Arden was attacked last night.

My boyfriend was walking her when one of his neighbor's dogs—a vicious, snarling thing—started beating against the security door of his neighbor's house. This dog has done this every time we've walked by since he moved in. The door wasn't latched properly and after a few pushes, it sprung open and the dog made a beeline for Arden.

It bit her four times and, in the process of saving her, my boyfriend was also bitten. The dog attacked them for about a minute before the neighbor came running out, hysterical, and tackled the dog. "I'm so sorry," she kept saying, "It's my son's dog and I'm taking care of it while he's in prison. I don't have any money."

My boyfriend wrapped Arden up in a towel and called me in class to tell me what had happened. I left and we raced to the animal hospital.

She has one puncture on her back foot that bled so much it looked like her foot had been chewed off. Her thigh has an enormous double puncture wound in it that required staples to close, and she has two shallow bites on her flank.

The vet says my boyfriend's quick thinking saved her. He grabbed the leash and held it up as high as he could so that her neck wasn't exposed to the attacking dog.

Arden can't walk today and is uncharacteristically quiet. I've got her on the couch next to me, wrapped in a blanket to keep her warm, and she's sleeping and resting. I'll be spending the day with her to help her recuperate.

I am completely and totally outraged that someone has a dog that would do this. It's irresponsibile to even treat a dog so poorly that it reacts this way, and it's even more irresopnsible to have a dog like that, not muzzle it, and then leave your goddamn door unlatched!


  1. Oh, poor Arden! It sounds like she's going to be okay, and thank goodness for that, but what a horrible experience.

    Are you thinking about filing a police report?

  2. My boyfriend is still having a really hard time with it today--it was a scary experience, as you can imagine.

    We talked to the vet at length about the police. Unfortunately, there's no law against a dog attacking another dog like this (dogs are not people under the law).

    All we can do is have a "bite report" filed, which automatically happens if my boyfriend gets treatment for his bite, but we're calling animal control today to check on that.

  3. That's so awful! Poor little Arden -- and your boyfriend. I can imagine he's pretty shaken up.

  4. omg! i am *so* livid that there are no laws that protect other dogs in situations like this. can't the police charge your neighbor with *anything* substantial??!! gah, this makes me soo angry and i can't even imagine how scared Arden must've been! Villanelle and i are breathing a sigh of relief that Arden is safe and snuggled with you-- and major props to your beau for rescuing her!!

  5. Charles,
    My God--I'm so sorry to hear about this! As a dog-lover I'm outraged too, and I'm sending my best wishes over to Arden for a speedy recovery. She's an adorable dog and sounds like a wonderful friend...I can't say for sure from the pictures, but I'm 99% sure she's a miniature Schnauzer? That's the only type of dog my family has ever had, and they're wonderful (w/, of course, the occasional barking issue[!]). Here's to Arden AND to your boyfriend's wonderful quick thinking.

    Be well,

  6. P.S. To answer cornshake's question (not by giving legal advice but by, you know, simply pondering the generalities of the law publicly, ahem)--the sad thing is, usually dog-on-dog attacks can only be handled as civil matters, and even then they tell you in law school (and this is HORRIBLE, but I though Charles might like to know) that the rule of thumb is "the first bite is free," meaning that if the dog has no prior history of assaults then its owners probably can't be held liable, because they couldn't have known the dog's proclivities and therefore don't yet have a duty under the law which can be shown to have been breached in a tort action. Criminally? Usually the controlling legal authority in a situation like this would be a city ordinance, rather than a state law, i.e. one governing how dogs are kept, state laws would probably be more likely to address exotic/wild animals and such. Certainly the closest an incident like this [generally would be thought of] as coming close to criminality is the attack on a human being, as the law (alas) doesn't usually classify animals as eligible victims *except* in Cruelty to Animals statutes (which I believe require a human actor). But one never knows if one's home-state laws allow for something along the lines of a Disorderly Conduct (in NH, creating a condition hazardous to the public can, under certain circumstances, qualify as a DisCon, though it's unlikely this sort of thing would be written as an elevated [i.e. misdemeanor rather than non-criminal] DisCon, speaking only of my past experiences here).

    Hope this helps--certainly, if you find out this dog has a history, you should consult with a lawyer to see if you have a civil case and could get some help with any medical bills Arden may have. I should emphasize I'm actually not a litigious person, and don't usually (if ever) recommend legal action, except where you think the financial burden of the situation may ultimately be too much to bear, and it sounds (thank God) like Arden is going to be just fine, and won't have much if anything in the way of complications (again, thank God).

    Anyway, you guys (and Arden) take care of yourselves, and have a great (and safe) Thanksgiving!


  7. How terrible! In Brooklyn I had an asshole neighbor with a pit bull that killed another neighbor's cat right in front of her as they sat on the stoop. Nothing happened there either.

    Godawful. I hope your bf and puppy turn out to heal easily and well.

  8. Thanks, all! I'll pass on your love.

    And thanks for the info, Seth. I'm going to poke around our ordinances today to see if there's anything...but I do hope that I can handle this on a citizen-to-citizen level.

  9. My heart goes out to you three! I had the same thing happen to Freddy last April. You are doing the right thing by staying by his side and nursing him. While Freddy has certainly changed his attitude towards strange dogs, it only took him a week or so before he was up and running around like the bouncy little puppy he is.
    Get Well Soon, Arden!

  10. I don't know how it is there, but if a dog attacks another dog or a human here, the animal must be quarantined for 10 days, the owner must prove it is up to date on shots, and police will generally put you in touch with animal control and you can ask that the dog be euthanized as a threat. Also call the local humane society/ animal shelter to ask for help. They know the laws in/out/front and back.

    Bottom line is that no matter how much of a dog lover you are (and I am) there is no excuse for keeping a vicious dog alive. Not with so many good, needy dogs looking for homes.

    ps--Hunter & Quinn advise Arden to milk this for all it is worth. There might be ice cream involved. Definite bed-sleeping and couch lounging. And pillows. Lots of comfy pillows. A steak if she plays her cards right. Served on nice china. On the couch.

    I'm glad the two of them are going to be okay.

  11. omg, Charlie, I'm so sorry this happened to Arden. I am so upset I can't even imagine how upset you and your boyfriend are right now. Please know that Arden is in my thoughts and I hope she makes a speedy recovery. Actually all of you make a speedy recovery. xoxoxo

  12. my dalmatian and i were attacked a couple years ago by a pittbull (illegal in our city) that jumped through the front window screen(for a third time) and tore into us. More of my Dog than me. Its owner was about 350lbs (over weight) and took him forever to get outside. In the end Kylie was messed up and I was more angry than hurt. I complained, first to the condo association, and they said "Better get some mace" even though I argued he was in violation of his contact by not having his dog secure at all times. Next I complained to the city and they said "An illegal dog? Who cares, we have drug dealers." A week later it, again, jumped through the front screen and attacked a toddler.

    Unleashed dogs frequently come up to Kylie and I now (Kylie is always leashed) and I'm no longer afraid to kick other dogs, even if their owner is walking toward us. My reason for kicking them: because they should be on a leash and that owner should be running, not walking.

    Well wishes to Arden.

  13. OMG, I am so sorry, but so thankful your b-friend and Arden are okay! My best wishes to all of you!

    A very similar situation happened to me while walking my greyhound. It's terrifying. I ended up wrestling with a German Shephard until his owner came running. It's absolutely terrifying and to see your own dog being hurt, it's beyond heartbreaking.

    A speedy recovery to everyone (both physical and emotional).

    Take care!

  14. I'm so glad that Arden is okay! I hope she feels better soon (your boyfriend too).

  15. Oh Charles this is so awful!
    My thoughts are with you.
    Here's to a speedy recovery for Arden.

  16. Oh damn I am so sorry for you and for Arden and for the poor dumb dog next door who also suffers. I hope Arden heals quickly and gets lots of extra good Charles love for the next few days.
    Rebecca, who believes if more people were muzzled, less dogs would be mean.

  17. Dude! I'm so sorry to hear about this. But give your b/f a high-five for me, okay?


  18. :( That is terrible! Lots of get well thoughts for bf and Arden.

  19. Poor pup. I know this must have been traumatic.

    A friend of mine here in Atlanta now walks his dog with a tazer in hand after being attacked twice in the last year or so.

  20. I am soooo sorry to hear about this! I am wishing Arden and your boyfriend well!!!

  21. Oh Charles, that sounds awful! Good thoughts to both Arden and your BF for a speedy recovery and hope that neighbor's dog is kept safely away from other dogs and people...because in my experience, if it attacks you or your dog, it'll probably attack someone else.

  22. She's lucky to have you, Charles. She really is. Love & best to all three of you.

  23. Charles,

    I am just sick to hear about the attack on Arden and your boyfriend. I pray that you all recover quickly. (I think the emotional healing takes longer.)

    It happened to me and Max two nights before Arden was attacked. Max is a Cairn terrier and I'm guessing about the same size as Arden. You can read about my police and Animal Control experience on my blog: www.itsnotaboutthehair.blogspot.com)

    Max has been enjoying sleeping on the bed, eating Thanksgiving day turkey and wearing my little fleece jacket to keep him warm. But I don't think he can really appreciate it because he is so stoned.

    Take care and all the best to you.

    May I put your link on my blog?

  24. I'm sorry about the attack. I'm glad Arden and your boyfriend are okay.

  25. How horrible.

    I hope they're both doing better soon.