Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Topaz Tussle

How quickly the feelings of satisfaction, happiness and optimism can change to fear, panic and dread!

Yesterday as I was driving out to the trail for a quick run before picking up Troy from baseball practice I was reading my email. Mark contacted me to let me know he had found Joan Peterson via a search online. He is a much better ‘searcher’ than I! I was so excited. I was going to call her as soon as I finished my run.

As Topaz and I began our run up the trail my friend Kevin was running toward us, just finishing his. I haven’t seen Kevin in forever and it was really nice to see him. I did feel bad that I had 20 seconds to say HI and BYE as I had to pick up Troy shortly.

I was smiling, laughing and enjoying the 70F degree weather as I ran upon the trail. As Topaz and I entered the dense pine forest I heard something running really fast in back of me. I heard the sound that Topaz usually makes when he is catching up after taking a detour into the woods, running as fast as he can, paws beating upon the trail sound, catching me. I glanced over my shoulder and there it was, a huge dog running at break neck speed toward us. I recognized him immediately as an American Pit Bull Terrier. Fu**.

Topaz was about 20 feet ahead of me so I called him back before the dog caught up to me. He could hear the alarm in my voice. He ran to my feet and sat, looking up at me. As the dog approached I said in my happy sing song voice ‘nice pup, hi pup, he’s nice, good boy Topaz’ and I was thinking to myself oh man, he’s going to go right for the neck. I released Topaz from his sit/stay and let him smell Pit Bull. Topaz’s fur was standing on end as was the Pit Bull. Oh boy. Here we go. Pit Bull latched onto Topaz’s neck, shaking him like a ragdoll back and forth. I began to scream at the dog, then lowered my voice in a disciplined manner to let go and stop. I pulled on his thick square head just below the ears and realized he was clamped down on Topaz’s fur, not his skin. I pulled and pulled, he would not release. Finally I began to kick him in the head. He let go of Topaz, there was white fur everywhere, I told Topaz “RUN”.. He looked at me, questioning my command and I realized he couldn’t see my eyes. I removed my sunglasses and said RUN again. He began to run through the woods but the damn Pit Bull was a strong sprinter. He was 10 feet in back of Topaz when I thought to myself : how far will they go, how long until he catches up and how am I going to catch up with Topaz? I thought better of my decision and called him back. This all took place in a few seconds. As Topaz came back to me and sat at my feet the Pit Bull stopped about two feet in front of Topaz. I told him to STAY, he did.

The owner arrived, splayed his body upon the Pit Bull, forcing him to the ground. He was full of apologies and I was just in shock. There was no blood. I looked at Topaz’s neck and could not believe there were no puncture wounds.

I ran upon the trail as fast as I could. I couldn’t wait to get out of there! I was shaking like a leaf, I couldn’t feel my legs and Topaz was like yeah, whatever, let’s run and have some fun.

I hope they aren’t at the trail today!


SteveQ said...

Wow. Glad it ended well. Amazing that you thought to remove your glasses and repeat the command!

Julie B said...

Thanks Steve. Oh god, I know. I can't believe I stayed calm. It seems as though it was slow motion. My throat and hand are sore today. Hand from pulling and throat from screaming.

Kel said...

Yikes! Glad everything turned out OK!

Hope that owner doesn't let his pit bull run off leash again given how he behaved with other trail users.

Skwigg said...

Oh, that is a sick feeling when another dog attacks your dog. Glad everybody is ok. Poor Topaz. I once had a crazy Dalmatian pick up my Yorkie-Poo and shake her like a squeaky toy. Totally horrifying, blood, yelping, vet bills. Since then I've been leery of owning a dog little enough for other dogs to pick up. Ripley is a moose of an Aussie. :-P We've been lucky lately. The last dog that charged us in the woods like that turned out to be a total tail-wagging goofer.

Sue said...

Julie that must have been absolutly frightning. As a runner who takes her 2 dogs out of town everyday to run I know exactly how you must of felt as that happened to me a few years back with one of my dogs. The only saving grace was that the dog was not a pitbull. I was so relieved to hear that you and Topaz were unhurt. You should carry some pepper spray with you as you never know when something like this might happen again. I would report this if it ever happens again. I can't believe that you stayed so calm through the whole ordeal.

Julie B said...

Thanks for all of the nice comments. I am so thankful that his skin was not punctured. The pb had a hold of his whole ruff, thank god. That is probably why I wasn't yelling at the guy and swearing him out. We went back to the trail and didn't see the pb. I was afraid of every noise I heard.

Anonymous said...

How scary!! I'm so glad Topaz wasn't hurt! or you for that matter! My brother is a cop and pepper spray didn't work on a pit bull. maybe it just depends on the dog, but this particular one wasn't phased.


Helen said...

oh nasty experience! glad Topaz (and you!) are ok - that pb should never be let off the leash again. nice job getting both of you through it.

John W. Taylor said...

Great job in dealing with that situation.
You might want to monitor the area that was grabbed by the other dog- we've had puncture wounds not bleed- but get infected later.
Hope to see you out on trails soon-

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