“In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.”
-Henry Wadsworth –
Today was a test for maintaining my cool. And, the state of calm shock afterwards when there was time and space to rethink it all. There was nothing unusual about the start of the day. We had our regular weekend boarding dogs come in the night before. Mike headed out very early to set up his kiosk at the Friday Farmer’s Market where he sells hand crafted lawn furniture, bird houses and clocks. The dogs had been out and back in and fed. When I got up and about I let them all out together as usual, did my morning house chores and headed out for the official poop patrol.
Just as I got to my pick-up tools…all hell broke loose. The younger of the two Japanese Mastiffs got my Zak cornered up by the kennels and nailed him. It all happened so fast and so brutally. The only thing I can figure out is that Maruk had a bone in his kennel that he felt was threatened. Bones and dogs spell trouble. I should have thought of this sooner, but, it had not been an issue before. There was no way Zak could get the bone but to a dog this is not a given.
It is a trait of the Mastiff breed to clamp down…a no release type of attack similar to that of Pitbull notoriety. Anyway he had Zak by the throat and there was no way that I had enough strength to pull them apart. I had waded into the fray at first but quickly came to my senses…no amount of yelling or pulling at either would work. I stepped back, looked about and grabbed a long 2×4 from the pile of scrap wood, waded back in and dropped it right on top of the Mastiff’s head. It was just the right move, just the right thing to snap him out of his bite trance. Just to clarify I do not club dogs on the head with boards…in this case the weight of the board itself dropping on his head did the trick I did not use any wielding type force.
It was then a matter of quickly yelling at my own two dogs to come into the house…they listened good…deed done…dogs safe. It took a few minutes more to get both of the Mastiffs tucked away into their kennels…the biter was a bit wired but finally settled enough to accept a leash.
Next came the assessment of the wounds…deep punctures…not a life threatening harm. I took Zak into the shop to bathe his throat, shave around the punctures and put some Polysporin on all the wounds. He should recover well; barring any infection setting in which we will have to monitor carefully. At any sign of infection we’ll need the vet for antibiotics.
I did maintain my cool. To be honest though I also did spend the balance of the day debriefing myself, trying to figure out why things went haywire so out of the blue. The best I can come up with is that dogs and bones (food) spell trouble regardless of accessibility. And, for that matter, there is the fact that this Mastiff is an intact male, one year old and just coming into his “macho-ism”. Regardless, lesson learned…these dogs shall be not out in the yard with other dogs at all. It is as simple as that.
I hold no ill feelings against the Mastiff…whatever it was it was a natural response. When dealing with dogs, much like horses, you have a 3 second window to discipline an action for it to have a beneficial effect. The thump on the head was all that. Dogs are masters of living in the moment…for Maruk it is no longer an issue…no hard feelings and he may have learned that I do not accept biting behaviour. I will not test that theory out by letting other dogs intermingle with them again though.
I certainly hope everyone had a better day than I did. I am at peace with myself though…I think I done good.
Today’s “stone” is Day 159 cool as a cucumber, all is well