Friday, March 19, 2010

Drama, Drama, Drama

Apology is a lovely perfume; it can transform the clumsiest moment into a gracious gift. ~Margaret Lee Runbeck

I'm tired this morning. Helping at the agility class wore me out physically and emotionally and gave me a raging headache. We have twelve dogs in there, all beginners, and most are doing fabulously.

The best thing I saw was this Golden Retriever with confidence problems -- who was so scared she wouldn't even do the most basic jump -- come out of her shell a bit last night. Her owners were so patient, and just took her to each obstacle and sat with her for a few minutes, didn't make her DO anything for the first 20 mins of class or so, just showed her that they weren't going to hurt her. And then they worked her on the jumps only for a while until she was taking them like a pro. So, with her confidence back up a bit, they tried her on the harder stuff ... and she did great. I was so thrilled!

The worst thing was watching the other helper's dog get attacked. He's the sweetest Border Collie and he was tied on his leash (as is Dakota during class) near where she's helping. Last night, a Great Dane came out of the tunnel off-leash and just ... attacked. Of course, the Border Collie couldn't get away, being tied up.

I was across the room and all I heard was growling and yelping. I looked up and saw the poor dog screaming under this HUGE Great Dane, and the owner of the GD was trying to get control (this dog probably weighs 120 lbs) and not getting it and the helper was standing in one place, hands on her face, clearly trying not to panic. The instructor was spotting a dog on the dog walk and couldn't leave without endangering THAT dog.

I was horrified, so I took some action that I probably didn't have the right or authority to do and I need to apologize to the other helper for taking over with her dog. But I ran over just as the Great Dane was pulled off and then took the other dog over by where I had Dakota. He wasn't hurt (probably will have some bruises, but no blood), but he was terrified. So I put a chair there for him to go under and moved DD's obstacle away so the other dogs wouldn't have a reason to get near him or Dakota.

I probably should have let his owner handle it, shouldn't have dog-napped her dog -- but it was knee jerk: a dog I liked very much was getting mauled by a dog who's shown many times to have some serious alpha-dog tendencies and is too much dog for his owners to handle.

Still, when I see her on Wednesday, I'll apologize.


You Are the Cheshire Cat

You are strangely illusive and provocative. You tend to stir up trouble and then disappear quickly.

You sure know how to push other people's buttons, but it's difficult for anyone to push yours.

You are mysterious and crafty. You tend to be lurking in the background, and you show up at the most unexpected times.

You are purposely vague and baffling. Trying to figure you out will just drive people crazy!

LOL... don't know about that, but I like how it sounds.



MJFredrick said...

I think you did the right thing, and acted quickly. I'm proud of you for being so brave! I would have panicked.

Maria Zannini said...

The owner was probably too traumatized to react well. You did the right thing.

I am surprised at the Great Dane. It's rare to see the giant breeds become aggressive.

Poor border collie. I hope he'll be okay. Though I'm not sure I'd let the Great Dane return, especially since he's shown these tendencies before.

We had a similar thing happen at an obedience class when we first got Tank. A giant black poodle tried to attack him while he was on a 'long sit'.

Giant poodles are big, but hardly a match for a full grown rottie. Tank was a teenager then and goofy, but when he saw that poodle racing toward him, he jerked up and his muscles tensed to blocks of stone. I grabbed his collar and blocked his field of view, and Greg blocked the poodle, then yelled at the woman handling him.

Her dog could have gotten killed and it was her fault for not staying in control.

People who don't have the backbone to handle a dog, need to stick to fish.

Dru said...

You definitely did the right thing.

You Are Alice

You are curious, brave, and inquisitive. You can't help but be interested in the world around you.

You are a bit of a loner and a total daydreamer. Your inner world is very colorful and vivid.

At times, your real life seems dull and completely unbearable. You wish you could escape to a whole other world.

While you have a wild spirit, you are quite gentle and polite. You tend to observe more than act - and you tread lightly.

This is so true.

Have a great Friday.

MomJane said...

I'm glad you were there and able to take charge of the little dog. He didn't deserve to be mauled.

Brandy said...

That poor Collie. I didn't know Great Danes were aggressive. You did the right thing. The owner of the Collie should have been thanking you for your quick thinking. After all that I can see why you had such a bad headache.
I hope you're feeling better today.
My answer was the same as Dru's. And it pretty accurate. *G*

I hope you have a sunny and lovely day!

Tori Lennox said...

I agree with everyone else. You totally did the right thing. And as someone else said, the owner was probably too freaked out to react. I probably would have been too. And I also thing the Great Dane needs to be banned since it obviously has issues.