Having made reference to this in a thread elsewhere, I thought I'd best tell the full story- I'm quite sure there may be something to learn from it.
Last Sunday evening my mother and I went out walking with V&F. As happens quite frequently now, as we wander and chat and 'catch up', each will handle one dog. On this night, I had Villi, mum had Flirtt. We'd been out walking for a couple of hours, the night was lovely, the dogs were calm and happy and it had been one of the nicest walks for quite a long time.
On my own street, 3 houses from mine, an off leash Kelpie (it lives across the road and three doors up, so effectively this happened outside its own house) appeared from nowhere (it was dark), ran directly at Mum and Flirtt and simply latched on to Flirtt. There was no growling, no barking, no bouncing or backward/ forward movement. Just a swift, silent, focussed assault.
Mum, on seeing the dog coming, moved in front of Flirtt and tried to shove her back behind a parked car for protection. We had been walking down the middle of the street as it is the best lit path in the dark and because it gives better view of what's coming. Despite trying to block, the kelpie latched on to Flirtt's face.
At the time, all I could do was hold Villain back and watch my mum fight this dog off with her legs and the handle end of the leash (I use police leashes, so have heavy brass hardware on each end). I yelled to mum to let go and step back, but she refused on the basis that it would put more people and dogs at risk.
Eventually, under mums onslaught, and by that time Flirtt was also fighting back, the kelpie let go and ran into its house yard.
Mum copped puncture wounds to her hand, bruising to hand, arm, body and Flirtt has facial punctures. Both Mum and Flirtt received medical treatment. I did not get to bed at all that night (6 hours in emergency alone).
The frustrating part is that I have asked the owner of this dog repeatedly to put her dog on leash. It enters my property and rushes the fence at my house behind which my dogs are contained. It has jumped on my mother's car to get at her little old dog sitting in the car. I've seen the woman struggling to walk the dog on lead, and doing 'yank and crank' with a halti.
I've been polite ('Look, it would be great if you could put a leash on your dog'- first time) through to rude ('Are you a frigging moron? Put your damned dog on a leash'- 5th time) to no avail. This is the woman who has petitioned my neighbors to remove my dangerous dogs from the neighborhood, because they are Dobes.
So, she now has a declared 'menacing' dog and has to have it leashed and muzzled at all times in public. Some fines, too, I believe. She has stated to council that 'she hasn't had a dog before and it's a steep learning curve'.... I ask why she never set foot on my doorstep (everyone round here knows I'm a trainer) to ask for help.
But now I have a previously dog reactive dog who needs significant desensitisation to get her back to where we were after 18 months if time and money spent. We will start now at square 'minus 10'. My male dog will also require some desensitisation work.
We can no longer walk the streets of our town freely for fear of encountering an off leash or unconfined dog. Our freedom has been considerably decreased by one stupid person too many. Every single day now is the stress of 'where can I take my dogs that I know I will be able to control the external environment around them?'. The answer is, of course, nowhere off my own property.
The incident was 200% preventable, yet as it was happening I could do nothing to help my mum and my dog and save them the trauma. That is a mental image I will have forever, whilst the owner of the kelpie 'saw nothing'.
My fury at people who refuse to leash or control their dogs properly is at boiling point.