A dog problem

I have an issue with dogs. We have actually had a few, those Greyhounds we fostered a few years back, but too many people don’t understand dogs.

They are hunting and killing machines (like cats) that work with their humans. All dogs have the wolf still lurking within.

The upshot of all of this is we now have one less alpaca. I caught the dog, which was happy and friendly when I came out to see what the commotioin was- a big Rotweiler standing over the body of a 5 month old. (The alpaca and its mother had been in the pen by the house to treat the young ones staggers, I heard lots of alarm calling and went out to see what was going on- the attack had just happened, probably only seconds before. Altun was still alive, he died less than a minute later in my arms.) Animal control came and took the dog away. There were no external signs of injury, and the Animal Control officer was concerned the dog might “get away with it” (which is why most farmers apply the “shoot, shovel and shut up” procedure to any dogs on their land). My post-mortem examination turned up “good news”, multiple sub-dermal haematomas on the neck consistent with the pressure marks of large canine teeth, some torn musculature on the neck, and a broken cervical vertibrae- it snapped his little neck.

I *really* want to know where the dog came from. I don’t know of any neighbor with such a dog. It had collar and tags, so they should be able to track down the owners pretty easily.

So I start my weekend angry and sad. I am struck by the irony that years ago, back in the lab, I used to joke “I’m glad I didn’t go to Med School, ’cause when you have a bad day as a MD, people die.” Now I get to deal with those bad days, except I get to do the post mortem, and dig the grave, too.

Edit: Turns out this is an “everyone loses” situation. We found out today that the log- an 11 month old puppy- had been newly acquired by Kim up the road. She is really upset. They have been dog owners for years, yet this puppy was an escape artist. When the pound called them, they discovered it had been in the pound multiple times before- caught wandering. So the seller knew it was a problem dog, and didn’t tell them.

Kim and Shawneee were looking for the dog immediately after it disappeared- it had run ~1.3 km down the road, and up our drive. They went 1km down the road, but the alpaca we have grazing on a drive up the road were completely unconcerned, so they figured it had not gone that far. Maybe it run past and they didn’t notice, or it ran past and 5 minutes later they were calm again. Just stupid bad luck he came up our drive, and that led right to a pen where we had Altun, who was not at 100% anyways because of his staggers. Mora, his mum, is upset and wants to know where her baby is, but that will pass in 3 or 4 days.

The dog will most probably be left at the pound, and be euthanized. I think they are going to go after the seller for false representation.

3 thoughts on “A dog problem

  1. mom says:

    So sorry to hear about the attack. I hope they find the owners and fine them where it hurts. Do they usually put the dog down? What if it was a child?

  2. Jude says:

    I’m so sorry. I’m angry for you and Tam, and the little alpaca… and the dog too. I would like to find the owners and hurt them a lot; because of them, you lost your alpaca, and the dog will likely also die now because someone couldn’t be ARSED to fence and watch their dog. (Though if the dog slipped out, which is possible — and happened to a friend of my parents — everybody loses. Dammit.)

    It’s just immensely sucky all round. I’m so very sorry.

  3. Tamara says:

    An update to the update: the dog was returned to Kim, but was classified as “menacing”, which means it needs to be securely contained at all times, muzzled when it’s out in public, never let off its leash, etc.

    I have mixed feelings about this decision, though it’s at least arguably a better outcome for Kim and the dog (assuming the dog causes no further problems, of course).

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