I Hope That Dog Dies

I never, ever thought I would say those words. Ask anyone who knows me… I love dogs. All dogs. As a rule I prefer the company of a dog to that of a person. They are wonderful creatures that love you unconditionally, and the world is a far better place with them than without them.

Except for one.

This morning, I woke up, made some coffee, and sat on my front porch with my little four month old puppy. Calypso was sitting next to me (on a leash, I might add) when I saw a rather large pit bull chase a cat across the street. No sooner had I formed the thought that I should get Calypso inside… just in case… when this dog with a head the size of a volleyball charges up my steps and grabs my dog.

Calypso, at less than ten pounds, is no match for this troglodyte of a dog, and he has her in his mouth and won’t let go. It was exactly like every news account you have ever read about a pit bull attacking. I grab the pit by the collar and, with great difficulty, manage to pull him off her. I hold him long enough for her to get in the house, then release him and try to sprint into my house.

I say “try” because before I can get in the house and get the door closed, the fucking pit bull charges into my house and GRABS HER AGAIN. He’s now biting and shaking her and she’s screaming bloody murder, and all I can do is grab the collar and try to pull him off her. I finally- with no small amount of effort- manage to pull him off her, yank him outside, and close the door. Inside I still hear her screaming, but at least she’s safe, whereas I am now outside holding onto this dog, who is trying to get back to the door. I start screaming and yelling praying like hell one of my neighbors will come out to see what’s going on, because I have no earthly idea what’s going to happen if I let this dog go.

Finally I hear someone calling (as if calling a dog) and the dog looks toward the street and tries to pull away. I take a chance and let go, and he runs off. I go inside and find Calypso screaming by the bathroom, holding up her front paw, covered in dog spit and blood. I grab a towel, wrap her in it, and go to the car.

I get almost to the car and the fucking pit bull comes back to my yard and chases us. I manage to get in the car, shut the door, and head to Gulfport Vet. Calypso has bites on her back and chest and a possible broken leg; they have to knock her out to x-ray her and see what’s going on.

While I was driving Calypso to the vet I called 911. The operator, over Calypso’s screams, manages to figure out what I’m trying to say and puts me through to Animal Services.

After I leave the vet, Tom and I started to drive back to my street to look for the dog. On the way there, on 22nd Ave, he spots a dog that fits the description and we pull over. When we do, a white van stops behind us. They tell us they just hit the dog. It is indeed the same dog that attacked Calypso. Tom explained why we were looking for the dog. The guys shakes his head and says “Dogs like that should be killed” (or something to that effect; I may have the exact wording wrong but I believe I’ve got the sentiment correct). Tom ties the dog to a stop sign and I call Animal Services to let them know we have found the dog and it is injured.

Let me just say that if this morning is any indication, Animal Services has a better response time than the SPPD. Within five minutes of my call, they were there, and they had already been to my house to take a report. The officer was very nice; he had me fill out an affadavit and assured me that if the owner didn’t claim the dog it would get euthanized. He also assured me that if someone did come forward to claim the dog, they would notify me.

People, the past hour and a half (yes, that’s all happened in a ninety minute window) was the most horrible thing I’ve experienced. To see a dog attack like that… how does that happen? How do we get from Lassie and Rin Tin Tin and the little ball of fur that licks my face to wake me up every morning to an animal that wants to attack so badly it will push its way in my front door to come after a dog that, five minutes prior, it had never even seen?

I have calmed down enough to realize that I am incredibly lucky that Calypso is still alive. I don’t know how to describe how sick it makes me to think of her getting attacked and shaken in her own living room, but at least she’s alive and her injuries apparently aren’t as bad as they could have been. I know I’m lucky, too, that the damn dog didn’t turn on me and bite me, although I would have preferred that to having Calypso get hurt.

Two hours ago I never would have dreamed of feeling this way, but it makes me feel much better to know that unless the owner comes forward to claim the pit (which had no tag or chip), the dog will be dead. Which means it cannot attack my dog again, or any other dog, child, or person.

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I write. I take pictures. I love my dog. I love Florida. My 2016 book, 'Backroads of Paradise' did really well for the publisher and now I feel a ridiculous amount of pressure to finish the second book.

One thought on “I Hope That Dog Dies”

  1. I had an incident where I had to call animal services to remove a pit bull (unneutered male with no collar) that decided to claim my front porch. I was trapped inside for an hour and a 1/2 and watched him charge a homeless person. I think I know which neighbor owned the dog but I don’t think they ever claimed him.

    I was leaving Frank Pierce and have seen neighborhood teens parading unneutered pit bulls on chains rather than leashes. Attack dogs seem to be a tolerated status symbol in the hood rather than the blatant violation of ordinances that they are.

    I NEVER take my dogs for a walk in our neighborhood for fear of what happened to you and the number of starving attack breeds that wander onto my property. I even watch carefully when just moving my dogs from my house to my car to take them to Crescent Lake or North Shore for a walk.

    We should make this a priority. I tried to push the spay neuter agenda with the animobile from the county. MAybe some educational fliers about animal laws and spay neuter FAQs followed by as much enforcement as we can summon? I would love to see a county initiative in this neighborhood re: compliance with animal laws.

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