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Question
Posted by: Mindful | 2007/06/16

Dog Bite

Hey CS, how's it going with you this weekend?

Here, I'm a little sore today!

My friend is going on a European holiday for 2 weeks starting next weekend, and she's asked me to look after her teenage daughters. Since the last time I'd been to visit at her house, she'd gotten a new dog, one that's very protective of her - I think it's a bull dog (varkhond??). It has a shark-like face, very scary.

I told her that I would like for it to get used to me before they leave, so that he sees I'm not a threat. Things went quite well, they brought him in on a leash, and he took note of me, but didn'y come near me. Eventually he came closer and I let him sniff my hand and he allowed me to rub his ears, getting more comfy with me, I was allowed to rub under his chin. He really enjoyed the attention, that he even rolled over and allowed me to rub his belly. I felt confident that he liked me and didn't perceive me as a threat, and asked them to let him off the leash. He liked me so much, that he wanted to jump on my lap! I tried to sound authorotative and said "No!". He thought of it as a huge game, and tried again. Then his "mom" got up and tried to pull him away. At that moment, he bit down onto my left arm (my dominant arm) and would not let go!

I know that it was an accident, that the only reason he bit me was because suddenly he was not allowed to be with this person in his house, and his "mom" was pulling him away from me as though I were dangerous, and his instinct to protect just kicked in. Like I said, I know it was an accident.

I played down how sore it was, (but couldn't help starting to cry, and I also started shaking incontrollably). I stayed for 30 more minutes and said I had to go home. I rushed to the nearest clinic, and asked for a doctor to just look at the wound. By this time, my arm had swollen so much that I couldn't roll up my sleeve! The doc said that his bottom tooth had bitten into a msucle, and there was a bit of bleeding inside, and that's why it was so swollen. I also had to get a tetanus shot, and thank goodness he prescribed some pain killers. At the time I must have still been high on adrenaline, because I told him it wasn't that sore. At 3 this morning, I was singing another tune!!

I know you're not a dog expert, CS, maybe some of the readers are? I realise I should be prepared if I'm there and "mom" isn't that if he does bite, that I must be able to do something to let him go? Her daughters are not strong enough for that. I have one of those electrical prodders, but don't want to even go that way!! What do you think? In the mean time, I'm going to go back every day to let him see me there and interacting with the kids. Maybe smuggle some biltong in my bag?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Hi M !
If that's a shark-like face, doesn't sound like a Bulldog, as they have a flat, jowly and slobbery face.
Anyhow, so much depends on how such a dog has been trained, which I think needs to include how to distinguish friend from foe, and what coes to take from his owner as to who should be trusted.
But don't play down the seriousness of the injury, I'm amazed that she didn't insist on inspecting the wound at the time, and taking you directly to a doc or casualty dept.
I agree with Britty ; if she has chosen to get and train a potentially vicious dog, she should put it in a kennel for the 2 weks, and not add danger to your burden in kindly looking after her kids. I gather they would not be welcome to be placed in a kennel, so that alternative does not apply to them.

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Lin | 2007/06/17

It sounds like a Bull Terrier. Please be very careful because if these dogs arent trained they can be VERY unpredictable!

Reply to Lin
Posted by: Britty | 2007/06/16

As much as what you want to help your friend tell Mom the extent of your injury. Perhaps it would be easier for everyone if she put her dog into kennels as she is only going for 2 weeks. Don't try and be brave by keeping quiet as that could have bad consequences later. Take care of yourself.

Reply to Britty

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