My mom and her dog, Winston, stepped out for their walk on Wednesday afternoon and a dog came out of nowhere and attacked. The little 10yr old girl across the street, who saw the whole thing, told the cop later that the other dog was hiding under Mom's ramp. The dog picked Winston up in his mouth - Winston weighs 30-some pounds - and shook him around. My mom threw herself on Winston to pull the dog off - (not the smartest move but she was acting on instinct) - but the dog wouldn't let go. He bit Winston everywhere. Besides the large wounds, Winston has tiny bites all over his body. The dog got a hold of Winston's stomach and ripped it open. Then he grabbed Winston by the leg and dragged him around until his leg was stripped to the bone. A neighbor saw it and ran over and starting beating the other dog in the head with a stick. It went on for 20 minutes. Several people tried to help; a teenager who came over to help but our neighbor screamed at him (and at my mom) to get back because the dog was going to kill someone, a woman who went to the house the dog was from and pounded on the door screaming that their dog was attacking someone (she says she thinks someone was inside but they wouldn't come to the door), and someone who called 911. When he ran over to help, the neighbor threw Mom off the dogs and she fell into the street and bruised her whole side, but considering she could have had her throat ripped out, we are grateful.
Eventually, he beat the dog enough that it let go and then he stood on the dog's head with both feet. The dog's eyes were open and glazed and he wasn't moving and our neighbor yelled at my mom to grab Winston and get inside. Mom was afraid to approach and the neighbor said, "It's okay, I think he's dead. I think I killed him and I don't care, just get Winston." The little neighbor girl ran over and helped Mom get her door open and get Winston inside. When my mom got him in the bathtub to check his wounds, she saw that his intensitines were hanging out. The neighbor said he'd file the police report while Mom took Winston to the vet. Mom called my sister and asked for her credit card but didn't say what had happened, but my sister could tell something was seriously wrong with Mom, so she went up to the vet to see what was going on. (she called me later in tears, after having seen Winston's wounds). The vet said they had two options and they had to decide right then: take him to the emergency vet clinic like 30 minutes away for surgery or put him down right now, because he was in pain and the longer they wait, the less likely his chances. Mom was hysterical and in shock and covered head to toe in Winston's blood and my sister thought that after witnessing this traumatic event, if Winston died like that, it would kill Mom. She is in poor health and she lives for that dog. So the vet wrapped him up as tight as they could and loaded him into my sister's car and she drove to the Animal ER - (she was afraid the whole way that Winston was going to die in the backseat in Mom's lap).
The surgery took several hours - they didn't get home until 3am. They said his insides were not shredded but they did have wounds in them, so he was at high rick for infection and septic. However, they got him into surgery real fast, so that improved his chances. In the meantime, my aunt went to the house and cleaned up. She said there was a trail of blood to the bathroom and the tub was filled with blood and she didn't want Mom to come home to that. The cops got enough witness statements to confiscate the other dog. One of our neighbors - who brought Mom a plate of brownies - said that both she and her dog have been attacked by dogs from that same family. The family paid the vet bill the first time and the second time they brought proof that they had put the dog down - though later she swore she saw the same dog going into their house again. She has two small kids and they are moving solely because of these people letting their viscous animals run loose. People having their dogs not chained, penned or leashed in this neighborhood is actually a big problem - if you remember a loose dog knocking Mom over last year and breaking her arm.
Winston is doing fairly well, but he's still in the Critical Care Unit and has some fluid build-up and inflammation in his intestines, which is worrisome, but he is walking around and coherent and interested in the smell of food, though he won't eat yet. The vet bills are astronomical, but there was nothing for it - we couldn't let my mom watch her dog get mauled to death. The family has all graciously opened their checkbooks to help us out and my cousin, who is a vet tech, knows of several charities and we have already got assistance from one of them. Everyone has really come together over this - family, friends, our neighborhood. I just wish people took loose dogs more seriously, because this kind of thing should never happen. I am so grateful the dog didn't go after Mom or the little girl across the street or attack when any of my cousins kids were over visiting Mom. Winston is the sweetest dog, so sweet in fact, that he didn't even fight back. If he makes it through this week, I'll think we'll be in the clear, but he still has a ways to go and he will probably have life long ailments because of this. We plan to sue the shit out of the dog owners and recoup our money and put any extra aside for Winston's long term care. Mom's shock finally wore off, but she is still shaken and I think she will never be the same again after witnessing that.
Any good thoughts, vibes or prayers you can send Winston's way would be appreciated. Give your beloved furry family members extra cuddles tonight in his honor. I'll try to let you know how he's doing in a few days.
(ETA: I've been informed that the attacking dog has not been put down yet. It is in quarantine but there is a process that has to be gone through before he can be put down. We'll see what happens with that.)