Yesterday, I packed up my daughter and leashed up my two dogs and headed down to our local park. We walk down there several times a week just before lunch to get everyone some exercise. It is a nice walk down a big hill, and there is a great playground and usually lots of kids E's age. It is also nice for Violet the Pom and Odie the Shepherd to get in an extra walk.
We meandered down, checking out every snail and roly poly on the path. Between Violet and Ella...I don't think we missed one. As expected, once we got to the park lots of the regulars were there and Ella joined in the fun swinging, sliding and playing in the sand. Odie, Violet and I sat on the bench chatting with some of the moms and nannies. After a while, Ella came over for a snack. We sat on the bench sharing an apple. Violet was patiently waiting for the Goldfish crackers to come out and Odie was just hanging...
All of a sudden, Odie stood up and growled. Oddly enough-Violet the yappy little watch dog was SILENT. I turned and saw two large Golden Retrievers barreling down the hill at us. Two young boys were chasing behind them screaming. Trouble.
I grabbed Ella and threw her up on the bench. Have you seen the signs around trails telling you if you see a Mountain Lion to put your kids on your shoulders and keep them high?? That flashed through my mind. I used my serious mommy voice telling her to STAY and scooped up Violet and put her over my shoulder. Odie was already in front of us-directly in front of us and he took a big hit as the first retriever slammed into him. It really was like Clash of the Titans. It was so loud. Then the dog grabbed Odie by the neck. Odie was bucking and twisting but the dog would not let go. Ella was screaming now, as were lots of the others parents. Violet, over my shoulder was still SILENT.
I started kicking the retriever... he was at least 80 pounds...a big thick male. I was so afraid he was ripping Odie's throat open. I kicked him twice in the ribs. Nothing. So with my flip flops I started kicking him in the face. After 4 solid kicks to his face and shoulder he let go. Odie went crazy and the dog backed off to stand with the other dog. One of the young boys, who I later learned was 14, grabbed the attacking dog and dragged him off. There was blood all over Odie's shoulder so I frantically checked him with my free hand while I told everyone it was ok. It is ok Ella. It is ok Odie. It is ok Violet. That is not how I felt inside though. I couldn't find any real wounds in Odie's thick fur. His ear was bleeding but not badly. I screamed over at the remaining kid that I needed his mom's number now. He was reluctant to give out personal information so I gave him an option-give me the name, number and address of your parents now or sit there while I call the police. He gave me the info which I entered into my phone. This was a small miracle because my hands were now shaking. Really shaking. I dialed the number to make sure it was good, and left a message. "Hi, my name is Liz. Your dogs just attacked my 100 lb German Shepherd and he is bleeding. Call me." Click.
I grabbed my three babies and headed up the hill. I just wanted to get Odie home so I could treat his wounds which I was sure were bad. It was so violent. I had never seen a dog fight like that. The hill seemed really long and really steep today. I stopped about halfway and just took inventory and gave every one hugs. I still couldn't find the source of the blood. As I walked, I called my friend Maria to make sure I was doing everything right, as my brain was now pure adrenaline. She agreed. Just get home. Check your boy.
Just as I rounded the corner to my house the mom of the dogs called. She was very apologetic and had already talked to her boys. I told her I was going to have to call her back. I had to get home.
Once I got home, I spent a long time going over Odie. I wet his neck so I could see better. No wounds other then a small one of the tip of his ear. The blood must be from the other dogs mouth. I gave Odie some Metacam because I was sure he was going to be sore. It was hitting me that he had absolutely protected us. If the dogs had gotten Violet she would be dead. Now the tears started and all I wanted to do was hug my big boy and thank him. I had always known he was amazing, and that he would protect us, but now I had witnessed it and it was so powerful...he is such a sweet, gentle soul...but his German Shepherd blood kicked in and he absolutely was not going to let anyone hurt us. Do you know what that feels like? It began to dawn on me that all this talk about how a dog would die for you... it is true. This may have not been a life threatening situation for us, but Odie didn't know that when he stood out in front of us. I looked over at my two little girls... Ella and Violet. Wow. How do you thank a dog for that? I am not 100% sure, but I will spend the rest of this magnificent creatures life trying...
Stay tuned for more on the Golden Retrievers and two little boys very important life lesson.