that turns into a dog park in the evenings. The school has a large fenced-in grass area, and so dog owners and their dogs come there in the evenings to let the dogs run freely off-leash without the danger of being hit by a car. We were walking our typical path and suddenly see a pit bull (or some sort of pit-mix) running towards Alli. The owner seemed worried and was calling his dog back, but the dog was not listening. I tried to stay calm and composed as I didn’t want to cause more commotion as the situation seemed a bit tense already. The owner was yelling in a stressed and harsh tone while running after his dog and towards us. We were hoping that the owner will catch up with his dog, so we stayed still and calm.
Then in a split of a second, the dog started going faster, and before any of us had a chance to do anything, the pit bull was going after my dog, Alli. Alli was trying to run away while submissively yelping and making herself smaller. The dog pushed Alli to the ground and then started biting her neck. I sprinted towards them, took the pit bull by his neck in the back, and tried separating him from Alli as she seemed she was in serious trouble. She was no longer able to defend herself as the pit had her pinned down and holding her throat in his mouth. Another scary part was that as I was lifting the pit bull by his collar, I also lifted Alli off the ground as the pit bull would not let go! Freaking scary!!! What the heck?! (I’m thinking by now.) My blood and adrenaline were pumping. Then finally, the pit bull let go. I held the pit bull in my hand while yelling at the owner: “What is wrong with you and your dog?”
Alli has been attacked a few times but mainly during playtime. I have never seen a dog who sprinted towards Alli with such aggression and going directly after her throat. I wonder what would have happened if I was slower. I still have a picture of the fight in my head, me running towards Alli in slow motion, and both men, my partner, and the owner of the dog standing still. What the heck is wrong with them? Why is no one reacting and trying to take them apart? (I was thinking to myself.)
The man with his pitbull left before we could thoroughly check if Alli has any severe wounds. Alli was bleeding from her neck and had multiple scratches from being pinned down by the pit bull on concrete but luckily, nothing life-threatening. Alli was in severe shock for the next 20–30min. She was trembling, and her tail was tucked in between her legs while hyperventilating. We sat on concrete so Alli can sit on our lap and we can hold her close. Sometimes that makes her feel better when she is nervous. After a while, we tried distracting her mind and taking her for a walk to another fenced-in area where we typically see squirrels. It worked, and she was slowly getting her friendly personality back. She made sure she stays close to us the whole time, but her tail was getting happier, and she was getting her typical happy pep to her step. When we got home, she was tired and worn out from the stress, but she ended up eating our beef steak, and we made her a bit of whipped cream for dessert. Alli likes whipped cream.
Sometimes $$it happens, and the only thing we can do is control how we react, recover, and hope there is someone to help us when we cannot protect ourselves against higher power. Especially in difficult situations like this, when we feel powerless, we hope that someone will stand by us, someone who will pull the bigger and more powerful pitbull with mental issues off of our neck. Sometimes things happen unexpectedly. We cannot control what is out of our control. We can only hope that we have the right strategic alliances built, train hard to be better, stronger, and figure out how to move on to recover well.
“Use what you’ve been through as fuel, believe in yourself and be unstoppable!”- Yvonne Pierre
I am inviting you to do an audit:
When you look around, are you surrounded by the right people who would stick a hand into a “dog fight” for you and pull a crazy “pitbull off of your neck?”
If you are strong and powerful enough, are you brave enough to save others who are being attacked and are unable to protect themselves?
How are we recovering?
How can we move on?
What impact are we creating?
Life is a jungle that no one survives alive. How do we maximize our positive impact and experience while we are in it?
*Disclaimer: I love dogs and even pit bulls. I think they can be great dogs if raised, socialized, and trained well. This article is not supposed to attack the breed of pit bulls. Instead, the dog that attacked Alli happened to be a pit bull. When Alli was growing up, one of her best friends was a pit bull-lab mix named Robyn.