Monday, January 30, 2006
When good pets go bad
After my disturbing experience Saturday morning and reading the helpful advice I received, I realized I had to have a face off with Percy.

I waited until my sister left for school, Laura and her boyfriend left for Manhattan and my mother drove to work. I took a deep breath and entered the kitchen.

Percy was lying on the floor, He glanced up at me curiously and raised one eyebrow.

I sat on the floor and called him over. He quickly scampered to his feet and tried to leap cheerfully on my lap. But I gripped him on the sides of his face and stared him down. He made a low growl and I made a low growl back. Then he averted his eyes and tried to get out of my grasp. I waited a minute and then let him go. He ran into the corner with a pitiful little whimper. I almost felt bad.

Whether or not that will prevent future attacks is up in the air. A few people had suggested biting him back on his ear or leg. I can't imagine doing that.

This weekend we also tried to teach him NOT to eat chocolate. We put a piece on the floor and negatively reinforced him each time he approached it. (which he DID every time we pretended to look away)

The last 2 times he got into Chocolate he was hospitalized. He had dragged the kitchen chair across the floor, climbed up onto the counter, Open the bag of cookies that was shoved deep in the corner and ate the entire contents. Now we're careful not to leave any chocolate ANYWHERE in the kitchen. The cabinets aren't even safe. There is no container he wont get into.

He's like a recovering junkie. But he's on the steps towards rehabilitation. He's basically a good dog at heart and I love the little guy. Chocolate simply causes him to lose his mind and flip out. We forget that our pets are wild animals that we've domesticated.

Apparently a lot of dogs have been losing it lately, These are two excerpts from our city newspaper.

A dog mauled a little girl's face

The family retriever accidentally strangled their 6 year old daughter.

My blood ran cold when I read those articles and my heart goes out to those families.

I think I'm going to stick with Cats from now on. Sure, they might be rather apathetic, but at least they're predictable. After being chased by a pack of snarling German Shephards at my Grandfather's farm at age 8, attacked by my friend's dog at age 12 and now having our family pug temporarily go stark raving mad on me. I've had enough of dogs.


To Eric: We missed you so much last night. Laura, Mr. Big, Jay and I had a little party. It's not the same without you! We played Kings (Do you remember that game?) and the Queen card had me everytime. I looked around in confusion and everyone was touching their nose. "...Drink!"

It was such a fun night, I think we needed that to all re-connect. They'll be ups and downs, fights and misunderstandings...but we all love eachother and we're family. We stick together.

I love you. I wish you could just jump on a plane and fly here now. I hate this whole Green Card situation. 7 more days....
posted by Clarity25 at 8:03 AM |


At January 30, 2006, Anonymous Jenn 

If I'd been chased/attacked by dogs 3 times I'd be done with them too. I'm glad that you faced off with Percy though. Those articles are scary. I can't even imagine being one of those girls' family members.

At January 30, 2006, Anonymous alice 

Im glad you had the face off with Percy. See how he tried to make you back down and when you didnt he accepted that you were alpha and went and hid. Thats a good sign.
The worst thing about both of those articles is that they could have been prevented. A 5 year old just went up to a Rottie and pet it? An other child is unsupervised with the family dog?
Both could have probably been prevented by the adults in the situation.
Although in the second article Im sure the dog just thought he was playing and its sad because he didnt know better.
Im always amazed at how many parent let their children run up sceaming to me and my dog. I always get my dog to sit and I stop the child and ask them to walk over and hold out their hand to let Nut have a sniff.
I know Nut would never harm a child but she could be taken off guard and do something unexpected.
I get down so Im taller than both the child and the dog still and get the kids to come pet the dog nicely. Usually Nut just wants to clean their faces or will roll over for a belly rub, or shove her ball towards them.
It makes me mad that parents allow their kids to meet strange dogs by themselves. I know my dog is fine but they dont.
And here is a fact from my friend Sarah an animal behaviourist:
Retrievers and labs have the highest bite ratio but most owners of those dogs do not report the bites. "Aggressive" breeds like Pit bulls, rotties, mastiffs etc are seemingly reported more because usually they are more severe and people already have villafied the breeds as bad breeds.

I see articles like those too all the time though and its sad and upsetting.

I too was attacked by a German Sheppard, well more over powered and jumped on than attacked.
As well as every St.Benard in the world upon seeing me goes bonkers and has to pin me to the ground and slobber all over me. Seriously I had one St.B run the length of a beach to get to me. But they are doing it out of some weird love they just LOVE me. My friends St.B used to try to sit on my lap, no one elses just mine, when that didnt work he would just put my hand in his mouth or his head on my lap and follow me around.
Oh and the absolute worst thing you can do if you see a dog running at you is to run away.
This signals that you are scared of them and that you are prey.
Of course if some huge snapping growling dog is coming for you just get to a safe place as fast as possible. If the dog is ham sized just hold your ground or kick it if its a strange dog acting like a cuckoo.

Hooray for being the Alpha!

At January 30, 2006, Blogger Nightmare 

Nice work!! You did the right thing there Croc Hunter!

crickey thise pugs are wilely critters!

I'm proud of ya!

At January 30, 2006, Anonymous Emily 

That was a good move. You had to show your dominance with Percy. Glad you're feeling better today and things are going well again.

P.S. My cousin was attacked by the family dog. It's sad when it happens

At January 30, 2006, Anonymous fifi 

We have the same thing happen to our dog, alice.
Parents don't realise that a dog won't recognise a child as a human, they think children are a different creature from adults.( That part of the Bruce Fogle book sticks in my mind.) I usually show the child how to present a hand for the dog to sniff-ie with the back of the hand towards the dog.

Hey, Clarity. I hope you find the time passes very quickly until you get your man back!

At January 31, 2006, Anonymous Acorn 

Heya, I keep Wade somewhat fairly updated on your events, and was telling him about your Percy Plight today. He was like, "You should tell her about the Dog Whisperer." Anway, there's this show on the nat'l geo channel (cable - we don't have cable but watched it over Thanksgiving break at his sister's house) called the Dog Whisperer and it's just amazing what he does for all these problem dogs. Go here to learn about Cesar:
Also, if you get a cat, you can take crazy pictures of it and post it here:

At January 31, 2006, Anonymous Ticktrix 

Hi girlie. I really like this layout with little tibbits of your life with the pics.

I had a cat go bad once. His name is Jett. We had just moved into a new house and he was sniffin out his territory, etc. One night before bed, Jett saw another cat outside the window and Jett got all puffed up and started growling - it was loud and deep from within. The outside cat had moved to another part of the yard and was out of Jett's line of site, so I picked Jett up so that he look out the window and see that the cat was leaving our property. I guess he was still in attack-mode becuase he twisted in my arms to dig in all of his claws and teeth/fangs on my face. ON MY FACE! Eighteen stitches ... ON MY FACE! I love him so much; he was just acting on instinct. But is there a women's shelter where women can safely escape their abusive cats (that they still love and only want to please)?

At January 31, 2006, Anonymous Tenshi 

It bothers me to no end when animals all start acting odd at once, or one type of animals starts making "mistakes" with their odd behaviour. Remember how the work-elephants suddenly stopped working in Sri Lanka and ran off before the tsunami? It's THAT kind of thing that scares me. Like - what the hell is going on in the earth?

Seeing as how I don't have my diary access at the moment, I'll whine to you. I had a bad dream last night. Keegan was suddenly 6-8 years old when he had just been a baby moments before, and I missed all of it. ALL of his baby moments. I woke up in tears. Of course, Mike dreamed about monster penises, so I can't really complain... O_o

At January 31, 2006, Anonymous Dawn 

"When good pets go bad" for some reason that title made me laugh. I just got back from vacation and caught up with all your entries. I can't believe Percy bit you! That's wild! Why don't you come swing by Florida on your way back to Germany? Just a 2 day stop over?

At January 31, 2006, Anonymous Xanti 

I don't think I've ever heard of a dog being such a chocolate lover as Percy. My goodness, if he can get into any container and climb into cabinets, that's determination! I'm glad you faced off with him. Now he should leave you alone.