Friday, January 27, 2006
I still can't believe what just happened about 2 hours ago. I'll share this story, but I'm going to have a hard time...because I honestly can't believe this.

I was attacked by our family pug, Percy.

Stop laughing! I'm dead serious.

I climbed out of bed at 3:30 A.M. because I heard strange noises coming from the kitchen. I saw that Percy had climbed on to the kitchen table and was tearing into a bag of Bite-size Snickers bars. The last time he ate Chocolate, He was hospitalized and nearly died. No matter how much we feed him, He keeps going back to the chocolate at every opportunity.

So I rushed in and took the bag away from him. He hopped off the table and strolled into the corner of the room. He wasn't facing me. I saw he had a piece of chocolate clenched in his jaw. He was trying to hide it from me.

I approached him carefully and said gently "Percy.....what do you have there? can't eat that, it makes you sick..."

He made a low threatening growl in the back of his throat, all the hairs on his back stood straight up and slowly turned to face me. I backed away in surprise and then he just lunged at me. His jaws gnashing, his eyes narrowed, ears back and bit into my leg!! I ran away and lept on the sofa in shock. I fought him off with a sofa pillow...He grabbed the end of it with his jaw and thrashed it back and forth! He was making the most horrible noises!

I broke into a run and he chased after me. He bit into my pants and wouldn't release the grip with his jaws. He was still attached when I jumped over the kitchen gate. The weight of both of us caused the entire gate to crash over. The garbage can fell and some bottles smashed on the floor. Percy was on top of me. He was flipping out, barking and growling. I started screaming.

My brother came in and Percy ran quickly into the other room. He disciplined him. My youngest sister also came running in.

There I was on the floor, with shards of glass surrounding me. A broken gate and cuts on my arms and legs. I also have a nice little bite on my leg. To say I was a little "shaken up" would be an understatement. I was in a state of complete shock. I was trembling.

How could Percy attack me??

"He was upset because you took away his food, he was probably hungry", Amber said fearfully "He was afraid you were going to take away the last little piece he had left, so he fought for it. He didn't mean to hurt you though. He was just cornered. He didn't know what else to do. He loves you, know that."

Those were my little sister's exact words. (she's incredibly wise and insightful for her age)

My brother urged me to come into the room and have a face off with Percy. "You need to stare him in the eye and let him know that YOU are in the right.", He said "You have to let him know that you were just trying to do what was best for him and that you're in charge here. Otherwise he'll think you're beneath him. Maybe you've been exhibiting passive traits lately and he thought he was higher than you on the food scale. He was trying to exert his dominance"

I refused to have a face off. I was too shaken up. Confrontation isn't my thing. Everytime I try, the results are disasterous.

We fixed the gate and both my siblings went to bed. I cleaned my wounds in the sink, it wasn't that bad. Just a few scratches, welts and cuts. Mostly on my arms and legs. The bite isn't so deep. I'll live.

It felt like a fitting end to a very horrible week.

When I stepped out of the bathroom, I walked back into into the kitchen. Percy saw me, he made a little whimpering noise and laid down on the ground in front of me. He peered up at me with his huge eyes.

How can you resist this face? Can you believe this dog attacked me??

I hesitantly and shakily approached him and sat down. He went over to me, licked my hand, My face and then rested his head on my lap. He seemed genuinely remorseful. I couldn't get over the shock of what he had done... but it's over. I forgive him.

We sat together for a long time while I reflected on the events of this week and tears blurred my vision.

Now I should crawl back into bed and try to fall back to sleep. Animals, as well as people, are capable of acting in a way that is completely unpredictable, strange, confusing and hurtful when they're in need. From now on, If Percy has a piece of chocolate in his mouth, I'm going to just look the other way. I've learned. I wont be bitten twice.

But this isn't helping me resolve my fear of dogs. All progress I've made of the past few years has been demolished. It's time for me to start building trust in canines again from the ground up. I've lost trust in a lot of things this week.


My Mother is coming back from Jordan today.

To Eric: Thank you for your support, understanding and unconditional love this week. I would have had an emotional breakdown if it weren't for you. You're amazing.
posted by Clarity25 at 11:22 PM |


At January 28, 2006, Anonymous alice 

It's 8am on a Saturday morning.
I think to get over your fear of dogs you need to understand them more. All dogs are basically wild animals that we as humans think we have trained to be docile pets.
But its there lurking that instinct.
Sometimes it takes over in even the nicest most loving pet.
When I was home the othe week I watched my dog try to eat my cat.
Someone was in the hall so she was barking and growling at the door, guarding me and her house, I went over to tell her to be quiet, the cat came out and ran up behind her also growling(the cat thinks its a dog and mimics my dogs behaviours)this is not unusual and I have seen him do this many times. This time however most likely because I was there and trying to interfere with her protection she got confused. When the cat came up she turned and teeth nashing and barking pinned him to the ground.
I yelled the cat ran the dog followed, of course the cat was all
"Im a dog ill fight back!" and i had to pin the cat to the ground with my hand. and yell at the dog to go.
The rest of the day the cat refused to go near the dog. It was all finally resolved later that evening when the dog and cat gave each other nose touches and head butts.
My dog has protected me from a pit bull attack and growled and barked at strangers in the dark. I know she would protect me and her home above all.
I trust her completely.
BUT she is in the end a dog and a dog is essentially a wild animal, we pretend to know what they are thinking but we cannot possibly.

It is awful that a trusted family dog went after you. He obviously has food issues.
It is also most likely because even though your an old friend you have been gone awhile and he thought he could test his position with you and tell you he was in charge.
Your brother is right you do have to have a face off with him. Although he is saying he's sorry now he needs to know that you are the alpha. You dont have to be mean or yell, more of a non confrontational switching of territory.

Dont worry you wont have to pee on anything!

With your brother in the room have the stare down, it will probably only last a couple of seconds. I also suggest putting him on his back for the stare down. When dogs are on their backs they know that the animal or person above them is the alpha.
Thats why animals tend to want belly rubs, its a sign of submission. Its suppose to say to us "look! you are in charge! touch my belly!" although I suppose they could just have itchy tummies too.

I think you need to do this with Percy to regain that little bit of non fear. I think it would also boost your confidence around other dogs. Im not saying you need to become a dog whisperer but this is the family dog, what if he did that to your little sister? Because he's tested the big female of the house and won and maybe he thinks he can test the small female.
Just remember that dogs are basic animals and respond to basic instints.

Make sure to put some antiseptic on the bite dogs mouths arent the cleanest.

Im sorry its been such a rough week.
But before you know it youll be back in Eric's arms and thinking
"wait did I go home?"
I hope it wasnt all bad, and you can just remember the good times and seeing your brother and sisters. Hold on to the good.

At January 28, 2006, Blogger Nightmare 

LOL I thought that was pretty funny! (Not your tale of abuse by a pug, but myt ditto comment)But Alice is right. I had to teach my Catahoula that I was the alpha, and I had to do this several times, but finally go the message after I grabbed him and dominated him rolled him on his back and bit his throat. He got the message.

At January 28, 2006, Blogger Stacia 

I'm so sorry that the week had to end that way. I was attacked by a barn cat when I was 7 and wouldn't go near another cat for 10 years. I ended up with a cat in college, and that got me over my fear, but that doesn't mean I pet random cats. Animals are animals and it's ok if you're scared.

At January 28, 2006, Anonymous Jenn 

I don't much about dogs except that I don't like them. I bet you can't wait to get back to Germany. And Eric. Have a good weekend, Clarity. ♥

At January 28, 2006, Anonymous Emily 

That must have been a scary experience.I had something like that happen with my friend's poodle. A lot of dogs sometimes do things out of their nature, no matter how sweet they seem. Alice is right. All dogs are basically wild animals. You never know what they're going to do. I hope you're okay. You sound like you've been dealing with a lot this week.

At January 28, 2006, Anonymous Eric 

Damn girl. Percy is a psycho-chocolate fanatic. I had no idea.

I must join the choir though. You are in great need of showing percy dominance. If you don't, you'll pay for it later. Some people here seem to know a lot about that. Let Jay help you. It's only going to get worse from here. Show that little fucker who is boss! Otherwise you running away from him will get burned into his memory. And don't be fooled by what you think is surrender or bad conscience. He's just getting the affection he thinks you owe. Don't be his bitch and pet him after what he did!

Oh and if you were bleeding you need a Taetanus-shot, immediately. You have 48 hours after the event. Don't wait, go to the hospital, no discussion. Call Tara, no false pride! I don't know when you had the last one, you probably need one anyway. But if you were seeing the slightest bit of blood, it's non-negotiable. A taetanus- infection is no joke, It's life or death. No need to die from that in the 21st century. It's like condoms just do it! You don't want to die from a pathetic scratch. How would that look in the art history books?

I love you so much. I am so glad you still love me despite the separation. And I hope you still will after you see my fat gut I've grown during your absence...:)

At January 28, 2006, Anonymous Tenshi 

I'll admit it. I'm snickering a little.

Clari, you really gotta show that dog who's boss. It seems that maybe he KNOWS you are the top dog... but he needs to have it shown to him, also. You honestly need to do the face-off with him and be the alpha.

PS - Have your little sister fill Percy's food bowl up a little more often. *sigh* I don't think he likes the taste of human, judging by his face. At least he has a guilt complex. That's what I love about dogs - they feel guilty after they've done something wrong.

When Chuckie has done something wrong, we immediately know because instead of perky ears, a smiling face and a wagging tail, we get droopy ears, a frown and his tail tucked between his legs. He's such a guilty little boy. I love him for it.

At January 28, 2006, Blogger Crystal 

I agree with everyone else about showing him who's boss. I had to do that with Chardonnay too. She was Ronnie's cat, and she knew it. She would attack me in the middle of the night or anytime she felt like it. I hated her.

Finally I got sick and tired of it. She bit the crap out of me one day. I picked her up, fighting and all, and I bit the crap out of her leg. She jumped out of my arms, ran to the stairs and looked at me as if she had no idea why I'd just done that.

After that day, when she'd walk near me, she'd bow her head down. Now look at us! She's my baby girl and I can't hardly stand to be away from her.

She does still know she's a princess. When I'm holding her she pets me like I'm her human. And if I do something she doesn't like, she swats my hand with her paw. But she has never bitten me since I bit her. I'm not saying to go and bite Percy, but you do need to show him who's boss.

I also agree with Eric. You do need to go get a tetanus shot. They're only good for 10 years. And given your age, you probably haven't had one since your original vaccination to get in school. So it's probably time for it anyway. (unless you're like me and had stitches often)

At January 28, 2006, Blogger Crystal 

PS. If/when you go to the hospital to get the shot. I probably wouldn't tell them it was the house dog that bit you. I don't know how strict they are in NY, but in OK they'd come and get the dog and put it to sleep. I'd hate for the situation to become even worse.

At January 28, 2006, Anonymous autum 

i have an intense fear of dogs, also. and mine comes from good reason. i have been bit four times from dogs whom the people told me, "oh, he's so sweet, he won't hurt anyone." and one time from a dog i knew was bad news. so, yes, 5 times. and once when i was baby-sitting a 6 month-old their family dog (whcih i have baby sat a thousand times before with her around) tried to attack me when i picked up the baby. i had to run out the door with only the baby in hands-- no diaper, no bottle, nothing. it was a mess.

so, i know this is stubborn of me, but i have decided NOT to give up my fear of dogs. i am scared shitless. i admit it and i don't know if it will change. (i am sorry, this is probably not helping your fear, but i want you to know you are not crazy for having the fear, i am right there with ya!)

the family dog really is a scary thing, though. the only dog i have ever loved and trusted was out little family dog growing up. maybe he was just caught up in the moment, it was night time, and he didn't really know it was you right away. either way, that is very surprising!

i am sorry you have had such a horrible week. i really hope you can finally have a good weekend! you deserve it so much! and soon, you will be home with eric. i am thinking of you.

At January 28, 2006, Anonymous alice 

okay now im just laughing because Eric called Percy a little fucker.
I dont know why but I think its funny.
Its like Samantha calling a baby an asshole on Sex in the City.

If you need any dog advice feel free to ask.
Dont worry you wont have to bite his neck- although when my dog was a puppy and going through the biting stage I stopped it in its second day by biting her back.
Not hard or anything, she never bit a person again.
and yes all dog owners are crazy.

At January 28, 2006, Anonymous all-on-paper 

Holy moly. Clarity! Kick that dog's ass. Running away was probably the worst thing to do. It teaches him that you will run from him, making him feel like he's twice his size. He's only a Christmas ham, don't let him think he can get away with that. Grab him by the scruff of the neck and say, Bitch, I'm bigger than you!
(Okay, if someone tried to take chocolate away from me, I might have acted the same way. *ahem*)

At January 28, 2006, Anonymous fifi 

Eeek! Eric is right, get an anti-tetanus jab. Also, if the dog is an intact male, get him neutered.(Heh) This is supposed to make antsy male dogs much quieter.
If you want to understand doggy mind and behaviour, read Bruce Fogle's book on Your Dog's Mind, (not sure if that is the exact title, its close.) Every so often, a trusted family pet takes a chunk out of a child, or worse, a baby, because people misunderstand how dogs tick.

At January 28, 2006, Anonymous lily 

omg that is so messed up! i'd be freakin out like crazy, i'd probably be throwing everything in the house at him to make him go away. especially if it was over some stupid piece of chocolate!

At January 28, 2006, Anonymous Xanti 

That had to be scary. I agree with you, just let him have the chocolate. Maybe if he gets sick enough times he'll stop eating it.

At least Percy seems remorseful. It probably was just instinct. Maybe feeding him before bed will stave off such behavior. And if it's just that he has a sweet tooth, putting candy in heavy containers he can't get into could never hurt.

At January 28, 2006, Anonymous Xanti 

OH, and to show Percy who's boss, bite him on the ear. It worked for my uncle's very ill-tempered dalmatian that bit almost everybody. Sorry...Just thought of that.

At January 29, 2006, Anonymous fifi 

"just let him have the chocolate. Maybe if he gets sick enough times he'll stop eating it."
Please don't take this advice, if the chocolate is a big bit, or high in cocoa solids, and if the dog is a small one, it could kill him. Our vet told us that chocolate contains something dogs can't metabolise, and is often fatal. You can buy special "chocolate treats" for dogs. If you want to assert yourself and regain his friendship, and your trust, you could try some basic obedience training, and give him a little treat at the end of each session.

At January 29, 2006, Anonymous Portia 

I was considering it today and think you really should have given Percy a slap for that. My old cat, Tiger, went ballistic on us a few times, full out attack, also bit us at times, so then is the time to discipline them to know it's not acceptable. Even if not a slap, then stern voice and like your brother said, look them in the eye to show that you are boss and that was unacceptable.

At January 29, 2006, Blogger Tara 

Nice one, Clarity.
Eric, she did NOT call me. I would have gladly taken her to the hospital. So if she shows up in Germany with lock-jaw or something, she'll only have herself to blame.
My dog has a thing about chocolate too. But he NEVER attacks. He does, however, growl and snap at Tyler. I think Ty must have done something to him in the past.
Anyoo, Clarity, call me if you need to go to the doctor or ER or something.

At January 30, 2006, Anonymous Vicola 

Hi Clarity. Maybe it was the sugar int he chocolate that sent him mental? When we first got Geoffrey he got hold of a box of chocolates, ate most of them and then trashed, and I mean totally trashed, my parent's living room. He ripped their new sofa into shreds, tore up the flooring and pissed everywhere. When we spoke tot he vet about it he said it was sugar and chemicals in the chocolate causing making him do it, a bit like people sometimes flip if they take drugs. Perhaps Percy had the same problem?
Love Vicola x

At January 30, 2006, Anonymous kschic 

One thought that struck me was that since it was the middle of the night and even though you've been there for a while now, maybe it threw him off since he's not used to you being there all the time. Like maybe he didn't realize who it was?? Especially since how he acted afterwards.
I had an experience with a cat when I was about 7 or 8 and it happened so fast I believed for several years that it was the cats whiskers that scratched me, not it's claws!
I second the chocolate treat idea for dogs, apparently they are just as good as regular chocolate because my step-son like them too!

At January 31, 2006, Blogger Kathleen 

Chocolate just won't make Percy sick - there is a toxic ingredient in chocolate that can KILL dogs and it's not a large amount either.

And I agree that you need to show Percy who is boss. I can't believe he moves chairs and climbs onto counters! Pugs aren't exactly known for their long legs! What an addict.

Good luck with the little darling. I know you'll be fine.