There is something so disturbing about watching a dogfight. It is a display of violence so pure, so primal – manifested in a blur of flashing teeth, claws and fur. Rarely will you see anything like it, and it’s not likely that you’d want to observe it more than once unless you match the personality profile of a serial killer.
For animal lovers, it’s hard to watch two dogs try to kill each other. The urge to intervene is too strong, so we jump in like fools and become part of the melee. In our attempt at damage control we risk it all to stop these nutty furry critters from racking up vet bills that will have us eating Ramen noodles for two years. While I would not advocate standing back and letting things take their course, I would recommend that you not use my method to break up a dogfight. I am certain that the old tried and true method of dumping or spraying water on the offending parties could be employed with equal effect and reduced risk to self.
Today’s story goes a little something like this…..
It’s Monday, and it’s hot. The kind of hot that makes you angry. On this particular day there are four dogs with us: two that are ours, two that we are dogsitting. We’ll call our guests dog A and dog B. All of us, humans and dogs alike, are feeling the heat a little too much. As we walk all four dogs through the field in front of our house, the dogs make a beeline toward the place that we (author and Mrs. author) despise: the mudstream. This mudstream is the bane of our existence, a cattail lined abomination that borders our property and resembles a mixture of tar and primordial ooze. On hot days, the dogs find that it suits them to run, jump and lay in this muck in order to enjoy the cooling benefit that it provides. Far too often we curse them as they wander back to us on a path they have worn through the cattails, wearing “mud suits” that smell like a peanut butter and crabcake sandwich left in a hot car for about three weeks.
Once they have taken the plunge in this delightful mudstream, we have no choice but to take them around the house to the back yard. Here they get to swim in a small pond and chase sticks, and rinse off the mudstream stink. But on this particular day, Mr. and Mrs. author notice that weeks of high heat and humidity have given the pond a chance to brew up a nice batch of algae, with a pinch of pollen thrown in for good measure. It occurs to Mr. and Mrs. author that dogs immersed in this substance will not smell much better than those who have plunged in to the dreaded mudstream. Since Mr. and Mrs. author are aware that the resident dogs have used this mudstream to convert ten minute walks to thirty minute romps, they decide to avoid the pond and beat the dogs at their own game; the trusty garden hose will be put to use.
At this point we devise a plan to tie the dogs (one at a time) to the basketball post at the end of the court and spray them off. Fortunately Nigel did not have the option to jump in the mudstream, so Mrs. author has put him inside and returned to help me with cleanup. I begin to hose Sola down, and ten feet away from me things get interesting. It seems that dog A and dog B are giving each other some attitude, growling and baring teeth at each other for no apparent reason. Just as I am about to call a personal foul the dogs lunge at each other and engage in battle. And it is immediately apparent that they mean business. Both silly humans grab part of each dog and pull, but dog A and dog B continue to chew on each other with reckless abandon. In the struggle that ensues, both Mr. and Mrs. author are bitten and bruised before the fighters are separated and whisked away to private quarters.
A quick inspection makes it clear that Mr. author will require a visit to the emergency room, a visit that will eventually last eight hours (and would require another lengthy post to describe).
The quick recap…
Money earned for dogsitting: $200
Food and treats for said dogs: $25
Lost wages from time off from work due to injury: $ To be determined
Emergency room visit, amputation of upper third of pinkie finger: $2,300
Picking up your painkillers and having your pharmacist remind you that you could have used the garden hose to spray and separate fighting dogs: Priceless