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THE DAY MY PUP WAS ATTACKED

Posted on: Monday


A few days ago, my Nico was attacked by another dog, and hurt pretty badly.  Another pit bull apparently took a disliking to my pup and went for her throat, and it was one of the scariest situations I've ever found myself in.

In a split second, I was straddling Nico, holding her bleeding head in one hand as the other dog's jaw clamped again and again on my pittie's face.  With my other hand I grabbed the other dog's collar, trying with all of my might to get her to let go. But she would not let go, she would not listen.  I knew that she very well may bite me too, but I also knew that if I didn't intervene this may be the last time I see my Nico alive.  I instructed Nico to stay still, and she became a statue, trusting me to save her.  Then the other dog's owner was there, yelling for it to stop.  The dog did not listen.  Instead, she released her jaw for a moment and then bit down harder, over Nico's ear, this time catching her owner's finger too, nearly severing it.  And blood was everywhere, and Nico was whimpering, and I held both dogs' collars, at this point knowing that the least I could do was to stop the other dog from moving her head and ripping off Nico's ear.

It felt like hours went by like this. For some reason I wasn't panicking- I just knew that I had to save my Nico.  She didn't fight back or move, she just waited for me to tell her what to do. The other owner was yelling and bleeding, but that dog wouldn't listen.  She only wanted to fight.  I could hear Biet, who had begun screaming as soon as she saw the other dog pounce, in the background with Gaby, wailing all the while.

And then suddenly, my husband, who had handed off the baby, leaped in, shouting "get off my dog!" and began punching the other dog in the face.  And that did the trick. It let go and jumped back, and I pulled Nico away. We rushed home as fast as we could. I took Nico into the bath to clean and asses her wounds, and thats when the terror of the whole situation hit me. And I began crying and trembling. Nico was trembling too. She had deep bite Marks across her neck and face, and tears in her ear. We stayed in the water together until we both calmed down, and I hugged her.

And then I got mad.  As the owner of a dog whom I consider to be an ambassador for the pit bull breed, it is shocking to see the other side- the dogs who fight and attack and don't listen to their owners.    I could go on, but I'd rather write about the amazing recovery of the dog that I know, about how she was petrified and depressed afterwards, until little miss Biet cheered her up.

The vet put Nico on antibiotics, and she was sprawled on the couch for the rest of the day, unmoving and unresponsive.  She wouldn't even come when Gaby called her. We were worried that the attack would have a long term emotional impact on her. And then Biet went and found Nico's favorite red ball.

Biet began to play fetch with her sister dog (although she can only throw the ball about 2 feet), and Nico perked up.  And before we knew it, Nico was interested and smiling again.  And although playing fetch in the house is usually forbidden, Gaby joined in too. By the end of the night, Nico was back to herself- Biet had cheered her up.

She is still healing physically, and probably will be for a while, but I am happy to say that she seems to be handling her recovery like a champion.  So a word to the wise... be careful out there around unknown dogs of all sizes, because you just never know. And if you ever find yourself in the same kind of scary situation, punch the dog in the nose.  I don't know how Gaby knew to do that (he doesn't know where he picked it up either), but it saved the day.

Oh, and give your babies and your children and your pets a big kiss tonight and tell them you love them, because they are all just so precious.




69 COMMENTS:

  1. Sounds terrible! The same happened to my dog at the beginning of this year, so I can relate very well. I hope Nico gets better soon, she looks like the sweetest pup ever. x

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    1. Oh no Tania sorry to hear about your dog! She seems to be healing slowly and steadily. Thanks for your well wishes!

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  2. my pup was attached by a pitbull when he was very young, and I was very young! it was just me and my older brother out walking him, and by brother held up our pup whilst kicking the other day away!

    It sounds horrible hurting another dog like that, but you have to to protect your own!!

    I'm so glad your pup is okay, and its amazing how dogs and babies seem to be able to communicate


    chloe x

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    1. Oh my I can't even imagine two kids dealing with a situation like this, hope it turned out ok.. it is UNBELIEVABLE how animals and babies communicate. Without words, they just completely understand one another. I am constantly amazed by it.

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  3. How terrifying! So glad things weren't worse {& so sorry that you had to experience something so frightening}. Add my well wishes for Nico to the others~*

    http://aclosetintellectual.blogspot.com/

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  4. that made me cry two or three different times...you are a great writer, a great mom and a great dog owner.

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    1. Your comment almost made me tear up. Thank you. You are so kind.

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  5. oh...this made me cry too. I'm so glad your dog is ok. They are truly members of our families....

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  6. Oh my goodness this made me cry. Your poor dog, I am so glad she will be ok! I am so sorry you had to go through this, I couldn't even imagine how scary that must have been.

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    1. I didn't mean to cause all of these tears! It was absolutely terrifying and I must admit that I was shaken for a couple of days afterwards. Nico will be ok though, and because of that we will all be ok. :)

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  7. how terrifying! i am so glad nico is going to be okay...so scary! :-/

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  8. I am SO sorry. And I'm so glad that Nico is okay. Way to go, Gaby! As vile as this is.. a finger up the bum works as a last ditch effort. Big hugs to all of you.

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    1. Wow, thanks Julie! good to know.. and thank you for your kind email too!

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  9. We’ve been on both ends of this scenario, unfortunately. When our male tried to go after another dog we scooped him up, and calmed him down. This is when I finally understood that some dogs have to be gradually introduced to others. We also had an incident a few years back when an adult boxer attacked our female puppy. We were able to get them separated, but I was terrified in those few seconds. I had to hit the boxer repeatedly, while her owner did nothing but yell at her, until she finally let go.

    You have to always make sure you have a handle of your dog, in public especially. Some owners don’t understand that. You did such a great job in this situation though! Gaby did the right thing by hitting the dog in the snout too. I’ve even been told to hit them either on their nose or right behind their jaws so they’ll let go.

    Glad to know that everything is okay and your Nico is on the mend. :)

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    1. Wow sounds like your pup has been through a lot. Yes, all dogs have different temperaments and of course some of them are way more aggressive, they are territorial animals after all... it just surprises me when owners don't handle them properly. Thank goodness for the responsible owners out there like you!

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  10. This post made me bawl. We have a doggy sister in our house too. The mutt really is part of our family. Relieved to hear Nico is recovering well. I am definately keeping that punch in the nose tip in my arsenal of protective instincts.

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    1. They are family. So many people cant understand the eternal bond that you have with your dog. Its hard even for me to put into words. Nico is such a loving and majestic creature, and I would do anything for her. I am sure you know what I mean.

      She is doing much better now! Almost all healed.

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  11. Aww! So glad you and your dog are ok! I always worry about something like that happening. Although my pit bull is very friendly, many dogs roam my neighborhood unattended. I really wish more people were responsible pet owners! Especially pit bull owners, being that the breed already has a bad reputation even though they are lovely pets! -melisa
    (my blog about pit bulls : http://aintthattheberriesgals.blogspot.com/2012/01/hello-bully.html)

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    1. Unfortunately out here in Brooklyn I see a lot more ill-handled and untamed pitbulls than gentle ones, and it makes me so sad for the breed. They can be unbelievable dogs when raised and handled properly. Good for you for being a responsible owner and appreciating pitties for all that they are!

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  12. Omg. This had me in tears
    I am a dog owner and this is so scary.
    Please tell me that you got the owners Info so they are paying for all your dogs bills
    That is ridiculous.

    I am so happy your dog is making a recovery.
    Please be careful!

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  13. Crap... that is beyond terrifying. Thank goodness your sweet pup (and your family) are ok.

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  14. What a terrifying experience! I'm so sorry you had to go through that. Thank goodness Nico is okay! My friend's dog was attacked and killed by a dog that had gotten out of his yard by jumping the fence while they walked by. So sad.

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    1. Oh I am so sorry, that is absolutely horrible! I feel more equipped to handle this type of situation if it ever comes up again (god forbid!), but it was terrifying! Thank you for your support!

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  15. I'm glad to hear that Nico is recovering quickly! I've had that happened twice to my dog within weeks apart. And both times the dogs were small breeds. I couldn't believe they would have the guts to run up to a German Shepherd. It just goes to show you, that no dog is alike.

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    1. Oh there are a few small dogs in our neighborhood that always jump and snap at Nico! They think they are so tough! We trained Nico to ignore them though, so she just walks by. Every dog has their own personality and aggression level, regardless of their breed, I think.

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  16. Anonymous6:20:00 PM

    I too have a pitt bull (who is my first baby). He is amazing. Amazing beyond words and so good with my 18 month old son. The best dogs in the world...if owned by the correct people. I'm so sorry to hear what happened to your Nico. With time, he will be back to normal. Don't you worry :)

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    1. Thank you! I feel the EXACT SAME WAY as you about Nico. It is so good to hear that someone else has had a similarly wonderful dog/baby experience. They are truly a part of our families!

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  17. This story breaks my heart. I'm so sorry you all had to experience this, Nico especially. Heal well.

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    1. Thank you! I can't believe this outpoor of support! It means the world to me!

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  18. So glad your Nico is okay. This story made me tear up and then I got to the picture where her face is all lit up about playing with Biet and the biggest smile crossed my face. So much love to you all.

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    1. Somehow Biet knows how to cheer up the world. Her name means "bringer of joy" and it is turning out to be quite appropriate. Thank you for your well wishes!

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  19. i can't beleive that happened to poor Nico. and it just gives all pitt bulls a bad name.

    just happy she is doing better :)

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    1. I know.. sadly, incidents like these only prove the old stereotype of pit bulls as aggressive attack animals. But really there are mean little dogs and medium size dogs and big dogs of all breeds, and wonderful dogs of all breeds too. We were unlucky, but Nico seems to be healing steadily. Thank you for your support!

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  20. Anonymous1:30:00 PM

    I love your blog. It is so full of light and life. Your family is incredibly beautiful. I cried in my little cubicle at work when I read about your poor Nico. I am so glad that she is okay. I think she is so beautiful, and am amazed that she stood like a statue for you while you saved her. What a wonderful girl! I have a dog (Titus the Australian Shepard), who i also consider a family member, and the thought of him being in danger like that makes me panic. Good job, mama, saving the day!

    I don't have a blog currently, so I have to comment as an anon. I am working on this :)

    Stephanie K

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    1. Thank you thank you! She truly amazed me by listening to every command and not fighting back. She was so good. Let me know if you start a blog, I'd love to read it!
      and thank you for your kind words!

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  21. I'm so sorry that happened! I had something similar happen at Washington square park with my pup, it's the worse!

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    1. Aww we used to go to the dog run in Washington Square Park when we lived in the city- I miss it! Sorry you went through that The dog runs would always get tricky for us because even though toys "aren't allowed", people would always bring them. And then the dogs would get possessive., and it always scared me.
      Hope your pup is well!

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  22. How terrifying!! I'm so glad you are all ok now. Hope Nico continues to mend well.

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  23. Anonymous5:35:00 PM

    So glad to hear that Nico is okay. Way to stop the fight, Gaby! I now have two rescued pitbulls who are dog friendly, but before them I rescued a pitbull mix that was dog aggressive. I had her for 14 years. She loved my husband's dog but no other dogs. She would escalate quickly with dogs outside of our pack. We learned to keep her a safe distance from other dogs. It is an unfortunate aspect of this breed, that is not present in all pitties, but is present in some. It can arise due to environment, but sometimes it is due to temperament only. Of course an owner can exacerbate the situation or handle situations poorly. Hopefully the owner of the dog that attacked Nico now possesses the sense to read her dog's cues or avoid situations with other dogs where her dog is likely to escalate. Pitbulls are amazing dogs. Their passion, love and energy is unmatched by any other breed. But with their strength is the ability to do serious harm in the wrong situation. Learning to read and control our dogs and keep them out of harm's way is a big responsibility, but the reward is just as big. Having had to break up many a pitbull fight in my day, I've learned these tips (1) Pull your dog out by its hinds legs if possible during a fight and (2) Keep a leather, buckled collar on your dog (not a collar with a plastic clip - which is apt to slip apart in the heat of the moment), so that you have a handle with which to pull back your dog. Sending you all good thoughts and peace. Love your posts. - Juliet

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    1. Thank you for all of these tips Juliet! xx

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  24. This post made me tear up. What beautiful, loving words you shared about your dog. As a girl who grew up also with a pit bull, I understand the negative connotations people may have about the breed, but also how completely wrong they can be. Biet is lucky to grow up with such a companion, I know I was.

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    1. I don't know many people who grew up with pit bulls, so it is so good to hear from those who had good family experiences with them. Thank you! I feel like Nico's companionship is such a gift for Biet.

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  25. This happened to our dog too!! Thanks goodness that my husband was there and knew what to do also. He wears cowboy boots and when the pit wouldn't let go of our dog (dallas) he stepped on the dogs foot with the heal of the boot. When they got home I was so mad at the owner. The owner didn't do anything, wasn't even paying attention.

    I love when the family pup plays with the babes, it's seriously the sweetest thing!

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    1. Oh no! Sorry to hear this. Thank goodness for husbands, huh?! It's terrible to have to use violence against an animal, but in a life or death situation it can be completely called for. Glad you all are ok, and I'll keep the pup/babe photos coming. They can be found playing together almost every morning :)

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  26. Oh my gosh! This post made my heart stop and choke up! Our dogs are our babies and I can't even imagine how scary that must have been for you. I'm so glad Nico is on the mend! Hugs and cookies to her! xoxo

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