Back in the Groove!
(but not without a splash of bad luck)

Back in the Groove! </br>(but not without a splash of bad luck)

Sweet Sweet COMEBACK!

The few agility trials after “you know what,” Miles was too nervous to do much at all. I was starting to really worry about how we’d get back into the groove, and even, if we’d get there at all. I’ve heard so many stories about dogs never being the same. After having to pull Miles from a trial because he was so nervous he got sick, I decided we should take some time off to seriously slow down and regroup.

Two weeks ago, we attended an agility funmatch, and I used the opportunity to really have a rip-roaring fun time with Miles. It was a huge success, making me realize I should have just waited a few months and then done this funmatch. Poor Miles.

Last weekend, I was recovering from a really nasty virus (hence the lack of blogging). I had been in bed all week, and we hadn’t done any practice at all. Somehow I got myself out of bed, and got us to the first trial I’d signed us up for since “regrouping.” And man oh man, was it worth getting out of bed for! It took us a while to warm up… But after lunch, it all clicked… And we were on fire! Miles was BACK!!! Two Qs back-to-back! He busted out all of the right moves (and when he didn’t, my abnormally good improvisational skills saved our bums). Driving home tired and sick has never felt so exhilarating.

Plus, a most unfortunate event…

The next day, we were walking on clouds. Miles had a skip in his step, and I slept in my sick bed without a complaint in the world. It was evening by the time I dragged myself out of bed, and I decided to take Miles out into our backyard for a little fun. Now, I have not updated ya’ll on the backyard situation here. We rented this place half for the huge backyard, which we were supposedly going to share with the downstairs tenant’s “friendly” greyhounds. We didn’t meet the female greyhound until we’d already been living here a month, and she is not a nice dog. She is extremely territorial with all dogs, and Miles is no exception. I told my neighbor this clearly, and also asked that he not ever let her out if we are outside. This was an easy request, because his entire home looks out on the backyard. All he has to do is look out the window before letting her out. Well, despite this, he let her out that night, and she came barreling at Miles, growling and nipping at him. I did not stop in shock, I threw my body towards Miles, and screamed louder than I ever have in my life. It was beyond horrifying to see something of this effect after what happened before. The massive dog had Miles and I cornered in a planted area next to one of my neighbor’s windows, teeth showing, and my neighbor ran to the window when he heard my screaming, so he got to see his dog trying to bite at Miles, and me saving Miles from her, and he yelled at her to go away. She did not have the intent to kill (I can tell the difference now!), but she was looking to rough him up and to scare the shit out of him. And despite my intervention, she succeeded in doing that to both of us. Okay I will admit it – I began sobbing hysterically. Miles was convulsing with fear. I took him up to our place, and he ran under the bed, and growled with terror. I pulled him out and held him for 20 minutes until he stopped shaking – at which point he let out a sigh, released his clenched muscles, looked me in the eye, and licked my chin. We both stood up, still in shock. It took a few days to get over. I am not taking any chances — no more backyard.

No more close calls, okay universe?

12 comments on Back in the Groove!
(but not without a splash of bad luck)

  • Anth

    I am very proud of my little buddy with his two agility (fun match) titles! Way to go!

    Sad to hear about another run in with another aggressive dog. I am glad you gave him comfort. Give him some snuggles from me! Miss you both!

  • Emma

    Hi Anth, those are ribbons for real "Qs" from the trial we did last weekend. "Qs" are qualifying runs, meaning we did the course with no faults and under time. Qs add up towards titles.

  • Anth

    Oh that's how it works. 🙂

  • Emma

    Hi Kate,

    Your comment means so much to me on many levels. So, thank you.

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I am really sad that your poor guy has experienced multiple attacks too. When people say "this has never happened before," I always have to wonder, even if it hasn't happened before, were there warning signs? I am sure you felt the same way.

    How long has it been since the lab incident?

    Your buddy is freaking adorable, from the tiny pic I can see. I'd love to see more pictures and hear more stories. I love terriers madly, and, I have always felt that adding poodle to anything makes it better. So you really have the best of both worlds.

    If you see another dog acting unpredictably, "picking him up and getting the hell outta dodge" is not an unreasonable reaction. The best thing I have learned from all of this is to never feel guilty for protecting my dog, especially if our routines don't hurt anyone else. So, keep doing what feels right! I know I will. I'd love to talk to you more about how you've dealt with the emotions that come with all of this.


  • Emma

    Yes, don't worry. I won't let you miss a title!!! Its a tradition now.

  • Danielle

    Way to go Miles! Great job!
    And I'm also sad to hear about Miles' latest encounter. He certainly deserves lots of good experiences to make up for these scary times lately. I hope that with lots of TLC he will be his fun and jolly self soon! Hugs!!

  • Kate

    Thanks, Emma! I think the aftermath is almost harder on us than it is on them – Wilson still always wants to say hi to absolutely everybody whereas I am much more cautious now.

    It's been a year now since the lab incident and I still feel most comfortable around unknown dogs when they seem to be about 40 pounds or less (at least until I can get to know their temperament better). There's something about approaching an 80 pound dog when your dog is 15 pounds that can feel very scary after an attack. I've also switched to a daycare that now separates dogs by both size AND temperament. That's given me a ton of peace of mind. His old daycare was amazing but they didn't have the space to always separate by size if they had puppies in or were testing a new dog and I think that the incident wouldn't have happened otherwise.

    I think it's tough to let go of second guessing why these things happen too – especially when the other owners say their dog hasn't ever done something like that. Are you saying my precious angel triggered it? Said slightly facetiously…:) I particularly felt like that after the daycare incident with the lab mix because I wasn't there (and, of course, huge guilt added in there). The owner said the lab had been jumping on Wilson and sniffing to try to activate play and Wilson – who a) doesn't like to be jumped on and b) is all watch and no guard – was schnauzer barking (i.e. "woo, woo, woo") at her to try to get her to stop. Apparently the lab mix didn't like the barking so she bit off the end of Wilson's ear! And that's when the daycare owner just stops the story and looks at me expectantly – like I'm going to understand the lab's motivation or something. Yeah, no, I'm not.

    Wilson remains as loving and curious about other dogs as ever. And he's just as big of a flirt with people too. I hope Miles continues his recovery as bravely and with as much savvy terrier gusto as he can!

  • Emma

    Thanks Danielle. It isn't something I wish on any pooch! Hope your furries are doing well 🙂

  • Emma

    Kate, that previous daycare sounds a tad irresponsible, especially if they watched that intro and didn't intervene. It definitely sounds like poor Wilson was being a bit bothered. I also really am not a fan of dog people that make excuses for dogs who harm others. Especially when they imply that it is the victim's fault. Terrible. I got a lot of that after the first (and worst) attack. "Who knows what Miles said first," that kind of stuff. Miles was friendly and polite. If a person came up to me, I stood there and smiled, and then they randomly tried to kill me, would people say that?!? Same in Wilson's experience. If a person danced around you, and you said, "I don't want to dance with you" and they they punched you… !

    I am so glad to hear about your experience with Wilson – and how he is okay after all of that. I think it is okay you are over protective. I felt guilty after the second incident with Miles because I don't feel I was careful enough, relying on my neighbor to not let his dog out. I realized after that I really can't depend on anyone but myself to truly keep Miles safe. Its a tricky balance, but, better safe than sorry, really!

  • Gail

    Ugh…I can't stand irresponsible dog owners! That must have been terrifying for both of you!

  • Emma

    Yes I agree, irresponsible. 🙁

  • Kate

    Long time reader, first time commenter. 🙂 I'm so happy to hear that Miles is recovering and doing well but bummed that he had another scary encounter with an aggressive dog.

    I too have a sturdy little terrier (mine's a schnoodle that I rescued from a local humane society). A few months after I adopted him, he was attacked by a woman's pit/lab mix (who was off leash) and scraped up pretty badly although not bitten – I just had to actually cut his harness off of him because the clasp had been crushed. She insisted he was friendly and had never done that before. Wilson took awhile to recover but he's always loved meeting other dogs and he got his groove back pretty quickly. Then a few months after that, he was attacked by a lab at his daycare and had the end of his ear bitten off!

    I really admire your attitude throughout this. It can be really tough to get back out there without being too overprotective (I'm not sure I've actually achieved this). I see a barky or hyper or jumpy big dog barreling to meet my 15 lb dog and my first instinct now is to pick him up and get the hell out of dodge which kinda sucks. Yay for Miles and his amazing spirit and tenacity though!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *