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Scary mooch! Scary mooch! - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
Scary mooch! Scary mooch!
All her life, Ebony has been a loved and happy dog.  We couldn't say that about our first; when Tasha came to us at around nine months, she'd been a stray, a runaway and showed signs of at least neglect and more likely abuse from her previous life. Although she did much better with us, Emily and eventually Cameron in the dozen years we had her, she never completely got over fear-biting, especially anyone new to her or making sudden moves.

But Ebony has been the sweetest and mellowest of mutts. Only once that I can remember, when our neighbor Sally was boarding her daughter's very high-strung and needy dog, did Ebony get into anything resembling a real fight.  And she'll rarely express signs of dominance encountering another dog on walkies; usually she wavers between fascination and boredom.

Also, she's been an almost total homebody.  Tasha would occasionally resort to her street-rat days if she got out the garage door or loose on a walk, but Ebony's never showed the urge to roam.  She's so that way, when it gets to be gardening season and she pines to be outside with (mostly) Mommy in the front yard, we'll back Ziggy into the driveway and she'll just sit in one of the seats with the windows down. She could easily jump out; she just doesn't. Other times, she'll just putter around where Eleanor's working; usually, just to be on the safe side, we'll put her on a fairly long metal leash, but occasionally not.

Until yesterday. Now she's not going out without always having one end of a leash held by something or someone.


I was down the hall, mid-to-late afternoon. I'd been mostly in the back for hours, mowing, while Ebony mostly sat in the car or near the beds where Mommy was.  Eleanor started to head back out from the living room, with the dog pining to come with, and she simply opened the front door for pup to go first.  Usually we're paying the most attention to being sure that the youngest cat doesn't sneak out.

This time, though, I heard, in a matter of seconds: the thunder of paws, a rapid WOOFWOOFWOOF of the kind she'll sometimes let out if she sees a bunny in the back yard, and some panicked cries of EBONY! NO! from Eleanor. I ran down and out to see my sweet, mellow but large lab mix jumping on a woman, trying to cradle for dear life her yippy-dog which she had, until that moment, been peacefully walking.

And not even on our sidewalk, or our side of the street, but on the sidewalk of our cross-the-street neighbor.  As scared as I was for everybody's safety, it was pretty amazing how quickly she burst over there.  In recent years, she's tended to ignore doorbell-ringers and even the mailman unless he walks right past her.

The woman seemed more worried about me, running over to rescue her, than she was by our sudden attack dog. "We're okay," she called out.  And I'd been too late, and too minus glasses, to see how close Ebony had come to doing any damage.  I put her in timeout for a few minutes- we still have the crate we trained her in over a decade ago, now used to keep Zoey, our moochy kitty, from eating everybody elses' food at nom time- and she was clearly upset about it.

The solution is simple: no more free-range puppy. Her walkie-leash goes on her every time she leaves the confines of the house and back yard, whether tied to Ziggy's seat belt or the end of the longer lawn leash. And I will have to be much more careful on walks, when we've sometimes been pretty casual about letting her meet the neighbors. 

If it's an isolated incident, like her one fight with Daphne next door ages ago, it'll be fine. But if it winds up being a signal of an old-age or bad-health change, I'll be far more concerned.
2 comments or Leave a comment
weebleswobble From: weebleswobble Date: May 26th, 2016 12:21 am (UTC) (Link)
i'm sorry you have lost trust in ebony to stay. i hope her health is fine.

i've always thought it would be nice to have a dog who respected the boundaries of the yard and didnt try to run away. but after all these years with puppy being such a (insert string of expletives here) runner, i'm not sure i could ever truly trust another dog not to do the same.

they do make long leads, that look like leashes but are available in lengths like 20 ft, 30 ft, 50 ft. they have a handle on the end like a leash, and a clip on the other. i used it on puppy as a tie-out while i was figuring out how to make the fence taller after i discovered he could jump it.
captainsblog From: captainsblog Date: May 26th, 2016 12:36 am (UTC) (Link)
We've been out on walkies since this,with her regular short leash and Gentle Leader combo- and she's been fine. A new neighbor has two collie-ish rescues(one M, one F) who seem fascinated when we pass by, but Ebony has seemed interested but not the least bit aggressive in our encounters.

Long as we leash her before going out, I suspect we'll be okay.

Edited at 2016-05-26 12:38 am (UTC)
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