...except for me and my monkey! "Everything we see hides another thing. We always want to see what is hidden by what we see." -Rene Magritte

Monday, September 10, 2007

Dog attack on NE 9th Ave

I had a scary experience this evening as I was biking south along NE 9th Avenue towards the Lloyd Athletic Club for my yoga class. Around 9th and Brazee, a large-ish, sturdy dark dog with the face of a pit bull appeared seemingly out of nowhere and began running alongside and a little ahead of me. It's discomforting to be followed by a dog when you're on a bike, but this dog seemed to be enjoying itself just running; I was more concerned with it getting hit by a car (it wasn't obeying the stop signs) as we approached the busier streets around the Lloyd Center than I was with my own safety. At one point the dog ran across the street to check out a pedestrian, then crossed back to continue running ahead of me. Around Schulyer, the dog spotted a woman walking a large white Siberan Husky-type dog across the street and ran over to them. The woman's dog jumped back and she yelled at the dark dog to go away. I had continued biking and was half a block down NE 9th when I heard barking, snarling, and the woman yelling for help. I turned back. The dark dog had the woman's dog's back in its jaws; her dog was lying on the sidewalk. Several passersby had rushed over. Someone had wrapped a spare leash (I saw a man holding his terrier in his arms, maybe he gave his dog's leash?) around the dark dog's neck and was trying to pull it off the woman's dog. Everyone was yelling. Someone was calling 911 and asking if any humans had been attacked. Finally they got the dog off of the other; the woman crossed the street with her poor dog, who had a dark gash in its back. The man restraining the mystery dog was yelling that it should be put down. "I'm probably a bigger animal lover than any of you here, but this dog needs to be put down!" It had no collar and no tags.

The police arrived within about thirty seconds. An officer put a muzzle around the dog's jaws and put it in the back of her patrol car. It didn't seem aggressive around humans (in fact, when I got to the gym I realized that in the confusion I got some dog slobber on the thigh of my yoga pants when the dog brushed by me en route to the patrol car; if it wanted to bite me it could have). I told the officer about how the dog started running alongside me and my impressions of what happened; she took down my name and address. The woman and her dog were across the street with a small group of concerned people. The other officer went over to talk with her. I just hope her dog is okay, and that both the dog and the woman won't be completely traumatized.

We had a strange dog appear this morning at the preschool, as well, right as I was guiding four kids out from our classroom to the playground. This one was wearing identification, and it seemed friendly too--after the kids were in the playground it let me check its tags. It was probably just a neighborhood dog that got out of its yard, but after the experience this evening, it's scary to think how easily it could have attacked one of the kids--not to mention how quickly a seemingly-friendly unknown dog can turn nasty.