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My poor little girl...

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Yesterday was not a good day for me or for my dog, Madeline.

For those of you who may not know, I have 2 precious dogs named Madeline and Mackenzie. Kenzie is a 5 year old rat terrier (possibly a mix) and Maddie is a 3 year old toy fox terrier. I purchased Madeline from a breeder in January of 2006 when she was just over 12 weeks old. And Mackenzie was adopted this time last year from our local humane society. I could go on and on (and on and on) about their good points (and they're bad ones, too!), but it would take forever and that's not the purpose of this post. But, suffice it to say that I adore both of my dogs and I love them with all my heart -- they make my family (furred and otherwise!) complete and I would be devastated if anything ever happened to them. That's why yesterday was so difficult...

I live on a usually very quiet residential street. Recently, our neighbors on one side moved and sold their home. Our previous neighbors were wonderful. They had 2 pitbulls that were the sweetest, most well behaved dogs I've ever had the opportunity to come in contact with. We have a fenced in yard and they, too, had a fenced yard. Due to city regulations, their fence was 6 feet high and very sturdy. Since our dogs are much smaller, we have gotten by with having a 4 foot high picket fence which is not extremely sturdy, but more than meets our needs. When our neighbors moved out and the new neighbors moved in, the first thing they did was tear down the fence and replace it with a fence similar to our own. At the time, there was no need for us to be concerned about this, but about a month ago, we noticed that our new neighbors had brought home 2 pits. I'm a small dog kind of person, but let me tell you that I adore pitbulls. I believe they have a bad rap for no reason other than some human beings are scum. I don't see pits as dangerous animals, but I now have reason to believe that our neighbors' apparent lack of understanding and care for the breed has led to their pits being dangerous.

When we realized that our new neighbors had the pits, we were not necessarily concerned. We wondered if they were going to abide by the city's regulations on fencing, but resisted saying anything to them about it since we, at the time, had no reason to do so. However, we should have...because then my Madeline might not have gotten injured...

Yesterday afternoon, Madeline asked to go outside and I let her in the backyard to go. Mackenzie was in the sunroom under the blankets so I didn't push her to go out -- thank God. I, too, had to use the restroom and so while Maddie was outside, I went ahead and did that. However, no sooner did I, well, that's not important (I'll spare you the details !), then did I hear Madeline frantically barking outside. By the time I got to the back door, her barks turned to low growls and before I could even get out the door, she began whining and crying. As soon as I was outside, I saw the problem. One of my neighbors' pits had jumped the fence and was attacking my dog! It was terrifying -- the pit was at least triple my dog's size and had her pinned to the ground. I, of course, ran outside and was hollering for the dog to let Maddie go, but he was indignant. What's worse was that Madeline was trying to defend herself and I believe that only helped escalate the issue. I used to have citronella spray on the back porch, but last summer it exploded due to the heat and we wound up throwing it out and not replacing it as we had no need to. So, thank goodness that the neighbor heard me hollering and ran out and hopped over the fence to grab his dog off of mine. He then opened my fence, walked out with his dog, and went inside. He said nothing. No apologies, no asking whether my dog was okay...just nothing. Needless to say, I was just slightly annoyed .

Thankfully, nothing appeared to be wrong with Madeline, but just to play it safe, my roommate and I took her along with us when we ran out to run errands. And since, even after a couple of hours had passed, she still appeared to be okay, we felt it was safe to leave her home for the evening as we were meeting friends for dinner. However, by the time we returned home (we were maybe gone 2 hours max) Maddie's right front wrist was swollen and she was favoring the leg. Since Madeline is an extremely active dog, we initially figured she possibly jumped and missed, thus spraining or breaking her leg. She had it bent and was struggling to flex the foot and whimpered when we tried to touch or feel the injured area. She also was showing some minor signs of being in shock so we literally ran out of the house with Maddie in my arms and headed to the nearest emergency vet. We got there and she was seen within 15 minutes and in less than an hour we were out of the emergency vet's office and pulling into the driveway at home.

As it turns out, Madeline did not have a broken or sprained leg. However, she did receive a pretty severe bite which resulted in a deep puncture wound on her right front wrist. Unfortunately, the wound never bled and because of its location and the fact that it was obscured by Madeline's fur, we didn't see the wound and therefore didn't take immediate action to care for it (though I did inspect Maddie following the attack). As soon as the vet saw her leg, he, too, thought it was broken. But the vet tech actually noticed a spot that didn't seem to fit and asked the vet if it would be okay for her to shave the area to get a closer look. Thank goodness she did because as soon as the fur was shaved, it became apparent that we were dealing with a deep puncture that had swelled up and started to look infected. The vet cleansed the area and then prescribed an anti-inflammatory drug (Flexile) as well as an antibiotic (Clavamox). As soon as the wound was cleaned and Maddie got some medication in her, she improved dramatically, but she was still in significant discomfort. And my heart was breaking as I watched my baby suffer...

Today, Madeline's condition has improved. She's able to put some light pressure on her front leg and while the wound looks angry, it definitely appears to be healing -- especially considering how terrible it looked last night. We've written a letter and had it notarized requesting that our neighbor cover the costs of Maddie's emergency vet treatment tomorrow night as well as any subsequent visits she requires to her regular vet (we already have a follow-up scheduled for tomorrow afternoon). We've also requested that the neighbors rebuild a fence for their yard that meets the city's regulation. And, if they refuse, we have documentation in the form of photos and information from the emergency vet as well as our normal vet and we will contact the police department if necessary in order to file a formal complaint. What happened was absolutely not acceptable and I will not and can not allow it to happen again. It's my responsibility as a pet owner to act in my dog's best interest and while I may be unpopular with my neighbors because of that, it's a risk I am more than willing to take.

So, even though things are looking up for dear Madeline, any vibes or well-wishes (or prayers if you pray) would be appreciated. I hate seeing my baby in pain, but I'm grateful that she'll be able to make a full recovery in time. And I could use some vibes, support, prayers (or whatever!) as well since I, too, am having a difficult time. I love pits and harbor no ill feelings towards the pit that attacked Madeline, but I'm struggling with not being overly resentful or angry with my neighbors. But, I don't know, I keep coming back to the fact that I let my poor girl down. It's hard, just hard...

So, yeah, yesterday was not such a good day for me or my dog, Madeline.
post #2 of 8
Originally Posted by Alison Joy View Post
So, even though things are looking up for dear Madeline, any vibes or well-wishes (or prayers if you pray) would be appreciated. I hate seeing my baby in pain, but I'm grateful that she'll be able to make a full recovery in time. And I could use some vibes, support, prayers (or whatever!) as well since I, too, am having a difficult time. I love pits and harbor no ill feelings towards the pit that attacked Madeline, but I'm struggling with not being overly resentful or angry with my neighbors. But, I don't know, I keep coming back to the fact that I let my poor girl down. It's hard, just hard...

So, yeah, yesterday was not such a good day for me or my dog, Madeline.
ohmygosh.... Poor Maddie.... I am so sorry this happened. How could you have possibly known? You can't blame yourself for this..... you had no control over that other dog.... Doesn't matter what breed it was, if it could jump the fence then it either needed to be on a chain preventing that, or have a higher fence. The dog's owners need to step up and take responsibility for their dogs actions.

I am so sorry Maddie got hurt, but I'm thankful you are so in tune with your baby that you got her in before it got too bad.

Many many for maddie's recovery....and my thoughts are with you in hopes that your neighbours step up and do what is expected.
post #3 of 8
I'm so sorry your dog was hurt. If I were you I would be angry with those neighbors. Why would they tear down a perfectly good tall fence and THEN go get 2 large dogs?? I have a pet peeve with people who fail to properly control their dogs, especially when they are totally unapologetic about it. I understand that a dog can occasionally get out and accidents happen, but honestly, you'd think he would have at least said, "Sorry about that!"

I hope your pup recovers quickly, and your neighbors get a clue.
post #4 of 8
I am glad to hear Maddie is healing after her ordeal. It must have been just awful for both of you. I hope the dog owners are willing to do the right thing with a minimum of fuss.
It is people like your current neighbors that get pits their bad rap.
post #5 of 8
that madeline is feeling better & better everyday!
post #6 of 8
I know you probably don't want to start a battle with your neighbors, but you need to report the dog. If the dog does this to someone else's pet, it needs to take a dirt nap, the owners need to take this incident VERY seriously. The dog is a disgrace to the pit bull breed and you are lucky your dog was simply injured because she could have been torn to shreds, in your own backyard.
post #7 of 8
How is Maddie doing?

Has anything come of this?

that Maddie is doing well.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
I didn't even realize I had as many responses as I did on this thread. Madeline and I are both very grateful for your kindness and support .

Thankfully, I can report that Maddie is doing much better since the last time I posted. Tomorrow will make it one week since the attack and the swelling has all but disappeared and she is no longer favoring her right front leg. It is still tender to the touch, but appears to be healing well. We took Madeline to our regular vet last Wednesday as well as on Saturday for follow-up appointments and the vet noticed some small wounds that we weren't aware of on her uninjured leg, but the wounds are now scabbed over and the vet felt as though they were healing as well as could be expected. Because of the other wounds, our vet felt we should extend the antibiotic (Clavamox) from a 5-day course to a 7-day course. Madeline's now been off the anti-inflammatory med (Flexile) since Saturday and appears to be doing well. Our only issue is that Madeline has some obsessive-compulsive tendencies and has had acral lick granulomas in the past. In fact, she has finally healed from a sore that had plagued her since early December. So, we're keeping an eye on her and we're trying to keep her from licking, but, if need be, we'll be going back to the old routine of Zymox and vet wrap. I'm hoping we won't have to go that route, but we're prepapred if we have no other choice. Maddie's very sensitive -- emotionally and physically -- so any vibes for her recovery would be greatly appreciated...

As far as what's happening with my neighbors, we received no acknowledgement of our certified and notarized letter, but there was a contractor over there on Saturday and, in passing (when we asked the contractor -- our neighbors certainly didn't mention anything ), we were informed that they'd be building a new fence starting tomorrow (Monday). We requested compensation for Maddie's vet expenses, but I have a feeling we'll be needing to go to court to collect on that. And, our vet agrees that that's something we should do if necessary. I don't really want to cause a commotion on our street or with our neighbors, but it's really the right thing to do -- especially since their dog could potentially injure another animal or, perhaps worse, a human being. Going to court will also mean that the city officials will know about the incident and that our neighbors will be forced to comply with the regulations set forth by the city. I truly do love pits and am upset that this happened and that this will be turned into another reason why pits should be banned in our city (which I strongly disagree with -- banning stupid and ignorant people would be a better option in my opinion ), but I cannot and will not take another chance that my dogs could get injured or worse.

I'm upset that this even happened, but I'm more than agitated by the fact that my neighbors are acting so nonchalantly about it. I know they're re-building a fence, for which I am grateful, but their attitude has just plain sucked since this whole situation went down. And I'm angry that the pits are going to be blamed when, really, I believe it's the owners' fault, not the dogs. If (well, really, when) I contact the officials and go to court, I will request that the dog who attacked Madeline not be euthanized, but I'm worried that my request will be denied. I don't want to add to the bad rap pits already have. I just want justice for Maddie. Am I wrong to want this? Is it selfish and inconsiderate of me? I still feel so guilty over the situation, but was it really my fault? I just don't know...

But, really, this was an update on Madeline, not me. And, thankfully, she's doing much, much better. My little princess is one tough cookie...and I wouldn't have it any other way !
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