It all happened so quickly. One minute I was walking along the side of a field with the two boys, the next second JD was viciously pinned under a strong, slavering dog, who was just focused on biting and biting.....
Now, before I alarm any of you too much please be assured that - amazingly - JD is fine. He's curled up on sofa next to me, snuggled into his brother and snoring gently. It's me that's a bit of wreck!
My boys love meeting other dogs whilst they're on their walks and I find that the majority of dog-owners are like-minded - after all, we all want our dogs to be well socialised and friendly don't we?! Plus, it's nice for us dog owners to get together and have a bit of a chat too during the walk! So, as my boys get a minimum of 2 walks a day they have a very large circle of friends, which always makes our walks a very enjoyable occasion.
However, I'm also well aware that not all dogs are well socialised. And I realise that there are many reasons for this - for example, a rescue dogs can be very nervous. And some owners simply aren't confident with their dogs, which rubs off on the dog! So whenever we come across a dog on a lead in an open area we will always stay away as we know there is probably a reason why the dog is being kept tethered and there is no reason to court trouble.
I also know that there are a lot of breeds have a bad reputation such as Staffies and Pitbulls. But I tend to get rather angry about this as it's usually the owner and not the breed that's at fault. One of my boys best friends is Daisy, who is a Staffie - they love her to bits and she's got the sweetest nature of any dog I've ever met.
Bit of a blurry shot I'm afraid, but this is JD with one of his most favourite dogs ever, Miss Daisy the sweet and wonderfully behaved Staffie!
Another great pal of theirs is Neo, the pitbull. He can get a bit grumpy if he thinks anyone is showing an interest in his tennis balls, but it's all a front! My boys really look up to him.
JD has a chat with Neo over the serious business of whether Slazenger or Wilson tennis balls are the best!
Now, both Daisy and Neo have very responsible owners. They realise that they own powerful breeds so they give them long and enjoyable daily walks, they ensure they socialise them with other dogs and people and of course they always ensure they do regular obedience training. And the end result is two delightful dogs. I really think this is great as I like that my boys are confident to socialise with many different breeds.
What was probably surprising about the pitbull that attacked JD tonight is that she was a dog that my boys know. Know and love in fact. She is a rescue dog who does not get on with many dogs, but she has got to know JD and Max over the past few months and we've joined her and her owners for a walk a few times.
Her owners are very responsible. They know that their dog is nervous - and strong! They keep her away from other dogs but do try to socialise her as much as possible without trying to frighten her. I was very proud that my boys were helping this dog overcome her fears and always enjoyed it when we met up on a walk.
I realise now that what happened tonight was due to a very unfortunate set of circumstances. I believe that this pitbull attacked JD because of three things - firstly, the owners had been on holiday for a week and had left their dog with a house sitter who hadn't walked her - at all. Secondly, we were just coming out of a field when we met them, which meant that we rounded a corner and took them 'by surprise'. And finally, the field that we were coming out of just happened to be on higher ground and I think the pitbull took my boys being higher than her as a threat.
JD is always the first of my two boys to greet another dog (or person!) so he was the one she went for. I believe her attack was due to a combination of pent up emotion through a week of no walks, the surprise of 'coming across' us without her expecting it and what she saw as an implied threat of JD being higher than her. But it was so fast! And it was terrifying - JD started screaming and was pinned right under her.
Her owners were amazing. In a matter of two seconds they were on her, one had her by the hind legs, the other by the neck and front legs and they lifted her off JD before I had even moved! I'm aware that I shrieked JD's name a couple of times - whenever he's upset or is a bit unsure about something he'll just stop what he's doing and look at me (or my husband) for us to help him out. We've always loved that we're his 'go to' option, that he puts his trust in us so completely to 'make everything better' for him. I knew he was looking at me, from under the pitbull and I hated that I couldn't get to him.
But thanks to her quick-witted owners she was removed from JD before her teeth made actual contact - I was mesmerised by her slavering and drooling as they held her aloft, squirming and fighting to get back to my boy. We parted company pretty quickly - I think they were as shook up as me, none of us had expected it.
This happened at the beginning of our walk - after it had happened I just wanted to scoop JD up and cuddle and fuss him and then go home. But as JD had not been hurt I knew that I couldn't make too much of it as I didn't want either of the boys to feel fretful. Plus, I knew that they'd wonder why their walk had been cut short, so I carried on going. Amazingly, JD didn't even break stride! Within 10 minutes we met up with 4 other dogs that we knew - JD went romping straight towards them and a great game of chase ensued! Dogs really can teach us about living in the moment!
The reason I'm sharing this is because, unlike JD, I'm not so good at living in the moment! I keep on replaying the moment that JD was pinned down and wondering what could have happened if the pitbull's owners hadn't been so quick. Basically, I'm shamelessly touting for a bit of comfort from my good pals in the blogosphere!
I'll leave you with a photo of JD, taken just a few minutes ago. As you can see, he's none the worse for his adventure!