Tim’s rendition of tonight’s happening:

Morella was having a grumpy day today, so the DW and I packed her up into her stroller, put Pluto on his leash, and went for a walk. The walk went fine until the last leg home. We decided to stretch the walk out a little longer since it was doing a good job of keeping Morella mellow.

As we were walking down the street, we heard someone yelling, and we looked over to see a Great Pyrenees barreling down on us. Laura got Morella out of the way, and I put myself between the charging dog and Pluto. As the dog charged over, he didn’t even glance at me; he was fixated on Pluto. I tried to spin Pluto around to keep myself between him and the white cyclone of teeth and fur. I kicked the dog twice, as hard as I could, pushing off after each kick as I tried to spin Pluto to stay between him and 120 pounds of hate, but I couldn’t get him out of the way fast enough. The dog bit Pluto 3 times before his owners could catch up and tackle the Great Pyrenees. It took both of them to hold him down.

We walked away, getting Pluto clear of the dog, and I tried to look at Pluto to see what the damage was, but I couldn’t see anything on the surface with all the fur in the way, and Pluto would not let me near the wounds without yelping and scooting away.

The owners called down the block, asking if Pluto was OK. I think I said ‘I don’t know.’ We were just interested in getting Pluto away from that dog. It was a short block to get home, and I called our regular vet to see if they could see him. They didn’t answer, so I just packed Pluto in the car and took him to the vet anyway, which was still open for their normal business hours.

Once we got to the vet, they were able to see him almost right away. To make a long story short, they shaved him, cleaned out the wounds, which ended up being three punctures that didn’t require stitches, but they didn’t like the amount of bruising he was suffering, and were a little concerned that the force of the bite right on the thinnest part of his waist may have inflicted internal injuries. They gave him some antibiotics, some pain meds, and strongly recommended that I take him in for an abdominal ultrasound tomorrow to make sure he didn’t have any hemorrhaging. They also showed me how to check his gums and his heart rate to make sure that if he is hemorrhaging, we can catch it over the night.

After I got home, the DW and I had the unpleasant business of talking to the owners of the Pyr. They were very distraught, and very worried about Pluto. They asked after his condition constantly, praying that he’ll be fine.

As they told it, their dog was napping in the garage with the husband who was working, when he suddenly jumped up, bashed right through the gate (!!!), and came at Pluto. They told us that they had decided that they were going to put the dog to sleep tomorrow morning. He was too much for them to handle, and they just couldn’t risk him hurting another dog or, heavens forbid, a child.

We know these people. We ride the bus with them. We told them that we know that they know how dangerous their dog is, and that we’ve seen that they take great pains to avoid an accident (walking him later at night, staying on the other side of the street, putting up tarps over the fence so that he won’t see other dogs in the neighborhood walking by). We weren’t asking them to put their dog to sleep. But, through their tears, they insisted that they just can’t live with that kind of threat any longer.

We told them how much we expected the bills to be, and the husband pleaded with us that they were just working class folks. I said something to the effect that we weren’t interested in a war, that we like them, we know they did what they could to keep their dog under control, we live in the same neighborhood, but that we were interested in equity.

So, they asked us to keep them informed of Pluto’s condition, and I will let them know how much his vet care is going to cost. It looks like it’s going to be 400 bucks when all is said and done.

I’m optimistic that Pluto will be fine, but all the same, good thoughts, prayers, appeals to the fates, etc. can’t do any harm

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