Monty and I were out walking the other day, enjoying the reprieve from the brief winter that attacked us the week before and also, I might add, minding our own business.
On the corner of our adjacent bay, there is a house with an old poodle, a fish pond and, as of recent months, a young Boxer and Rotweiler. Every day, Monty walks past them and loses his mind. He hates that they exist and that they insist on barking at him and pretending they are going to take their gate down to come eat him for lunch. We work on his behaviour each time we go by, but it doesn't always help.
Monty's a much more social dog than he used to be -- he's got a best friend named Casper and will let other dogs come near him without ripping his or her dog face off. He's actually been a pretty good little dog.
Until this day, but I maintain it is not his fault.
As we rounded the bay, I noticed the garage door was open. This often means the owner is working in his shop listening to 70s rock music (I assume from his college days) and likely avoiding his wife. He usually has the old poodle with him and can keep an eye on him relatively well. I prepared Monty for some harmless barking and continued on our way.
Then, like a shot, a very exuberant Boxer and his huge Rotti friend came running full tilt for us. The poodle was not far behind. The Rotti circled us, the poodle came in for a sniff and the Boxer went for Monty's throat. Not in a mean way, mind you, he wasn't biting or anything -- he just wanted to be friendly. Aggressively so.
Monty screamed blue murder. If you have never heard a dog scream like you have stabbed him in the eyeball, you are missing an experience. He screamed and barked and screamed and lunged. The boxer and Monty grappled and snarled and barked. I got them apart using Caesar's method of grabbing a chunk of their necks and pushing back. I separated them, calmed Monty and then the boxer and poodle came in for a sniff.
Monty was paralyzed with fear, but allowed the dogs to check him out without any further blowups. The owner came out (finally) and commended me on being able to calm things down. I did not comment on how it would not have been necessary if his dogs (who are not well trained, with possible exception of the Rotti) were not running loose. I carried on with Monty flinching every time I moved and desperately trying to jump into my arms.
After all the excitement, I realized I had managed to get a chunk bit out of my hand by a terrified Monty. The skin was torn, but not broken. I realized it would be swollen and bruised, but it was not bleeding which I took as a good sign. We stopped to visit Casper, but Monty was too freaked even to enjoy that visit. By the end of the walk, he had calmed somewhat but spent the rest of the day pretty jumpy.
I avoided walking the same path today. Instead, Monty and I drove to the walking path near where my Dad and the dogs used to live. Monty was well behaved and friendly the whole time. So far, no PTSD.
Except for mine.