Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Hell of a Dogfight

Woke up yesterday and realized I was out of smokes. It was about 3:30 AM and I remembered I had a pack in the glove compartment of the old Ranger, so I stepped outside to get it. TO my surprise, there was a young pitbull/boxer mix on the porch, so I paused, feeling under dressed in my underwear. I waited a second to make sure she wasn't going to bite, and just as I determined she wouldn't, a large male pitbull/boxer jumped onto the porch from behind some bushes and showed fangs with a growl. Boots, our dog, came over and growled at the interloper, giving me enough time to get back into the house. I decided I could wait till daylight for a smoke.
At about 6:30 headed back out, this time with shorts and sneakers on and a bat in hand. Dogs nowhere to be seen and I got the smokes. Just as I was entering the house, out they bounded, the big one growling and showing fangs again.
I wasn't going to like being locked in my house by strange dogs. I'd never seen them in the neighborhood before. The ones I had seen rarely come around anymore, and the two worst, the junkyard dog who tore into our little dog Blue's head so badly Blue lost all his coordination and sight in one eye, and the big black black Rotweiller who tore up and ate three adult female cats, two of whom had litters, as well as all the kittens, well I haven't seen those two dogs around here in the last year or two.
These two new ones didn't look like street dogs. Both were beautifully colored and well fed: All muscle. The little one, maybe 25 pounds, had a red collar; the male, maybe 45 pounds, didn't. I figured I could wait them out and they'd go away, but they didn't. And when I had to leave I carried the bat but didn't want to use it. I don't like hurting animals--on the other hand I don't like dogs staying on my stoop and not letting me out of my house either.
Fortunately, I only needed the bat to threaten the male and he stepped back. At the same time, Boots, probably embarrassed, got between the male and me and began to growl himself. The male didn't like that a bit and they walked around one another.
By about noon, with Chepa coming over and her having the babies, I called Animal Control. I felt like quite a sissy but didn't know what else to do. Sheriff's dept responded. The officer was great with animals. He stepped out of his van, the dogs went to charge him, the male growled and the officer just reached over his head and petted him.
"What's the problem?" he asked.
"Well, I've sort of been locked in my house with that guy not letting me out and me not wanting to have to kill him."
"This fella? This fella?" he said, scratching the dog behind the ears. At that point I definitely felt like a sissy.
The sheriff's deputy told me that unfortunately, because I live in an unincorporated area, there's no animal control. No where I could take them--except the Fort Worth Humane Society and I didn't see myself getting that male collared and dragged into my truck anytime soon.
"On the other hand," he said, "you can kill em if you need to. You have that right with dogs in this county."
And then he left.
But I stopped being intimidated by the dog because of how the deputy had handled him, and I managed to get both the new dogs into the back yard, so that they wouldn't bother Chepa and the babies, or go after my Madeleina.
Couple of hours later I heard barking and squealing and looked from the porch: The male had gotten into the chicken coop and was chasing the pig around the chicken hutch. I called Italo at Chepa's for reinforcements, then headed up there and got the dog out and kept the pig in. The pig was scratched; the dog had a small cut over his right eye. I wondered how the pig had done that, and how the dog had gotten into the pen in the first place. I didn't wait long. Just as I was turning to leave the smaller dog, a female, pushed through the wooden door slats on the pen door and snatched up a piece of melon rind that was on the ground. The pig didn't like that and charged her, getting a good bit on her ear. Good for the pig.
Boots came and joined us. He and the male did the growling thing and I told them to lay off. They didn't.
I figured that as long as I was on the upper lawn I might as well mow it (I'd been promising to do it for two weeks). But as soon as I turned the electric push mower on the male lunged for its front wheel. That was too much for Boots who came over and raised holy hell. Well, that was too much for the male, who decided to square off and lunge. He did, grabbing Boots fur and skin on the side of his neck and tearing into him. I grabbed a stick and whomped him to get him off. The stick, a stout branch I'd recently trimmed from a Sycamore broke and the dog didn't let go. Boots got his neck twisted enough to grab the dog's ear and some of his scalp and the fight was on. They rolled, locked in each other's jaws, and then tumbled down the six foot embankment into the overflow creek bed that's currently dry. They landed without letting go. Then the male, on his back, let go for a moment to get a better bite; Boots took the opportunity to stand as well. They squared off and then the male went for Boot's neck again. Boots went for the male's exposed right front shoulder, just at the top of the leg. The male howled and managed to get his leg free: In seconds they became a blur or activity, rolling, kicking, biting. Blood drops were flying. And then, suddenly, unexpectedly, at least to me, Boots managed to get his jaw around the male's snout from the side, shutting his mouth and leaving the male with no way to use his powerful jaws.
The male struggled to pull away but Boots was having none of it. He held on ferociously until the male, knowing he was beat, sat. Boots held him another few seconds until he was satisfied, then let him go. The male didn't fight. He rolled over on his back and let Boots stand over him, a pose he held for about 10 seconds before he turned and climbed the embankment to me. His neck was covered in a ring of blood and there was blood on his two forelegs and some on his snout, but he was okay. The male, who came up a couple of minutes later, was limping badly and had deep cuts on his snout, near his eye and on both ears.
The male came towards me for some condolences or to say it wasn't a fair fight, but Boots just growled and got ready to go again and the male backed off.
Good for Boots. This is his house, after all.
The two new dogs are still hanging around today, and they've been well fed, so I guess at least for now they're ours.
But at least they know who's boss, and won't be frightening anybody anymore. Not so long as Boots is around.


Jorge Villacorta Santamato said...

Oh my God! Oh my God! (I am in shock.)

What a ferocious story!

Do you live in the Wild West Mr. Gorman?

I would have called Animal Control too! Somehow I think that the kind police officer might own those dogs...

In your county are you allowed to kill dogs that threat your life? And if you were not allowed... should you feel happy for respecting the law while the animals rip your body into little pieces???

Mmm... strange.

I understand nothing, honestly.

Is Mr. Boots a dog or a bear?

Luckyly, I am just a reader. I hope everything goes well.

dodahdan said...

Well, I've read how well the Gorman Clan eats. I've seen how much and how well Gorman guests eat on a trip.
I only hope you left out the part of the story where Mr. Boots got himself one hell of a meal cooked with all the care and flair the two-leggeds in your life are used to! Sounds to me like he earned himself a top shelf cut of meat.

Arbol said...

Excellent blog Peter! Boots is Alpha for sure now. Myself I would have got my rifle and put those strays down right away, No Ifs Ans or Buts about it.
There is no reason for vicious dogs to exist and be roaming around wild, especially with the little children about, if anything happens , it's to late. Then they attack your hens and pig, nuff said, they crossed the "Do not cross line". Those animals are still a serious threat, and after 15yrs of my sister being an Animal Control Officer, and hearing stories of kids being seriously mauled, maimed, and killed, mmmm, it raises my hackles big time.
I have no sympathy for dogs that cause that kind of turmoil, but that's me. Tough Love. Glad all is ok with you and yours. Peace.

Phoenix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phoenix said...

Wow! what a hoot. you're attracting animals left and right these days. I'm having trouble imagining Boots get so ferocious. I guess hes wasn't full grown when I was there. I agree a it with Arbol at least in regards to pit bulls. sure any dog can be sweet but pit bulls have twice the power in their jaws as other dogs and if they decide to attack its usually bad. kids especially. good luck with those...