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Old 04-02-2008, 10:36 AM   #1
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Today, I was bitten in the leg by a vicious dog. How do I know she was vicious? Because she cleared nearly 40 feet in less than a couple of seconds, lunging at me and grabbing hold of my calf muscle, tearing skin and causing bruising at the points where the end of both jaws made contact - while dragging her owner at the end of a 30 foot retractable leash. As I told the animal control officer, a 60-70lb female Doberman in full flight is a beautiful thing - unless she has launched herself at you!

I ride my bike 10 miles on dedicated bike paths 3 times a week and have been doing it for more than 3 years. I've had encounters with dozens of dogs. My wife was knocked from her bicycle, causing permanent damage to her hand by another 110lb supposedly "friendly" dog while riding her bike. I was only seconds behind her and got a chance to watch that whole scene. This is not the first time that I've been attacked but clearly the worst - at least so far.

Now for the denial part. After this dog had already bitten me, the first words out of the owners mouth were "she won't hurt you." When I told him she had already bitten me (and she was eyeing me up for a second run), he said "oh no she didn't, she never touched you." I told him she was vicious and needed to be dealt with. I requested his identification and he refused to provide it. Then he said "you kicked at her and tried to provoke her." I lost it. My bike is a mountain style and has foot straps over both pedals. They are very difficult to back my feet out of when I'm coming to a stop and would have nearly been impossible to back out of while pedaling, even as slowly as I was. I had seen the dog dragging the man by the leash so I slowed to less then 5 mph (I typically ride that stretch at 15mph+) and was intently watching the dog. She was dragging him in the opposite direction from me until she saw me and wheeled around a full speed, going from full extension of that 30 foot leash in one direction to full extension of it 180 degrees out. Any reasonable person who was not in denial, holding such a animal and having it take such a course toward a moving object, would have (should have) quickly reached a conclusion about what she was up to. The owner of the dog that hurt my wife couldn't get over saying how friendly the dog was - as they took my wife away in an ambulance.

Here is a good test for denial
1. Is the dog under control at all times? If the answer is "that's not necessary", that's denial
2. Does the dog immediately respond to voice commands? If the answer is "most of the time, that's denial.
3. Will the dog attack? If the answer is "he/she only chases things", that's denial.

To have a dog owner, who has just witnessed his animal charge someone else, have that person confirm a bite(I have pictures) and still stand there and say "she's friendly" is that absolute pinnacle of denial. IMHO, people like that should not be permitted to own animals and need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law - for stupidity if nothing else. I love dogs and believe people like that are a dog's worst enemies.
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Old 04-02-2008, 10:36 AM   #2
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Today, I was bitten in the leg by a vicious dog. How do I know she was vicious? Because she cleared nearly 40 feet in less than a couple of seconds, lunging at me and grabbing hold of my calf muscle, tearing skin and causing bruising at the points where the end of both jaws made contact - while dragging her owner at the end of a 30 foot retractable leash. As I told the animal control officer, a 60-70lb female Doberman in full flight is a beautiful thing - unless she has launched herself at you!

I ride my bike 10 miles on dedicated bike paths 3 times a week and have been doing it for more than 3 years. I've had encounters with dozens of dogs. My wife was knocked from her bicycle, causing permanent damage to her hand by another 110lb supposedly "friendly" dog while riding her bike. I was only seconds behind her and got a chance to watch that whole scene. This is not the first time that I've been attacked but clearly the worst - at least so far.

Now for the denial part. After this dog had already bitten me, the first words out of the owners mouth were "she won't hurt you." When I told him she had already bitten me (and she was eyeing me up for a second run), he said "oh no she didn't, she never touched you." I told him she was vicious and needed to be dealt with. I requested his identification and he refused to provide it. Then he said "you kicked at her and tried to provoke her." I lost it. My bike is a mountain style and has foot straps over both pedals. They are very difficult to back my feet out of when I'm coming to a stop and would have nearly been impossible to back out of while pedaling, even as slowly as I was. I had seen the dog dragging the man by the leash so I slowed to less then 5 mph (I typically ride that stretch at 15mph+) and was intently watching the dog. She was dragging him in the opposite direction from me until she saw me and wheeled around a full speed, going from full extension of that 30 foot leash in one direction to full extension of it 180 degrees out. Any reasonable person who was not in denial, holding such a animal and having it take such a course toward a moving object, would have (should have) quickly reached a conclusion about what she was up to. The owner of the dog that hurt my wife couldn't get over saying how friendly the dog was - as they took my wife away in an ambulance.

Here is a good test for denial
1. Is the dog under control at all times? If the answer is "that's not necessary", that's denial
2. Does the dog immediately respond to voice commands? If the answer is "most of the time, that's denial.
3. Will the dog attack? If the answer is "he/she only chases things", that's denial.

To have a dog owner, who has just witnessed his animal charge someone else, have that person confirm a bite(I have pictures) and still stand there and say "she's friendly" is that absolute pinnacle of denial. IMHO, people like that should not be permitted to own animals and need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law - for stupidity if nothing else. I love dogs and believe people like that are a dog's worst enemies.
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Old 04-02-2008, 11:59 AM   #3
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by chasfm11:
IMHO, people like that should not be permitted to own animals and need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law - for stupidity if nothing else. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

So, are you in fact prosecuting?
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Old 04-02-2008, 12:12 PM   #4
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Unfortunately, I didn't have a cell phone with me. By the time that I got the police there, the man and his dog were long gone. He refused to provide any identification and there was not way that I was going to go anywhere near him - the dog was menacing.

Animal control is researching registered dobermans in the the area and are out patrolling for one now. I suspect that the ultimate chances of this guy getting caught are pretty slim. I will see to it that his is procecuted if he can be found. I don't hold much hope, however.

Hence the title of my thread. He denied the event and any responsibility for it. He will, no doubt, hide like a coward for days or weeks hoping that the incident blows over. He also said "can't we just forget about this" to me. If I were a bit more of a violent person, I would have considered punching him in the nose - to see if he'd be willing to forget about that, too. My guess is that I'd be in jail right now if I had. Clearly, I have a lot more sense than to have done anything but have that as a passing thought.
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Old 04-03-2008, 01:40 AM   #5
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Think the best solution here would be to threaten the trail owner with a civil suit if they do not ban the walking of all dogs in the area.
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Old 04-03-2008, 02:02 AM   #6
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Joseph C. McKenzie:
Think the best solution here would be to threaten the trail owner with a civil suit if they do not ban the walking of all dogs in the area. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That is a bit extreme maybe they should also ban hikers with knives or fishing rods, children, people on bicycles, mobility scooters/wheelchairs, cell phones, hot coffee or maybe just have the trail closed altogether.

Most just reasonably ban leashes over 6 feet in length as you have very little control with a 30 foot retractible.

My biggest problem is stupid people who approach my dog and grab her from behind without asking permission or introducing themselves. Commming up an grabbing an 100+ lb Akita from behind is not the brightest thing to do and if the dog rakes you or gives you a nasty bump when she turns to see who grabbed her, well you asked for it.
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Old 04-03-2008, 04:57 AM   #7
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The "trails" involved are actually double wide sidewalks which the kids often use to get back and forth to school on their bikes. They are owned by the city and the green belt is maintained in an area which is prone to flooding in our heavy weather Spring time.

Neil, to your point, there are stupid people out there who do provoke dogs. I've watched parents allow their kids to maul unknown dogs and usually verbally challenge the parents about the wisdom of their actions. The "but he/she is friendly" myth prevails among many.

I certainly did nothing to provoke the attack on me. When I ride my bike for cardio exercise as I was doing when this happened, I try to ride 10 miles about as quikly as I can and I am wearing a heart rate monitor to help me keep my heart beating within a target zone. I'm as totally focused on doing that as my surroundings permit. I've always been very cautious around dogs and will ride off the paths to avoid them. While I recognized that this owner was not able to control his dog, they were so far from me that I thought that it was safe to proceed past. IMHO, a dog that will go to such great lengths to attack is inherently vicious. I shudder to think what would have happened to me if I hadn't been moving as fast as I was, where she could only get a glancing bite at me. Worse yet, I could been one of the school kids I mentioned. Part of what saved me a worse injury is my heavy sweat pants and her biting into my well developed calf muscle. During my previous exercise period, I was wearing shorts.

The point I'm trying to stress here, however, is not the dog attack itself but the owner's handling of it. I believe that is a common thinking among at least 20% of the dog owners. Denying that an attack is possible with an uncontrollable dog is the root of that problem. This owner went even further in denying an attack had occurred after having personally witnessed it. He tried everything to wish away the existence of the event. I feel so strongly that his conduct will be conducive of future attacks by this animal that I'm going to do everything in my power to track him down. I will not be able to sleep at night if I read in the papers that this dog has harmed a child. I do not blame the dog. In the right hands, she may be able to be trained. In her current owners possession, she is a tragedy waiting to happen.
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Old 04-03-2008, 06:01 PM   #8
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Stupid is as stupid does as the Gump would say. A Dobie on a retractible leash in a public area is just plain stupid and irresponsible. These owners make it more difficult for the rest of us and compromise everyones safety.

My dog has been packed on and attacked by the animals of irresponsible owners and yes they do go into denial. They will even accuse my dog who stayed at my side held close on a leash shortend to a few inches as attacking their dogs. She will put herself between you and danger and take the hit for you.

Going foward, be wary of strange animals and maintain a healthy respect for those familiar to you never taking their capacity to inflict harm even accidently for granted. Always carry your cell phone and upgrade it to one with a camera if your current one does not have that feature.

I hope they are able to track this guy down and make him the poster boy showing what irresponsible dog owners are like.

Don't let this get you down and effect your quality of life.
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Old 04-03-2008, 06:33 PM   #9
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Thanks for your words of encouragement about not letting this get me down or affect my quality of life. I plan to ride again tomorrow morning (with my cell phone fully charged this time.) I'm not sure that having a picture of the man or his dog would help me at this point. The major obstacle is finding him, not prosecuting him.

To that end, I made a couple of stops near where the attack on me occurred and got a chance to talk to a couple of the neighbors. They remember seeing a man with a Doberman that matched my description. One of the guys is a fellow cyclist and has similar concerns about uncontrolled dogs. He will contact me if he finds the guy and his dog. I plan to make a few more stops like this, as I travel nearby over the next few weeks. I'm working on a couple of premises - that the guy lives close by because he was very obese and likely didn't walk from the other side of town and that the dog is unruly all of the time and that this guys neighbors might be just looking for an excuse to rat him out. If I don't get some response in a reasonable timeframe, I may post a reward for information leading to identification.

We've had dogs in our family since I was 10. I have always maintained a healthy respect for them and a good sense of caution about unknown animals. It was the sheer distance between me and the dog in this case that lead me to believe that I could pass safely by. I've been chased before but I'm normally pedaling between 12-15mph and can ratchet that up to 25mph pretty quickly, all I need is a little time to gain separation. If I sense that dog can get between me and where I'm going, I stop completely and put the bike between us.

It is shame when I cannot use a designated bike path without this level of vigilance. None of us should wonder why there are dog haters out there. It is unfortunate that such a small percentage of dog owners can fuel that hatred.
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Old 04-04-2008, 01:47 AM   #10
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by chasfm11:
Thanks for your words of encouragement about not letting this get me down or affect my quality of life. I plan to ride again tomorrow morning (with my cell phone fully charged this time.) I'm not sure that having a picture of the man or his dog would help me at this point. The major obstacle is finding him, not prosecuting him.


</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It is good that you were able to get right back into your routine. Waiting would have only made it harder mentally and probably would have increased your chances of having adheasions develope in the injured area.

A reward with even a cell phone photo will give people more to go on and could have aided the police and animal control. Passing on the photo to your local news station could have gotten this guy plastered on TV sets all over the community increasing the chances that someone will as you put it rat him out. The media loves even grainy cell phone photos of perpertrators and could have air this as "If you know this irresposible dog owner call...."

Even if this guy didn't get turned in he'd be sweating bullets every time his picture aired and whenever any of his aquaintences asked if he saw the news last whatever (night/week/etc).

Just imagine his wife or mother-in-law seeing him on TV in this context. ;&gt;
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Old 04-05-2008, 10:06 AM   #11
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Post Script:

We had hail damage on Friday morning at 3am which took out our roof vents, A/C covers and vent stack cover on our MH. Trying to round up parts quickly so that the predicted rain storms didn't cause further damage consumed much of Friday. I deferred my bike exercise until this morning.

About 3 miles into my 10 mile ride, I passed a woman talking on a cellphone on the bike trail. I didn't realize until I got 10 yards past her that she had a 45lb collie mix loose about 100 feet in front of us. When it saw me, it started for me. I immediately stopped and got off, putting myself on the backside of the bike. The dog approached me but did not appear aggressive. In a calm tone, I reminded the lady that the Town has a leash law and that I would appreciate her adhering to it. Her response was "there is no leash law and you need to mind your own d#%*& business". I told her there was a law and that I was prepared to call the police (I had my cell phone). In a huff she snapped a leash on the dog and asked me if I was satisfied now. I rode away without another word.

While I passed many more dogs on leashes and several more running loose, I had no more confrontations. It seems that the small percentage of scoff laws are also militant about it. I have no intention of getting bitten again and plan to do whatever it takes to prevent that.
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Old 04-05-2008, 09:48 PM   #12
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Sounds like its time for a revision of the leash laws, saw down to a max of a five foot leash and a $700 odd dollar fine for anyone caught not obeying or some other obscene number.

The point of the matter is, including my original shock-type post is that unless you give some folks in charge a bit of whiplash for their lack of proper enforcement of regulation or poor regulation, nothing is going to be done, and you will just end up with the problem being left in your lap unsolved.

In the end the only solution may be to disallow any dog walking in the area, especially if its a thoroughfare for small children and as many as you say are showing total disregard for the laws.

I have a dog myself, a beagle/I-dunno mix, prior to that a Minature Schnauzer. He gets walked in his backyard, and if he wants a longer walk he goes on a truck trip out to boondogles where he isn't going to make a nuisance of himself to others.

I've personally never considered it safe to take him to a busy public park or other area where children may be present and something could arise where the dog might be provoked into biting, I've always thought of it as my responsibility to take him out and get his exercise where there isn't a high risk of altercation with other dogs, or small children.
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Old 04-08-2008, 01:00 AM   #13
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If you find the owner, save the dog, but have the owner put to sleep.
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Old 04-08-2008, 05:05 PM   #14
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A short leash will not help. A retractable leash gives the dog owner some reaction time if the dog bolts.

If a dog bolts while on a short leash there is a greater chance of the leash coming out of the dog owners hands.

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