30 September 2006

Well, THAT was fun

I had an assignment covering an Oktoberfest over in Mr. Stapler's neck of the woods today. He wanted to go with me so I thought we would pass a pleasant day: festival, snackies, write the story, walk the dogs, have a little dinner, maybe a DVD. Nice.

Instead, I ended up soaking wet with my back wrenched, covered in spit and hair, trembling from a bad case of adrenaline overload.

What about Mr. Stapler? Did he fare better? Sprained wrist, two deep puncture wounds, wet, covered in spit and hair. So, no, not better.

Mrs. Chicky might want to sit down for this one.

My dear dog Goldie and Mr. Stapler's dog Kelly have had a rough relationship. Two alpha females. Kelly now lives in the house where Goldie lived for 4 years, so both dogs think they own the place. Not a recipe for true dog happiness.

They have had a couple scuffles before, but in my Pollyanna mind, I thought they would get over it as time went by.

Today they proved me wrong. They were ok at first, but Goldie jealously began hoarding all the toys and bones. Finally Kelly got a bone and trotted off with it. Goldie waited until Kelly was in a vulnerable position and attacked her.

Not a "growl snap" kind of attack. An "I'm going to kill you, you little bitch, if it is the last thing I do, I really mean it" attack. They were a sudden blur of fur and screaming.

I went to grab the dogs and haul them out of the kitchen doorway where they were fighting (never let it be said that I am not an idiot). Kelly got free from Goldie's grip and attacked Goldie, latching onto her scruff.

I pounded on Kelly's head as hard as I could with my hand, screaming. I was hitting her HARD. She wouldn't stop.

Mr. Stapler grabbed them. In the frenzy, Goldie bit him as hard as she could on the wrist. "OW!!!" he yelled. He dropped the dogs and grabbed his wrist.

"The water! Spray them with the f***ing water!!" Mr. Stapler yelled.

"I DON'T HAVE ANY WATER!!" I screamed, looking around, thinking he was insane.

He came over and turned the kitchen sprayer on the dogs, which had the effect of soaking all of us and making the kitchen floor super slippery.

Kelly still had a death grip on Goldie's scruff all this time. I slid across the floor, trying to pry her mouth off, no luck. Mr. Stapler pulled on Kelly - she would not let go and Goldie's scruff was stretching further and further.

We finally wrestled them outside and hosed them down with the big hose, getting us even wetter. One piece of advice: the water thing on fighting dogs? Doesn't really work.

Somehow we finally parted them and put them on opposite sides of the pool fence. Mr. Stapler lay on his back with his wrist in the pool. I bumbled around, dripping, drying off dogs and myself, mopping the floor with Mr Stapler helping me.

I loaded Goldie in the car and we limped home, stinking of spit.

My inventory shows she has two puncture wounds in her head and a gash by her ear. I am pondering the hundreds of dollars the emergency vet would vacuum out of my wallet and whether neosporin would fix everything and how guilty I'm going to feel if it doesn't.

The moral of the story: don't think two mean bitches will work it out between themselves.


stampydurst said...

Oh, Suebob...that just sucks. Sorry you had such a miserable day and sorry both you and Mr. Stapler got wounded. If Goldie's okay and her shots are up to date (and Kelly's are as well), I would recommend that you just shave the area around the puncture wounds, clean them out well (maybe even with a little betadine), and put some antibiotic ointment on them. I paid over $100 for that same treatment several years ago. Of course, my dog at the time also got a stylish plastic cone out of it which he used to destroy my living room.

At least you still have a sense of humor. You're BITCH comment clearly shows that wasn't wounded.

SUEB0B said...

I forgot that there was a doctor in the blogosphere! Thanks, Stampy. I have got two of them shaved and cleaned. She is done with cleaning for a little while and we will try again soon after a break.

stampydurst said...

I feel compelled to remind you that I am a human doctor which doesn't always translate to canines. But this is my real life experience and was my real life expense.

So far, you're doing better than me. It took me three tries for each wound and was like greased labrador wrestling at a low-rent rodeo.

I can tell you, with a little more certainty, that Mr Stapler's puncture wounds are more worrisome if they are tooth punctures. While we are fond of saying that dog's mouths are cleaner than humans (which I proved in microbiology in med school), the bacteria that normally live in their mouths are not the same that our bodies tolerate. If any of the wounds are on his hands or near any tendons, he should have them looked at. He may need to have them formally washed out. He may also need a dose of IV antibiotics. Sorry to be the potential bearer of bad news. Call me if you need more details.

Anonymous said...

Poor Suebob.

The possiblity of bitch fights are why I carry a Taser with me at all times.

Okay, I don't, but for a sec, didn't you consider me to be a seriously serious sort?

Chicky Chicky Baby said...

Oh Suebob. This situation really stinks (I was going to say 'bites' but that would have been improper).

First of all, your first commenter is right (go figure, she's a doctor, she knows better than I): Mr. S's bites are more worrisome. He needs a tetnus shot (if he hasn't had one in the last, what is it, 10 years?) and antibiotics. No biggie. I've had to do it myself.

As for the dogs, you need a much stronger stream than a water from a kitchen sprayer to stop a dog fight.

One of the best ways to break up a fight is to throw a blanket over the dogs' heads and each of you grab a dog by the back legs, then lift up and away. The blanket will confuse them (and keep their mouths away from your limbs), the jerking upward movement will help to disengage their jaws, and the pulling back will separate them. I hope you never need to use this lesson.

Do you still want advice on how to stop Kelly from nipping you when you enter Mr. S's house?

super des said...

Oh boy. Lesson learned, anyone?

spotted elephant said...

Oh, f*&^. I'm sorry that happened.

Her Bad Mother said...

Oh my GOD. Everyone's okay, right?

SUEB0B said...

Update: We visited the emergency vet at about 7:30 this morning after it was obvious my girl was in pain.

I left her for a few hours and they gave her strong pain meds and shaved and cleaned her head. She has about 5 punctures and a gash from where Kelly was hanging onto her head. Her haircut looks quite hideous - too hideous to post a photo.

She is home now and quite under the influence. She looks like a rheumy old drunk, and she does not make a pretty drunk.

We will spend a quiet day recovering and I may take the day off tomorrow to hang out and keep her quiet.

Thanks everyone for your advice.

Mr. Stapler is resisting going to the doc. He will probably wait until it is swollen and purple.

meno said...

Oh my god! That's some story. You don't really need to go that far in order to amuse us, really.
I'm very sorry. And why is it that some men will not go to the doctor?

Anonymous said...

That is horrible! What a scary thing to have happen, especially with your own pets. Please tell Mr. Stapler to go to the doctor, not to try to be all "tough" about it. We'd like him not to develop any nasty infections.

Lisa said...

I am SO VERY SORRY to hear that. Wow what a rough day for everyone involved.

The blanket Mrs. CHicky talked about is very interesting.

Suzanne said...

Ooof-da! What a horrible thing to happen. I'm glad that no one (dog or human) was more seriously hurt. Mr. S should definitely shuffle his ass in to a doctor soon. He's as stubborn as Kelly was! Keep us posted.

Mignon said...

I've been there, and it sucks! It was always my dog and one of my brother's dogs (three brothers - 4 dogs total). We did the pulling-by-the-backlegs thing, which just caused my dog to get extra pissed and turn around and bite my husband.

And also my mom used to spray my older brothers with a hose when they were fighting and that never worked either. I would've loved to see her do the blanket and backlegs thing, though. ;)

Anonymous said...

Oh, my dear. You have surpassed my suck ass day. I would like to put both your bossy bitches "on notice", but I suspect you may already have done so.

And the final comment about the bitches? Honey,you could make t-shirts.

Anonymous said...

Man that must have been traumatic to watch. I hope Goldie and Mr. Stapler are both okay.

Unknown said...

Oh Suebob, I'm so sorry about your bitches.

It's horrible and dangerous to be caught in the middle but at the same time they're your children and you know you have to do something.

SUEB0B said...

Update #2: I did take the day off and she is much improved. She is on antibiotics and anti-inflammatories.

alphabitch said...

Like I always say, they don't call us bitches for nothing. And I'm speaking here as the [bereaved, but still...] companion human of one mean-ass alpha bitch (see photo). I had to peel all 85 lbs of her off of other dogs more than once before my optimism was sufficiently dampened. No serious injuries were done in our case, however. I'm so sorry you had to experience that up close & personal.

Mama en Fuego said...

Followed over from Mrs. Chicky, that sounds like a horrible experience. And yes you are right, we mean bitches sometimes just don't get over it.

I am just glad you and Goldie are okay aside from some minor injuries and hurt feelings.

alphabitch said...

This is a lot easier to demonstrate than to describe, and I didn't have time to add it to my earlier comment. Butregarding the grabbing the back legs thing: it's a lot easier to slide one forearm under the dog's belly, right back against her legs and pull up just enough to get her feet off the floor, while also grabbing her collar or the scruff of her neck or the back of head with your other hand and then keep lifting back and up.

If there's no one in control of the other dog, turn quickly away from the other dog -- try to put yourself between the two, pushing the loose dog away with your foot if you need to.

You have a lot more control over the dog, you're less likely to get bitten, and (esp. if the dog is heavy) you're less likely to hurt your own back. Plus your footing is a little more steady so you're less likely to fall.

Anonymous said...

Oh god. I'm sorry. I don't know that I would've had the presence of mind to even think of spraying water on them.

I'm glad Goldie's doing better. What about you and Mr. Stapler?

SUEB0B said...

Thanks for asking, everyone, and for your sympathy.

I took a mental health/wrenched back/taking care of dog day yesterday and feel much improved.

Mr. Stapler's wrist looks fine.

Goldie's haircut is itching her something fierce but she seems to be healing up.

I posted photos for the voyeuristic (like I know I would be) over at

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