attack of the german shepherd
Tonight, the day ended on a macabre note when Lucy was brutally attacked (in our own driveway, nonetheless) by a German Shepherd that lives a few blocks away. Diana had just gotten home and was starting a friendly conversation with German Shepherd Guy. Lucy was innocently sniffing a greeting toward the German Shepherd when it lunged forward and snatched her up in its mouth and flung her from side-to-side like a rag doll. It potentially could have turned out worse had I not dashed barefoot out the door, ran down the driveway and grabbed the German Shepherd away from Lucy (German Shepherd Guy had fallen down when the dog yanked the leash out of his hand). It has been about an hour and Lucy still can’t stop shivering. She won’t eat. It’s not obvious if the skin is broken around her neck (a double coat of fur is like a haystack) but you can tell she’s hurting because she’s walking very gingerly and shuddering when she inhales. Her tail still hasn’t drooped back up. She’ll be damn sore tomorrow, there’s no doubt about that. As a sign of how traumatized she is, I had to move her out of Adam’s room while he was falling asleep. She refused to leave the side of his bed, I had to physically carry her out. I think she instinctively felt that was the safest place in the house.
Right after all this went down, I ran down the street to catch up with German Shepherd Guy (after the attack, our first priority was to move Lucy and Adam into the house and have the guy get his agitated dog away). He’s an amiable person who has walked past our house for years (his office is at the top of the hill in an old brick building on 24th, he takes the dogs to work with him). We usually see him at the annual neighborhood holiday party. He was extremely apologetic, took complete blame for the situation and heeded my request to not walk on our side of the street in the future (as long as his dog(s) are with him….he has another German Shepherd that is friendly with Lucy). The German Shepherd in question has in the past lunged unprovoked (and usually always in front of our house) at Lucy, at least a couple different times. I’ve always had the heebie jeebies when German Shepherd Guy and/or his wife have their dogs with them and they walk past our house. In fact, tonight before Lucy was attacked, Diana basically asked German Shepherd Guy in advance if it was not such a good idea to have Lucy and German Shepherd near each other. German Shepherd Guy made an innocent joke about Lucy getting eaten. And then all hell broke loose.
I really wanted Diana to go over to German Shepherd Guy’s house later on after reading Adam went to bed, so she could diplomatically re-emphasize how much anxiety we have about another attack and how important it is to steer the sonofabitching fuck away from our house so something like this doesn’t happen again. My first impulse was to rip the guy a new one, but he was initially so contrite that my impulse to detonate was snuffed out.
Another neighbor who saw the tail end of what happened called and had Diana tied up on the phone and when she finally got off the horn she desperately needed to eat. It was getting late, so I volunteered to be the dog violence prevention ambassador. So I walked over to German Shepherd Guy’s house to reiterate how stressed we were and please-will-you-keep-your-mutt-away-from-us. Again, the man feels terrible. He agreed to stay on the other side of the street. Then, with a lump in my throat I asked about the signs on his door about “no germs” and “please have clean hands before entering”. I had an intuitive feeling about what was coming next: His wife has inoperable brain cancer. They’ve known for five months.
I walked home in a daze, talk about confused emotions and getting body-slammed by perspective. The attack on Lucy was traumatic. I feel devastated for our neighbor and his family. I’m sad we had such an ugly, scary encounter with him and his dogs. I’m immensely relieved neither Diana nor Adam got hurt during the attack. Diana is really top-heavy right now, she could’ve easily lost her footing and hurt herself. Adam could have gotten bit, who knows? I don’t know how to feel right now. I just want Lucy to be okay.