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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Facing Your Fear

"Don't worry mom."

We've all been there at some point in our lives.

FEAR.  A spike in the blood pressure, heart thumping, adrenaline rushing fear.

Some people are able to move past and conquer their fear, learn from it. For others this fear becomes debilitating.

What am I talking about? If you're a reader of my blog you'll know that recently I was bitten by a dog that I was trying to get back to his family.  Here is the story if you are new.

Photo Attribution: Tanakawho
Cute and fluffy right?  Not so much in this case. I was bitten by a Samoyed less than a month ago.

Well since then my exposure to random new dogs has seem to gone up, whereas I never used to meet (or maybe I never noticed) meeting so many out of control dogs! By out of control - let me say they weren't all bad encounters they just simply were not under the control of their human, which I do not approve of for many reasons.

In all of these instances that fear response and adrenaline rush hit me pretty hard. Even though  I could tell that the dog was friendly (like in the case of a 1 year old lab we met who was off-leash) I still became fearful.

This is a problem for many reasons:

If you are scared you can invoke a fear response and possibly a bite from a dog you are trying to help.

For this example lets use a friendly and well socialized Labrador who happens to be loose: Let's say you're scared and you go to grab the dog - the loose dog who may be friendly won't know why you are fearful except that you are, and they won't know what your intentions are regarding them. This can invoke a bite. However if you grab a friendly dog with confidence then they are more likely to follow your leadership and cooperate.

Another problem - if you are charged: Fear and panic give the aggressive dog more power and confidence in the situation. You are allowing them to be in control which only makes the situation worse and a bite or dog fight more imminent.

I know many stories of people who were at some point in their lives bitten by a dog, this fear then manifests, they never conquer it, and they remain to this day scared of a specific breed, size, or all dogs all-together. Unfortunately it is this fear that causes bad breed reputations, breed specific legislation (BSL), and ultimately death for many good dogs.

Well last night I had a chance to conquer my fear. I was outside watering my flowers when up the street came loping to very large dogs, one husky and a wolf hybrid. They ran past my yard, and said a quick hello to the neighbors who were outside visiting with some friends. My neighbors tried to grab them and were unsuccessful, both dogs then made a U-turn and came right back at me.

Let me say something about this - I was a bit freaked, for a few reasons! I didn't want to be bit again, it was just me outside (hubby was inside), I had no leash, they were really big especially the wolf hybrid, and even though they had collars I learned my lesson about grabbing a random dog!

But the animal lover and dog rescuer in me said, "You gotta try, so long as the situation remains under control."

Well both dogs veered back away from me and the husky went straight into another neighbors pond!

Huskies need room to run. Research before you buy!
Photo Attribution: Vincent Bozzo
This was hilarious - he dove in after a fish but didn't realize her pond is close to 5 feet deep with rocks piled all around. And he was stuck. Meet Loki. Well his pal the wolf, wouldn't leave his side of course, so now I had two dogs in front of me that would be easy to catch. My neighbors came over to help and I sent them to get leashes and my husband. Loki was swimming in circles in the pond, and needed help to get out but I was not going to grab his collar so I just waited for the leashes to arrive. First dog the wolf - I gently looped the leash and laid it over his head. GOT HIM...then for Loki the husky, we dropped it gently over his head and helped him out of the pond. My husband had the husky and I now was holding a leash with a wolf in my hands. TALK ABOUT ADRENALINE. I took a deep breath, and said hello to the large animal who was thankfully quite friendly.

The situation nicely under control we decided to take both dogs and put them in our very secure backyard until we could find their owners or animal control could pick them up. Well as timing will have it a van showed up with a very distressed woman, she was house sitting these two animals when they had escaped. We found their home!

I then helped the lady bring both dogs back home. Now on a different note...looks like I'll be making a phone call to animal control anyways..give it a week until the real owners get home.

Upon returning the dogs home, I was shocked to discover they live just up the street from me (I have never seen them outside). In a tiny cramped backyard, along with 2 other dogs. A female boxer and a chihuahua both of which were skin and bones. I could see their hips, rib cages, and bony spines. Before releasing the two escapees I took a closer look, and under their mass amounts of hair they too seemed way too thin for such large dogs. My new concern is animal neglect. I don't think their family can afford 3 large dogs (the wolf-hybrid more of an XL dog), and a small one.

On top of that wolf-hybrids are not just any other dog, they can be dangerous because they are half wild. I wish they were never allowed to be bred in the first place.

It saddens my heart but I think it was fate that let these two dogs out, and if I can help them out of their current situation I will.

Wild animals belong in the wild.
Photo Attribution: Ellie Attebery
More on hybrids:
Wolf Dog Documentary: with Jennifer McCarthy Wolf Expert
Dog Guide.Net
Mission Wolf
Timber Wolf Information
Wolf Park - So you think you want to own a wolf?

Black and White Sunday - Hosted by Sugar and Nola!


  1. I'm glad everything turned out okay for you. I have been bitten twice by dogs and was hospitalized both times for the bites. The last time was less than a year ago and was by my own dog. Stupid me tried to break up a dog fight between two of my dogs and it didn't go so well. I think it was one of the worst days of my life. One dog didn't make it and the other one was torn up really bad. Needless to say, I understand how you feel around strange dogs even though it was my own dog that bit me.

  2. Glad it ended well. Golden Thanks for sharing. Golden Woofs

  3. Glad it turned out okay, luckily I haven't had to deal with any dog bites. Sounds like all their dogs are in a horrible situation at the moment.


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