California Burns, and Other Stuff

The air quality has been awful the last 3 days, as Paradise burns. We’ve ridden our tandem there and it’s a beautiful ride (not easy riding up Honey Run but when you climb slow you see so much of your surroundings). I don’t know how this will affect the Chico Velo Wildflower ride in 2019. I pray and hope that people are safe. I donated some water and Target cards to them, and it’s not enough.

I waited until midmorning Saturday to take the dogs for their mostly daily walk. I wanted more warmth and less smoke; I was only half successful. It was eerily quiet, except for some jays scolding in the park.

As usual, I let the oldest dog pick the route, and Oliver followed his nose, looking for kitty roca. I foiled him (ew) and we were about 3 blocks from home when we encountered a lady unloading her SUV and called to her dog; as it came around another parked car in the driveway she called out the her dog was friendly. I said, “So are my guys,” and we stopped for sniffs.

EPIC FAIL. Loose pitbull, solid and twice Oliver’s weight, went for his throat. I threw down the leash, the lady tried to pull her dog off Oliver, I swore and kicked the dog once, to no avail, lady yelled at me to run away, but Oliver’s leash was wound around her legs, so no. We yelled, the dogs made awful noises, thankfully Teddy stayed behind me. It may have been seconds but felt longer. Finally Oliver was free and we walked 2 houses down so I could assess his injuries. The lady was using her weight to hold down her dog, and asked if I’d walk away. I angrily told her I needed to assess my dog’s injuries before I walked away. Oliver lost some neck hair but wasn’t bleeding,. I didn’t hasten my assessment, making sure he was sound before moving on. I told her if my dog was injured I’d be back, and she encouraged me to do so.

Oliver hustled home, not lame or showing pain, and once we were home I went over Oliver in much more detail. No blood, no punctures, probably just bruises. Finally the adrenaline subsided and I shed tears over that close encounter.

I ran errands later but did not return to that house. I still have not. I’m still angry that she said her dog was friendly and then that “friendly” dog attacked mine. Oliver is a solid canine good citizen, has been obedience-trained over a number of platforms, and has served as a therapy dog to distressed dogs. He doesn’t have an aggressive bone in his body, and that he was attacked, with his background, says more about the attacking dog than about Oliver.

After consulting family & fellow dog owners I’ve decided to deliver a note to the family (if they aren’t home when I go to their house) letting them know that Oliver is okay. I will also be filing a report with the police about this dog. That dog might be fine with their family, but how it behaved with Oliver is very concerning, and the public should know.

Saturday evening I gave Oliver a half of a Tramadol and a baby aspirin. Today he was active, spry, and moving as if he was Teddy’s age (18 mos.). I’m so happy about that!  Life is good.

The north wind has subsided, the smoke moved out, and I’m hopeful that Paradise isn’t burning anymore. On the one hand I feel sheepish about my dog’s assault by a pit bull, given that a lovely town 116 miles north of us has been burned to the ground.  On the other…is there another? I can be outraged at a pet owner while NorCal burns? How can life go on when life burns?

About debster822

A fulltime REALTOR who plays as hard as she works -- sometimes harder. I race my bicycles; some are faster than others. It's a good life!
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