Hi. Ordinarily, I strive to keep my personal business off the internet because I’m an incredibly private person. Besides, it feels arrogant to presume anyone would care about my life or personal opinions. I’m here to tell stories, not change lives. I decided to make an exception today, so my story can serve as a warning to others.
Here’s the TL;DR: I haven’t been able to work on my book for a few days because my German Shepherd tried to rip my hand off.
Still with me? Okay, here’s the long version. Our family has four dogs. We never planned on having four dogs, but it just kind of panned out that way. This isn’t about all of our dogs, though; just the two males.
Koga is ten years old, and we’ve had him since he was a puppy. This dog is my freakin heart. He’s smart, he’s loyal, he’s funny, he gorgeous. You are literally looking at the best dog in the world.
Ares is my son’s dog, and I personally delivered him. His mother was a stray, we took her in, and she thanked us a month later by giving birth to eleven puppies. We found homes for nine of the babies and the mom, but were left with two we just couldn’t place. The puppies, as they’re still known, will be two-years-old on New Year’s Eve.
Once upon a time, the boys got along very well. Then, Koga got old and Ares hit puberty. I guess the problem is that Koga feels as though he should still be in charge, and has never been above shoving the other dogs out of the way. The girls take his grumpy-old-manness in stride, but Ares has begun to take offense. Despite the fact that Ares is terrified of Koga–he trembles and growls every time Koga gets near him–they progressed to actual brawls about a month ago
Fast-forward to October eighteenth. What started this particular fight? Food. It’s almost always about food. Koga won’t let Ares near it unless I make him. Sometimes, Koga will run up and act like he’s going to take Ares’ food just to show he can, and that’s when Ares gets pissed.
I know that looks terrible, but it all came from one scratch in the middle of his head. I posted it so you can see the horror I’m dealing with. Plus, it doesn’t help that Ares takes his job as guard dog extremely seriously. He acts like he was part of the Queen’s guard in a former life.
On October 18, the boys got into another knock-down-drag-out fight. My son and I tried to break them up by sticking a broom between them, since this has worked in the past, but not that day. Ares caught hold of Koga’s ear and would. Not. Let. Go.
I panicked and did the stupidest thing in the world. I reached between them, knowing it was a mistake, to grab them by the napes of their necks and drag them apart. Unfortunately, Koga decided to go for Ares’ neck at the same time. Guess who got bitten?
Yup. Me. I want to make this clear: I was at fault. I knew better. Everyone with sense knows not to reach between two fighting dogs. I was lucky in that Koga let go the instant he realized he’d gotten me and not his brother, and that he didn’t thrash his head. He didn’t have to. With the exception of that wide gash on my knuckle, those are puncture wounds that go all the way to the bone. Four days later, the bruises have risen to the surface and the swelling is just now starting to go down. For ten days, I get to enjoy a regimen of antibiotics that turn my stomach and make every inch of my skin feel like I’m covered in mosquito bites.
Oh, yeah. AND they didn’t give me stitches in the ER (Thanks, Obama) but instead decided to close my boo-boos with steri-strips. Guess what. I’m allergic to the adhesive in most bandages, and these were no different. Now, I have pus-filled blisters surrounding the bite marks, because why not?
Oh, btw? October the 18th is my birthday.
The good news is this seems to have taken the fight out of the boys. They mostly avoid one another now. While I know that some self-proclaimed dog experts won’t agree, we are not getting rid of either dog. It’s just not an option. These dogs are family. To us, and to each other. We are actively working to eliminate the stress-factors that play into the aggression between Koga and Ares. Instead of constant hostility, we are actively working to make them associate one another with fun and play instead of rivalry.
So, that’s why the new chapter is running late. I know, maybe three people in the world care if WitD3 is ever finished, but hey. You three people mean the world to me. And, for you three people…OMG LOOKIT MAH HAND!!!
I’m glad to be able to type again. Please, for the love of all that is holy, respect your animals. Big or small, dogs are dogs, and that is not a bad thing. That’s what makes them so wonderful. We have to love them as dogs. Not four-legged people, but dogs. My family is going to approach Koga and Ares’ problems from a perspective they, as dogs, can understand. To do anything else would be a disservice to them.