I wasn’t sure if I wanted to write a post about today, or even give it special acknowledgement. At the time I’m writing this, one year ago today I was sitting in an ER room after witnessing and being a part of a pretty gruesome dog attack. I personally tried to keep it, and later on a lot of the details, off of social media because I really did not want my name attached to such an event, nor did I want to deal with the questions and comments that would come with talking about it so early on.
Nowadays it doesn’t feel like it was a year ago, instead it feels like it was a lifetime. A lot of the questions asked in this past year were the “why” questions. Why did the attack happen, why we made the choices we did afterwards, why why why. I figured it was finally time to talk about it in one place.
The answer to the first “why” will never truly be known. Though the theory concluded by us and our local animal control agency after a month of temperament tests is the one I usually tell people now. The pups involved were just that, pups. Only 10 months old, and intact males who were possibly dealing with their hormones for the first time. They were surrounded by females, both of the dog and human variety, who were also going through their “hormonal times”. Animal control thought it was just too much for these dogs, and the way they dealt with it was aggressively.
The other “why” question personally bothers me the most. One of the choices we made was to ask that these dogs NOT be euthanized. People questioned this choice and butted in with their own opinion almost every time it was brought up. I think what a lot of people failed to realize was how much work I’ve put into saving and working with dogs. On and off since my freshman year of high school (so 8 years ago!) I’ve volunteered at a local animal shelter, and made it a personal mission to help the misunderstood ones. The summer before this all happened I accepted a temp position at a high volume shelter in the Bay Area where time and training was of the essence for a lot of the animals coming through the door. And that most recently, the February before I started my business where my first client was a HIGHLY aggressive dog. I knew in my heart that those dogs had the ability to live, thrive, and be happy too. Luckily, the professionals working at the shelter saw that in them too.
And here is the real reason I’m typing this. Today I’d like to ask my friends and family to hug and love on their fur babies for me. And for the ones that care spare a few dollars to donate to a shelter or rescue of their choice. Support the ones who take in the broken, damaged, needy, and sometimes just plain aggressive. The places that see something in these dogs and others cannot. Here is a list of some that mean something to me:
- Yolo County Animal Services. (My local agency, they cared for and housed one of the dogs involved for over a month!)
- Front Street Animal Shelter. (The one that started it all 8 years ago!)
- Contra Costa County Animal Services. (I was a temp at the Martinez location!)
- CHAKO Pit Bull Rescue & Advocacy
- Villalobos Rescue Center (Though not local, their message is one that I have always and will always stand by.)