• Last night at the local park, Chip was happy and went toward the gate to greet a couple of white American bulldog-types, that were there with a couple and woman with a kid. I really wasn't paying much attention, he is social and very benign. Suddenly there was a huge fight, actually he was barely defending himself, she attacked, had him by the throat, owner kicked her off but she kept coming back, Chipley was screaming and frozen. We ran up screaming, the owners had the attacker under control, were very apologetic, actually they are neighbors! (Don sort of went off on them, but realized we knew them). I washed the sand off him (he had been on his back most of the time) and found a big, deep puncture on his lower left throat, bleeding steadily.
    We came home and bathed him, he seemed OK, tail was up but there was some swelling and it was still bleeding a bit. And we could see that it was deep. Off to the emergency vet, didn't want an airway emergency in the middle of the night, but didn't want to make the trauma worse by poking and prodding at the vet.

    They agreed it was deep and needed a good look. Sedated him lightly, irrigated it gave pain med and bandaged him (no stitches, it needed to drain). Very deep, cut muscle which is why still bleeding. He was totally stoned all evening, could barely walk for several hours. Gave half a pain pill and antibiotic this morning, but he has been in pain all day, crying every time he moved. The vet called in the afternoon and said to increase to 1 whole pain pill twice a day, so after a whole one he is now sleeping. A couple of other punctures but just skin cut, he really got beat up all over.

    The worse thing was this morning he was afraid to go outside, I had to drag him out with Eddie. Don took all 3 for a long walk this afternoon and Chip was leading, which is a good thing. Poor baby was really fearful and I hope he gets over that! We were going to go back to the park today briefly, hopefully while empty after the rain, to give him a good experience there?but it's still raining. And Chip is asleep in a bed under the table. Not bleeding anymore, but the whole side of his neck and head is very sore. Poor little guy.

    The owners of the girl said she had developed issues but they thought they had worked through them. The man threw her in the car and he took her home, the owner stayed with her friend, child and their dog. Nice young couple, very sorry.

    At any rate, fingers crossed that his psyche heals as well as his body surely will. I thought she was going to kill my dog, I think I was screaming like a madwoman as I ran toward them. I hope that this Sunday with his basenji friends will smooth things for him, they are a healing force of nature!

    In 10 years of going to dog parks almost every day, this is only the second time we have had to go to the vet for an injury, so overall I still think it is safe. I was lulled by the quiet evening in our local small park, usually very nice dogs, but it can happen anywhere.My friend's basenji was attacked by a loose dog in his neighborhood while they were walking; at least at the park there was an alert owner close by to stop his dog! My poor boy is such a calm, innocent little guy, friendly to everyone. My fear now is that he will change and not be so gentle and trusting. Time will tell.

  • I'm so glad Chipley is on the physical mend. That was a terrifying attack. Of course you reacted the way you did, it was very understandable. Give him time, and he may regain his trusting nature again. Take is slow and easy. He may be uncomfortable in multi-dog settings for awhile. Remember when Khonsu was attacked by another basenji years ago? He got over it, but it took awhile, and I do mean months to a year to recover psychologically. Gentle pats and hugs to Chipley!

    Katy Scott

  • Oh Anne, I'm so very very sorry this happened to the Chipster. Do you have some Arnica in your medicine cabinet? There is a creme and a pill forum. it is a holistic remedy that is great for aches/pains/sore muscles. I use it, it give it to the dogs. I'd suggest it for Chip (the pill. I just put it in the lower lip area and pet until dissolved. you don't want to touch it as the active ingredient is on the outside of the pill).

    Going forward, you also might have some luck with Rescue Remedy. There is a dog form. It is a liquid. There is also a human form that has alcohol. I've used the human form for me and the dogs (I got it before I realized there was an OH-free version for dogs). It's also good to have on hand. My experience is that it works, or it doesn't. I used it when I was competing in agility with Jet (no noticable effect) and with Zest (seems to work). Do NOT use the hard candy with dogs (not sure how you could) as it has xylitol. Both of those should be easy to find in your local holistic food store.

    You also may want to read Control Unleashed. One of the things that compelled Leslie to write CU was dealing with a dog that was afraid of other dogs. The Look at That game is great, just be sure that Chip is in a very safe environment. He may be inclined to be aggressive with all dogs, some dogs, or just dogs that look like his attackers. That is normal behavior. Brush up on your calming signals. You may want to put him in the small dog section for a while if your park is divided. (I think the small dog section is usually lower energy and may be easier on him.)

    If he continues to have problems, I would be inclined to look for a class. You might luck out and find a CU class, or a family dog class, or a beginner agility class. Something fun so that he can build some confidence and learn to do stuff/work around other dogs. Since the class should be structured and controlled, you could be sure he would be safe. (If you need help finding a CU class, let me know and I'll see if I can find something in your area)

    ALSO, be aware of YOUR reaction/breathing when he meets other dogs. It's so easy to get tense, so take a deep breath.

    Of course you probably know all this, but I am very sorry this happened to Chip who had just started to get used to his new, better life.

  • Thanks Katy and Kim. I am calmer today, and we are trying to keep an even mood here, some sympathy but not too much! I have used Rescue Remedy in the past, great idea, I had not thought of it. We are hoping that we can go back to the park late one day, when it is very quiet, and let him walk around 'normally'. Many years ago Topper was attacked by a big Boxer, and for years he hated every Boxer he saw, male, female, puppy…all Boxers. We finally worked through it with him but it took a long time. I'm hoping Chip won't develop a thing for big white dogs, seems they are everywhere.

    I will look into the CU book if he has any issues with dogs. And I had been thinking of doing a basic obedience class, maybe do some therapy work, he is such a sweet, calm boy.
    So we'll see. Trying to down-play it emotionally. Glad I wasn't home to hear him cry every time he got up or moved around. Thanks for the reminder that my mood affects him (I have The Other End of the Leash), we tell people that all the time, about entering the park, to relax and send 'have fun' vibes to their dog; I'll have to remember to follow my own advice!

    Chip is sleeping under the table now, hopefully he will feel much better tomorrow. Thanks for the emotional support, my friends!

  • @MacPack:

    I'll have to remember to follow my own advice!

    Chip is sleeping under the table now, hopefully he will feel much better tomorrow. Thanks for the emotional support, my friends!

    Oh I have that problem all the time. When something happens to me and my babies, ugh, everything I know goes out the window!

  • Hugs. its awful when the b's are hurt..

  • Anne, I am so sorry for you and Chipley 😞 I hope he is able to rebound quickly….I am sure being around other Bs there at the same park will help. Hugs to all of you...

  • Poor Chip!!! That is so scary when they get attacked like that. Please give everyone extra hugs and treats from us. I hate that he was in so much pain. But I bet Nicky and Eddie and his usual Sunday gang will help him and he will be back to his old self in no time. Im glad you are taking him back to the park, it has to be hard on you and him but you do want him to be able to go back I know he loves it. My prayers are with Chipley for a quick recovery!!!! Please keep me posted on how he is doing!

  • First Basenji's

    That sounds totally frightening. I hope Chipley will be able to bounce back quickly. And I'm glad to hear the other party was sorry – it's 1000x worse when they're not. But I hope this makes it very clear to them that their dog still needs lots of work. And hopefully they've made it a priority to get professional help for their dog, not just working through any issues on their own. For you and Chipley, please keep us updated so we know he's healing well, both outside and in.

  • Thanks everyone! He is still pretty sore this morning but went for morning walk without any 'issues', curled up asleep in his dog bed now. Pain pills = sleep, which is good. Nicky and Eddie are so careful around him, Nicky does want to 'doctor' him a bit more than he likes, however. Physically he should be fine in just a couple of days, I am thankful the other dog's owner reacted quickly and got her off of him! I need to teach these little dogs to RUN AWAY !!!

  • Poor baby…

    So scary to have that happen 😞 Here is to a speedy and complete recovery for Chip both physically and emotionally.

  • Oh so sorry to hear … poor Chipley!
    My female was attacked (no blood TG) three times by three different black dogs (2 were basenji bitches) and now any time she sees a black dog her hackles go straight up. I have to grab her when we see the one in the neighborhood or she'll take out revenge big time!

  • Chip was happy and went toward the gate to greet a couple of white American bulldog-types, that were there with a couple and woman with a kid. I really wasn't paying much attention, he is social and very benign….In 10 years of going to dog parks almost every day, this is only the second time we have had to go to the vet for an injury

    First, and foremost, I am horrified and so sorry for his injury. 😞 I have seen dogs attacked and know how terrifying for you also.

    But (you knew a but, right?)…I guess I don't agree with your considering 2 times in 10 years safe. Yes, we know I am not a dog park advocate where no precautions are taken (such as assigned areas by size, reserved areas for known friends etc). I also wonder why you weren't paying attention. Dogs first coming in gate are the number one place fights occur from everything I have ever read. No matter how benign YOUR dog is, that has not so much to do with the other dogs. That the owners acted fast and he isn't dead is luck. That they KNEW the dog had an issue and THOUGHT they worked it out, appalling. The dog should have been muzzled or the dog park option removed. I would have the people pay for the vet bills and agree to NEVER return with their dog. I would also consider petitioning the dog park for a sectioning off area where people who KNOW each other and each other dogs can sign up times so your dogs can play with other dogs without concerns. Sadly now his interaction might make him fearful enough to cause other dogs to attack him, or him to posture with them. Take it very very slow if you must return to the park. Try to arrange to go when few are there with a friend or 2 with truly trusted dogs. And try to teach a solid recall, watch the gate, call him to you until new dogs enter and settle down.

    I believe in socializing dogs to other dogs, but not in uncontrolled settings. Dogs are not little children who need a huge variety of play mates. I am not going to bother giving research and quotes and professional opinions because I respect you have the right to decide for yourself. But I think people reading this thread need to at least see that dog parks are not universally seen as safe or a good idea. And to realize that obviously however responsible you may be, there is always some idiot owner out there that can cause your dog to end up dead.

  • I'm really sorry Anne. I think Chipley will rebound but may not like or be leery that type of bread now. I do agree with Debra on attacks at the entry gate. They all rush up and overwhelm the new comer.

  • So sorry to hear about Chipley and I hope he heals quickly both physically and mentally.

    While I don't take my dogs to dog parks, I know many that do and don't have problems. I think any time you take your dog off your property you run a risk of something happening, no matter where you go. We have bought huge walking sticks to take with us when we walk our dogs because of all the loose dogs we have here.

    I do think the owners of the other dog should be held responsible for the vet bills and hopefully are smart enough to never take that dog back to the dog park.

  • @DebraDownSouth:

    That they KNEW the dog had an issue and THOUGHT they worked it out, appalling. The dog should have been muzzled or the dog park option removed. I would have the people pay for the vet bills and agree to NEVER return with their dog.

    Poor Chipley. I hope he is resilient and can put this behind him. I 100% agree with Debra, it sounds like these dogs need to be muzzled and that the owners should pay Chipley's vet bill (or at least a portion).

    I would go talk to the owners and impress upon them that it was bad enough that it was Chipley that got hurt, but next time it could be a child or adult human being, and that can lead to messy law suits. It's also for their safety as well. And I always wonder when someone says "that is the first time anything like that has ever happened". Usually with a little digging, you can find out it is NOT the first time. Yup, more training needed for those dogs, and they need to stay away from dog parks unless securely muzzled.

  • I disagree with the thought of putting a muzzle on a dog in a dog park. Puts that dog in total danger of not being able to defend itself. Even if the dog has issues, it will make that dog far worse, IMO. Bottom line, I like Debra do not use or go to dog parks and do not like them much.

    Of course that is the same issue I have lure coursing, all the dogs should be muzzled, because the one that is, is at the mercy of ones that are not.

  • So sorry this happened. I hope Chipley recovers from his ordeal and that he has a speedy recovery.

  • I hope that Chipley makes a speedy recovery. I know it will be the emotional trauma that takes the longest.

    I also want to say to those recommending muzzles for aggressive dogs at dog park that this is really a bad idea. Muzzles may limit the bite potential but they give everyone a false sense of safety. A muzzle punch can be a surprising hard strong blow and delivered by a large dog with a lot of mass to a small dog can be quite devastating. Also even with a muzzle on dogs can get teeth on things. I have pry my dogs off the lure in LGRA racing and they all run muzzled but can all get a grip with teeth on the lure.

    An aggressive dog shouldn't be at dog parks. That being said, not all owners are honest enough with themselves to take responsibility for their dog and keep those dogs home which puts your dog at risk every time you go to a dog park. Dog parks work for some people and some dogs but for many people I know it goes like so many other things we talk about, it works until it doesn't and then you hope that the damage is something recoverable. I have a pup I bred that was nearly killed by an Akita at the dog park, he had been going for 3 years with no problems until that day. He now has a structured play group with known dogs rather than risking unknown dogs at the dog park.

  • Thanks for the well wishes, everyone. Chip is much better today, he was perky on our walk this afternoon. Still very sore in several places, still on pain meds, but seems to be returning to 'himself'.

    To clarify, it did not happen at the gate (we always get far from the gate), the new dogs had entered and come down to the beach, Chip trotted over to say hello. It is a short beach and the dogs all run up and down it, playing and chasing balls, etc. The owners have taken full responsibility and will pay the vet bill. They came by today and brought a basket with chews, toys, treats, a get well card…and a bottle of wine. And they are calling a behaviorist, and not likely to bring the girl back to the park for a long time, if ever. Usually issues that we see involve intact males, often of the bully variety, and it is easy to just be elsewhere. My dogs don't go up to those dogs, we are pretty observant and have avoided problems for the last 10 years.

    So, Chip will be OK, as 'bad things' go, it has a relatively good ending. Hopefully Chip will be fine at the park, truly we so rarely see anything like this. One of my friends' basenji was far worse when attacked by a loose neighborhood dog. I have had to fend off loose dogs a few times, and then I am by myself, so while dog parks are surely not 100% safe, neither is a walk around the block. At least at the dog park, there are always people around to help. Life isn't safe, it's all a gamble, but I can't imagine just keeping them at home, not going for walks or to parks or dog parks. We are careful, I watch everyone that comes in and leave if a dog looks risky...but obviously even a nice looking dog can 'go off' with no warning.

    So yeah, philosophically I don't believe in giving up freedom for security, but I sure was scared when my dog was down and screaming. We will go back to our little neighborhood park, but I want to have Don with me, I'm less comfortable taking them alone.

    Again, thanks for all the good wishes and suggestions, I appreciate all my friends here so very much!

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