This past weekend, Tölpel and I were attacked by 2 pitbulls. In my front yard. It was a horrifying experience. Jake was out of town, and we were going to the farmer’s market. I had my hands full, and the leash wrapped around my wrist when these two pitbulls came from nowhere and started sniffing Tölpel. I got pretty scared and started to try to walk away. At this point, both dogs jumped on Tölpel and started biting his neck. Tölpel began to try to fight back, while screaming (you know, that awful high pitched noise they make when they’re hurt)… and I cannot drop the leash. He can’t get away.
I’m screaming “GET OFF MY DOG GET OFF MY DOG” at the top of my lungs and against everything I know that I’m supposed to be doing in this situation, I reach behind the head of the more agressive pitbull and pull him off of my dog. I quickly grab Tölpel and hold him. The pitbulls are surrounding me, trying to nip at Tölpel’s feet, and the neighbors are all looking.
My neighbor from 3 houses down, Neil, has come running at this point with some sort of pitchfork/shovel thing and he tells me to take the dog inside. “I can’t” I said through tears. “This one is following me.” He comes and waves his pitchfork at the dog. The dog doesn’t run away, but it distracts him enough that I bolt for my front door. I found my keys and got a bleeding Tölpel inside the house. By this point, the pitbulls have scattered. Neil comes and makes sure that I’ve gotten in the house ok, and tells me to make sure that Tölpel is ok.
I start checking Tölpel all over, but I can’t find where he’s bleeding from. It’s not bad, and surprisingly none of the skin on his neck is broken (where most of the biting was). I called Jacob and my dad, and they tell me to call animal control. At this point, the doorbell rings. Neil had called the police.
The police officers informed me that they had caught the dogs, found the owners, and animal control was going through the vaccination records of the pitbulls. They realized that the blood was coming from Tölpel’s ear, so they had me turn it over for them, and then they took my statement and ran my id and sat with me until animal control came. She informed me that the pitbulls were from responsible pet owners who had thankfully had the dogs vaccinated. We looked at Tölpel and decided he didn’t need stitches, and a small scrape on my arm and determined it wasn’t broken skin. She let me know what to do if either of our conditions changed, and she filed her own report on the whole situation.
We’re both fine – Tölpel’s ear is almost healed. And he seems to have forgotten about the incident – although he was certainly upset and behaved a little strangely the rest of that day. He got a big bone for being such a brave boy. I have been really struggling with fear though. Fear of going in my own yard. Fear that the dogs will be back in my yard when I get home at night. I’ve talked to Jake about it, and he put things in pretty good perspective – “For a girl that’s been through a tornado and a pitbull attack in the last month, you’re remarkably unscathed.”
And after hearing some other horrible dog stories lately, I realized that the owners weren’t lying when they said “They really are sweet dogs; we can’t believe this happened.” Of course, I didn’t know that at the time, but in hindsight – they didn’t bite me. They didn’t break the skin where they were biting Tölpel. They didn’t attack me when I picked Tölpel up. No one required stitches or plastic surgery.
Jake came home early and he and my brother in law repaired our fence, so that I could feel safe at least in the backyard. And I’m making Neil a cheesecake.