31 May 2011

Dog Drama: A Lesson in Decision-Making

Last Friday, Five and I went to see Four's concert. Five woke up in a horrible mood, which degenerated into an overwrought rant about how he should be paid to go to school, because it's like a job for him. I gave him by best pep talk, followed by the contrasting "you already get paid in toys and fun" lecture, and when neither of those worked, I gave him a mental health day. There was nothing to be gained from dragging him to school crying, thereby reinforcing how much he hates it. Sometimes, it's better to cut your losses.

The concert was lovely. All the children performed enthusiastically, and there were outstanding vocal and instrumental soloists. As a special treat, we signed Four out of school early and took him home with us. When I opened the front door, I saw blood droplets on the floor. The dogs did not come to greet me. When I looked in my dining room and noticed an overturned bench, I stopped the boys, and said, "Wait. Something is wrong."

My first thought was that the dogs had killed each other. The gate I had been using to contain Cobie in the kitchen had broken, so this was the first time I had left them together unsupervised. My second thought was that the dogs had been beaten by robbers, but a quick glance at my laptops and televisions disproved that theory. I started opening doors, searching for the dogs. Five got very nervous.

When I got to the bathroom, the dogs came out together, with Cobie attached to Leo's neck. I yelled at her to let go, thinking her teeth were sunk in his skin, but when she didn't get down, I realized she was stuck in his collar. I unhooked it, and she broke free. The collar was completely twisted, from either Cobie or Leo struggling. I inspected them for open wounds, but it appeared the blood was from Cobie's mouth. They both ran for the water dish.

Five's anxiety had reached a fever pitch, and he was demanding we call 9-1-1. I assured him that everyone was fine, that the dogs had become tangled, and bumped their way into the bathroom. But truthfully, the whole thing freaked me out. I had to lay down that afternoon, a victim of post-adrenaline crashing. I told the Captain about it later, and he said he wasn't going to yell at me, but Five was right. When the dogs didn't come to the door, and I saw the blood, I really should have left the house and called the police.

I'm used to being in control, and managing the pack. Even though my first thought was correct--there was something wrong--I overruled my intuition. It didn't occur to me that the problem might be something I couldn't solve. But the world doesn't always work that way. There could have been an intruder, and I placed myself and the boys at risk. I learned a lesson, and I'm going to make sure I tell Five his instincts were correct. We don't always have to fix everything on our own.


  1. Anonymous31.5.11

    Wow. I hate walking in on crap like that. SO glad it was only a "tangle" this time. What I DO like is being able to learn lessons in a non-mortally-wounding kind of way. Like this one.

  2. london betty31.5.11

    Alpha female is a hard one to ignore. When we're in our own space it's easy to forget 'bad' stuff does sometimes happen. The universe gave you a chance to fine tune your responses without any more consequence than a big fright.Thank goodness you're all OK.

  3. Anonymous31.5.11

    I hate when that happens, i've had a few of those experiences and it's never a nice feeling. Thanks you so much for sharing because you've taught me a lesson too...it would never have even crossed my mind to call for help.
    I'll definitely be thinking those kind of situations through a bit more from now on.

  4. Megan, I would have done the same thing. And I would have had a really hard time calling 9-1-1, because I hate to make a commotion and create drama. Why does that make us not heed warning signs and take risks??? Still, after hearing your story, I probably would do the same. Not that I don't hear the logic. Just that the voice in my head will overrule it, I'm sure. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I'm with the others; I'd have done the same. Of course, if it were me, I probably would've walked right past the blood, but I'm oblivious like that. I'm happy no one was hurt, though. Scary.

  6. I have to agree with the gang. I would have done the same thing. Because - like you - I would have assumed that the dogs had been fighting. I might have tried to keep the kids out of the house, in case one of the dogs was very badly hurt, but calling the police wouldn't have occurred to me.

    Maybe now that I've read this, and learning from your experience, I would react with more caution. I'm glad that it worked out well. The doggies must have been traumatized!

  7. I'm going with the consensus. It seems like dog fight was the most likely scenario. I would have been worried that one was seriously hurt. Intruder would have been further down the list and I don't think that 911 would have occurred to me at all. I'm glad that they doggies were not badly hurt,


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