11 December 2007

well, i'll be...

Friday, a stray dog that has been hanging around the farm for at least six months, if not longer, bit me.  I was pissed and hit him over the head with the same hand he had just bit.  Damn dog.

I called the animal shelter, but since I live in the county, they couldn't send the dog-catcher by.  If I called the sheriff, they'd come out and shoot him dead.  DeLisa (who IS the animal shelter and the humane society along with her husband Glenn) suggested I call down to my landlord's parents (Millie his mom did the books for the animal shelter for years) as they are huge animal (esp dogs) saviors.  So I called Millie to see if she had any advice.  She said that they were trying to catch the dog to give him flea/tick treatment and maybe get him fixed.  She suggested I keep him penned in my yard and then call my landlord (her son) when he got home from work.  So I take myself to the gp, get my tetanus shot.  I also am up on the info on rabies and know that it is very rare for a dog to carry it (even if it is a stray, even if it is out here on the farm and not an indoor dog).  And since I've been acquainted with Stray Biter for many months, and he is not exhibiting the signs of rabies, I wasn't worried about neurological damage from his bite (besides, what's a tad bit of neurological damage added to the resident nut anyway?).

When I got back, I go see my landlord.  He's already heard that I've been bitten and has a bug up his ass before I even open my mouth.  Then he really doesn't like what I have to say, which is that if he wants to catch the dog, he is in my yard.  If not, fine, I'll put him down (shoot him).  Perry assumes his best condescending lord of all he surveys and proceeds to ream me out, including a line of how it isn't fair to the dog.

That may be so, however, I've always heard that once a dog goes bad and bites unprovoked, then it needs to go down cuz he's not predictable within reason.  And ya know what folks?  I do ask my landlords to help me with things, but I think that nothing I have asked has ever been unreasonable (indeed some are landlord duties like replacing a bathroom floor before I step out of the shower and fall thru it) and some has been outlandish, but Lisa has always had the option of saying, "no" and not only hasn't she done so, but she has also reassured me several times when I think that perhaps I am asking too much (like feeding the dogs for me while I go out of town).

So Perry goes off on me, yells at his son who ventures outside to see what the yelling is about to go back inside (this doesn't concern you), and I think (I don't KNOW this for a fact cuz I wasn't there to witness it) that he also instructs his wife to not have anything to do with me (to do me any favors).  I let him have his say, and tell him I will do as he wished (which was to let the dog go about his business...my guy had to chase him out of my yard, cuz he wouldn't leave just cuz the gate was open).  Later that evening, I had something I wanted to remind Lisa that Leona is closing LJ's and to let her mother know (Lisa's mom is the co-queen for a local chapter of the red hat society that meets at LJ's monthly) cuz we are friends and speak of other things besides renter/rentee things.  So when Lisa came to the phone, I said that I was leaving town for a few days, can she take care of the dogs?  Then I quickly assured her that I was kidding, esp when she hesitated (usually she says oh sure, no problem).  We chatted and it was pleasant.

Then tonight, because I have been showing Lisa stuff about crochet, I stopped down to demonstrate the knitting loom (since I knew that she was going to be working on making palm trees for a christmas show).  We chatted while she scrunched up bags and hot glued them to the trunks and the kids made costumes and I loomed, explaining the general steps and why I did what I was doing when I did it.  People always understand better when they know the why-fers behind it.  Lisa also appreciates hands-on thru the stages, and really, what person doesn't?

I did make a comment for her to remind me to tell Perry that he needs to repair a window pane cuz I tossed a project out the window when I got frustrated with it.  She drew her breath in sharply and I reassured her that I was kidding.  I wouldn't waste yarn that way.

Because sometimes I know I can let my paranoia stray too far from the healthy range into where the bitter grass grows, I almost convinced myself that Perry was over his snit-fit.  Uhm, no.  When he and his son got back from scouts, he stormed in the living room and glared at me and then stormed into his bedroom and changed.  Then he stormed back and glared at Lisa.  I had greeted him when he first came in, and was laughing along with Lisa and the kids when I did so.  I looked at Lisa when he was glaring at her and she seemed fine, relaxed, laughing, and he just kept on glaring at her.  Then he stomped off and that was that, for then.

Ok, that's a lot of he saids and she saids then I said and then we did and then he did and what I meant was and I thought this that and the other.  And I think I went around the moon to explain the cheese.  I wanted to give you an idea of why I was and am thinking what I am and did.  Make sense to you?  Makes sense to me (but then it would cuz I'm writing it and telling it my way and I'm biased).

When I left, Lisa thanked me muchly and sincerely and I didn't feel that we were strained at all.  I drove home and Shaddow bolted out the gate when I came into the yard.  I usually am not wild about her roaming, but don't usually worry about it.  But with Perry in the mood he has been in, I really don't need another tick on my score card (Shaddow's being loose was bitched about, altho all the dogs out here roam and the only ones that are sometimes contained are mine).  So after a few hours, I went out to see if Shaddow was around yet.

Here's the thing, the whole reason for this incredibly long and rambling entry:  the Stray Biter dude?  He came up to me, tail between legs, head down, and then nudged me gently.  Then he licked the hand that he bit.  Then he sat on my foot and leaned on me, looking up with those big ol brown puppy-dog eyes and lifted his paw just a tad.  So I sat on my steps and let him come up and scratched him and petted him and talked to him and picked off the ticks and he let me do all that and didn't tense up not once, even with the tick-pulling stuff.  And no one, but no one, out here on the farm has been able to touch him, let alone give him a pet-down.

huh, i'll be.


  1. I'm very much a dog-lover, but this guy needs to be quarantined for a week to make sure he doesn't have rabies.  And you need to file a police report and go to the doctor to get the bite checked out.  I know all about this procedure...it's a long story how I know.


  2. I agree with Russ. A dog doesn't have to behave like Cujo (Stephen King book) in order to have rabies. You are definitely correct that most dogs in the U.S. don't have rabies but that's because their owners make sure that they get their shots. You don't know the history of a stray and he could have had an encounter with a raccoon or a bat, and they do carry rabies. The dog doesn't need to be shot; he needs to be quarantined to see if he develops any symptoms of rabies. Please call your doctor and ask what she or he recommends in the case of a bite by a stray dog, even one that becomes your friend.--Sheria

  3. Well, I'm goin' round the bend, 'cause, like you, I'd not worry about the rabies.  Duh.  And me working with an animal control officer and she's my friend to boot!  (she'd smack me upside the head)

    Glad the dog came to you apologized and decided he wants to be friends.  Who can't use another friend?

  4. this is a WONDERUL post!   Anne

  5. Wow what a story. In the end isn't it always like that. I think they tend to bite or snarl with fear not knowing why. Yet they know you can be trusted and just want to be loved. I have a stray cat that was born on my property, eats the food I provide and sleeps on my front porch in a warm cat bed.......yet for the life of her won't allow me close enough to pet and has sliced Doc's hand open when he tried to catch her for the vet. We will set a trap and catch her that way, get her shots, get her fixed and probably will never win her favor. Yet.....she knows we are good people and take care of her. We even knicknamed her Jackie, short for Jack In The Box. She is constantly jumping up and running off. (Hugs) Indigo

  6. I don't recall ever reading about Perry before.  He sounds like a drama queen to me.  
    But the stray... now THAT'S a gentleman right there.  OK, he was having a bad day and bit you, but ya gotta love a dog that comes back to apologize!


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