Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Nose Biter

There was an incident with Theo yesterday. I was taking him out for his morning walk when we saw a neighbor and her dog, Bear, walking by. This neighbor is a big dog lady, she has like 5 rescues, and Theo has met them all. They're not the most friendly, but they've never been mean to Theo. Bear and Theo have even "played" before. I say "played" because Theo was still in his terrified of other dogs phase and Bear is very dominant. Basically in the past Bear just kind of stood over Theo and Theo just kind of sat there under him. But he never snapped at him or growled or acted unfriendly or threatened.

So, naturally, I walked Theo across the street to say hello to them both. Theo, in all his butt wiggling excitement, ran up to Bear and instantly went into a "let's play" position. Bear in one swift motion leaned over and took Theo's entire muzzle inside his mouth, gave him a small bite, and then let him go (kinda like this picture to the right). It happened so fast I almost missed it. I couldn't possibly miss what came next, though. Theo ran away squealing like a piglet! He ran straight to me and started jumping up on my legs as if to say "Help me Mommy! The bully is gonna get me!!!" I quickly scooped him up in case Bear decided to run after him for more (and PS: I was so pleased that he ran to me rather than in some random direction). He didn't. All he wanted was Theo away from him. A few seconds later Theo seemed to have forgotten the whole thing. He acted indignant that I would dare try to hold him when there were objects of play right below him. Instead of crying to be picked up, he was crying to be put down. Ah, puppies.

The incident itself wasn't really a big deal. I was more affected by it than Theo was. It was the aftermath that really gets me. Somehow while biting his nose, Bear managed to rip a small patch of fur off of Theo's muzzle. It's very small and hardly noticeable, but that dog ripped out my dog's fur!!! I don't think I can ever think very well of Bear again. Even though I think this outburst can be explained by the fact that he had a severe sinus infection (I found out later that day). For those not of a faint heart, here's a picture of the "injury"
See that tiny red patch right between his eyes? It looks kinda wet because I put some Neosporin on it. I know it's nothing, but I still couldn't help feeling terrible for him. I hope it grows back soon!

6 comments:

eikoleigh said...

Oh, Poor Theo! I'm sure the hair will probably grow back.... :-) (But I'd avoid Bear from here on out! Eek!)

Fairchild said...

Hey, just a lurker, but I'm a total CorGeek. I seem to recall that biting the muzzle is a show of dominance...at least amoung wolves.

JuLo said...

eikoleigh, Theo's puppy class trainer said the fur might grow back in a wonky direction, which could actually look kinda cute. We'll see. I'm definitely keeping Theo away from Bear, severe sinus infection or no!

fairchild, welcome to my blog! :) CorGeek. Hehe. I've never heard that one. I'll have to use it! :) Yes, I believe biting the muzzle is a show of dominance too. Bear is a dominant dog, I knew that. I just didn't know that meant he couldn't even handle a puppy sniffing him! Theo might not have done the appropriate dog behavior, such as approaching from the side (rather than head on) and avoiding eye contact. Who knows. The way I see it, it's a good lesson for Theo.

eikoleigh said...

You're absolutely right, Julo, Theo wasn't seriously hurt and this would be a good lesson for him to know that not all dogs are as sweet (and playful) as he is. Poor baby.

The Senakams said...

OMG!!! Can't believe this happened to poor little Theo! But at least he's not hurt (it didn't break the skin, right?) or traumatized, and hope he's learned the "correct" way of approaching an adult and larger dog.

I guess our corgis are so low to the ground that they sometimes appear to be easy targets for dominant/ aggressive dogs. I know of a corgi in San Francisco who got attacked by a dog who jumped off a parked pick-up's bed when he was just walking by with his owner. Got hurt pretty badly as I recall. I'm sure he's just unfortunate to be there at the wrong time, but as an owner you gotta be prepared to react when something like this happens (I know I'm not, I almost pissed my pants when a pitbull pinned Bryson down last time). Scary...

JuLo said...

Ivy, Theo is thankfully fine. No skin broken! There's just a little scab where the fur used to be. Really, it's just something we have to take a chance with. If an owner doesn't give heads up that their dog isn't friendly, then we just have to let them work it out for themselves. I figure this is the equivalent to a knee scrap on a kid. Hehe.