On April 29, 2020, AJ got into his first serious dog fight. Although, to be honest, it wasn’t much of a fight. We had just arrived at the park, AJ was still on leash, and another dog ran over and attacked him. AJ wound up with stitches over his eye and a few puncture wounds.
The owner of the other dog was incredibly nice. He gave us his phone number, offered to pay the vet bills, and assured us he was working with a trainer on his dog’s aggression issues.
Fast forward to April 29, 2021, exactly one year later. AJ was at the same park. He was at the water faucet drinking out of one of the dog bowls that’s always available at the park, when a group of playful dogs came by. I was watching carefully, but didn’t realize another dog, outside the group that was playing, had entered the area. It was the dog that had attacked AJ last year.
Unfortunately, that dog still carries the same dislike for AJ he did a year ago. Suddenly a fight broke out between the two of them. It stopped briefly while AJ ran away, but before I could get to him the other dog was on him again. AJ got away again and this time I was able to get in front of the other dog and yell at him.
The other dog sat and didn’t move until his owner ran over and leashed him. AJ came over to me and I could see there was blood on him. It was coming from his ear.
AJ didn’t appear to be in immediate danger, so we talked to the other owner a little bit. He, of course, felt terrible. He insisted his dog hadn’t had trouble with any other dogs in the past year. He always kept an eye out for AJ to make sure they stayed away, but with all the dogs gathered around the water fountain he hadn’t seen him in time.
We took AJ home and checked him over. I gathered towels, soap, a bucket of warm water, and bandages and tried to fix up his ear. I was pretty proud of myself for knowing how to bandage a dog’s ear, having attended a dog first aid class. I thought I did a pretty good job.
The difference between first aid class and real life is, of course, the patient. In class you bandage a stuffed dog. In real life, you bandage a wriggly, hurt dog who doesn’t want a bandage on his head. One good shake and AJ’s ears came right out of the bandage. So I tried again. The second time it took two good shakes. I gave up after that.
The next day we got up in the morning and saw a little circle of blood on AJ’s blanket, but not where his head had been. I realized he also had a small wound on his back leg. Then later I found one more on his hip. So I decided to take him to the vet to make sure I wasn’t missing any more, and to get the puncture wounds properly flushed out and get AJ on antibiotics.
He’s now resting comfortably at home, hoping we’ll head for the park again soon.
The other dog’s owner checked in to see how AJ was doing. He also let us know he wouldn’t be taking his dog to the park anymore. I really feel badly for him, I know he’s been trying. But for some reason his dog just really hates AJ. (I know what you’re thinking. I don’t know how anyone could hate AJ either.)
But maybe on April 29, 2022, we’ll stay away from the park.