My Pit Bull Attack Story
I have gone to the park down the street from my house just about every single day for the past 3 and a half years. I go there to enjoy some quality time with my service dog, Jade, or J.J. for short. She’s only been a service dog now for about a year, but she picked it up quick, she’s a super smart, very sweet, docile, 3 and a half year old, full bred (AKC registered) yellow Labrador; my very best friend, my support, my helper....my buddy. Not to minimize how important other peoples’ pets are to them, but Jade is extremely valuable to me, as she helps me with most, if not all of my daily tasks. So upon reading my story, you might ask, “if she’s so important to you, why weren’t you carrying a weapon?” Honestly, I can’t give you a good answer for that question, except that, I didn’t think I had to.
I’ve been disabled for over 20 years now. I was pretty badly injured during my service in the U.S. Navy, and over the years, my condition has continued to worsen. I also have a degenerative spinal disease, disorder, that was genetically passed down to me from my father, in addition to severe arthritis (along with several other spinal disorders), and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which I was diagnosed with a couple years back, due to a severe beating from my ex-husband. Needless to say, Major Depressive Disorder accompanies my severe and chronic pain. Jade has always been there for me, through it all. She was also thrown about pretty viciously during the same incident by my ex, and although I’m certain she was affected by it, she has never been anything but sweet, docile, loving, and loyal.
That day, I don’t remember what day it was, except that it must have been a weekend day, because we had gone to the park early, while it was still light out. We usually go in the evenings when it’s cooler, but on the weekends, the park doesn’t turn the lights on in the evenings. I was on my mobility scooter (the kind for disabled people), as I always am when we go to the park. Jade rides with me, until we get there, then we get off the scooter, walk a little for exercise (as much as I can) and play some fetch.
So there we were, in the middle of the soccer field, having parked the scooter, and walked to the other side of the soccer field, playing fetch. Jade was happily romping through the grass, running for her favorite water bottle (she loves those things). I glanced up and saw a woman walking around the track with her two young kids, talking and laughing. Suddenly, from behind her, I see a dog running loose, and it was coming toward me and Jade. I could clearly see it was pit bull, and immediately my heart started banging in my chest. I grabbed Jade by the harness, and pulled her close to me. I yelled out to the lady on the track, “Is this your dog?” She shook her head, shrugged her shoulders and said, “Not my dog.”
Well, I have seen the news, and I have seen many pit bulls, and I know perfectly well what they’re capable of. I was immediately very scared, and starting looking around me for some kind of makeshift weapon...I was in the middle of a soccer field, about 100 feet from my scooter. The pit bull came straight toward us, as it got sight of Jade. I still had a hold of her, and started yelling at this dog, “NO! Get away! Go home!” It stopped about 10 feet from Jade and I, and got into crouch position. It was staring straight into Jade’s face. Surprisingly, Jade started to growl. Up until this day, I’d only heard J.J.’s play growl, when we played tug of war with her stuffed dragon. I was still stomping my foot, and throwing my free arm up, and yelling at the pit bull. It only glanced at me, then her glare was back on Jade. (I knew it was a female, because her teets were hanging down, as if she were still nursing).
Suddenly, ignoring me and my yelling, the pit bull lunged on my buddy. “Noooo!” I screamed and yelled. I was so scared, I knew what pit bulls had done to other dogs around this town, and I just knew I was going to lose my little buddy, my helper. I was frantic and didn’t know what to do, I had no weapon, nothing to get this monster off of my girl. I almost stuck my hands in the middle, but thought better of it.There was no way I could wrestle this dog, being disabled and in constant pain. I suddenly realized that my docile, sweet girl, my helper was fighting back. She wasn’t just fighting back, she was fighting like a lion, for her life, and I now realize, she was fighting for mine. She was protecting me.
She fought so hard, for what seemed like a very long time, and then at last the pit bull jumped off of her and backed off a few feet. Jade looked up at me, panting heavily, as if to check on me, and then her glare was back on the pit bull. Jade growled long and low, and the pit bull turned its head and walked a few more feet back. I noticed I was shaking. The pit bull was now circling us but staying about 7 to 10 feet away. I started my yelling at the pit bull again, “Go home! Get!” I would yell, the pit bull would start to walk away, then circle, coming back toward us, all the while trying to get behind us. I know now that this was a very strategic move on the part of the pit bull, a kill move. I decided it was a good time to start moving and start trying to get out of there. I knew better than to run. I grabbed Jade again by her harness, who was standing in front of me, and began to move slowly backward, periodically yelling “Get out of here, Go!” When I would stop yelling, the pit bull would start to move closer, and get back in crouch position; when I would yell, it would look away for a moment then circle again, trying to get behind us. I turned to face the pit every time, Jade following my every move. When I think back to that day, which I do every single day, I am astounded at the love, loyalty, dedication and strength that my buddy showed me that day. I still wonder if any person would do, would have done, what my service dog did for me that day.
Over and over again, Jade and I danced this crazy, frightening dance with this vicious pit bull. The closer we got to my scooter, the more it seemed the pit was losing interest. I don’t think it wanted another battle with my girl. I certainly wouldn’t have, after the way she fought. Circling and yelling, we finally had backed our way to my scooter. I slowly got on, watching the pit bull, and Jade hopped on too, right between my knees, on the floorboard, where she loves to ride with mommy. The pit bull was looking away now, and definitely losing interest....we took off. I hoped my scooter would deter the pit bull, although at top speed, 6 miles an hour, can not outrun any dog.
Once we were moving, the pit bull headed off toward the playground, where some kids were swinging on the swings. I was still shaking, and while driving, I touched and looked at Jade the best I could, checking for wounds. I couldn’t get a good look and decided to get the hell out of the park and head home quickly to give her a good check. On the way out of the park, I rode past the playground, where the kids were, I didn’t see the loose cannon nearby. I yelled at the kids as I passed, “Hey there’s a loose pit bull running around the park, and it just attacked my dog, get to a safe place now!” All three kids leaped off the swings and ran. They must know, I thought. They must know what these vicious dogs do to kids and pets.
We were almost out of the park, when I ran into the lady that was walking on the track. She stopped me. I looked around to see whether it was okay to stop, and I got a glimpse of the pit bull along the trees on the outside of the track, on the other side of the park. Two young women were bent over, calling out to it, trying to get it to come over to them. “They’re crazy,” I thought. The lady said, “I saw what that dog did to your dog, I saw everything and I called 911....is your dog okay, are you okay?” She must have seen the fear and panic in my face. I started to answer, and she said, “You should call them too, they said they were on their way...I hope your dog is okay.” I told her that I had to get her home and check her. I thanked her and rode away, pulling out my phone and dialing 911. I told them what had happened and that the pit bull was still running loose around the park, where there were children and other people walking their dogs. They assured me they were on their way, but I hung up, still trying to get home to check my buddy. She seemed okay and I didn’t see any blood, but I wanted to look at her all over. As I exited the park, I rode past an elderly couple, with two big Labradors, and told them about the pit bull and that it had attacked my dog. They waved a thank you and immediately turned to exit the park. People know what these pit bulls do, kids, the elderly, everyone knows, I thought. I was almost home when I received a call from the police department. Officer Woods asked me where I was, if my dog was alright, if I was alright, and could I describe the pit bull? I answered the best I could, told him I was almost home and he told me to call back should I find my dog to be injured.
Upon very close inspection, with a wagging tail, and a smile on her face, Jade seemed to be fine, except for a pretty good puncture wound on her right hip. It bled a little.
I never experienced something like this in all my life, although I’d run into loose dogs before. I never was so afraid, and so thankful at the same time. I was sure I was going to lose my best friend that day, and what was I going to do without her; without my helper to get my slippers, and fetch my cane, help me up and down, pick up the things I drop, open and close doors, help me with the laundry, and lay next to me when I cry in pain from this spinal disease....she lays with me as if to tell me, “I’m here for you, momma.” What person would do this, always with a smile and a wag? Since that day, I’ve seen many a news story about a loose pit bull mauling someone’s dog to death right before their very eyes, and I thank God that my buddy is still with me. I have not forgotten that day, and unfortunately neither has Jade. She has become defensive and a bit aggressive toward other dogs, but we’re working on that, and she’s getting better now. I still sometimes have nightmares, and can’t go to the park, or even outside my front door, without thinking about that incident, and wondering if or when it will happen again. I carry weapons now when Jade and I are out of the house, as she accompanies me everywhere. I carry a stun baton that delivers 800,000 volts when we go for a walk, pepper spray, and a knife. When we go elsewhere, I carry a stun gun in my purse that delivers 4.5 million volts, and a can of mace. I can’t afford to lose my buddy, and I’ve now vowed to get these vicious, unpredictable killers off of our city streets.