Wednesday, November 24, 2010
The Lunacy of the Poor Puppy, Jack
There was a huge full moon that was just rising this weekend as I was finishing my rounds of the afternoon feeding of the horses. The dynamics of the herd were still in a total state of chaos since I had recently weaned Frank, the foal, who was born on a full moon, 6 of them ago now. The subsequent reshuffling of the herd had all the horses jockeying for new social rankings and there were lots of flattened ears, teeth showing, and a few spinning back kicks thrown as they were sorting the situation out. Frank’s dam, Joline, had been placed in the group with Robijn and Sunset and was quite obviously at the bottom of the pecking order and was being repeatedly chased away from her hay pile. So I went back out into their paddock to move her pile further away from these two other mares and their gnashing teeth.
As I was moving her hay, I fussed at the two evil food hogs, and tried to defend poor sweet Joline. From where I was I could hear across the way in my neighbors’ farm, the sound of a dog fight and one dog obviously getting the bad end of the duel. It sounded gruesome and I could hear voices hollering trying to stop them as I turned and walked back to the barn.
Then, as I got closer to my own barn, I could hear yet another dogfight going on in one of my stalls. I ran to the stall gate and couldn’t at first make the latch release but I could see that it was one of the terriers on the bottom, with my big dog on top. The sounds, too, were horrific and nauseating.
Finally I got the gate open and went in to break it up. I grabbed the large one by the skin of her neck and back and lifted her. This did not improve the situation as she had a firm hold on the terrier, who I could now see was Jack, the Australian terrorist being held by his head in the jaws of the big dog and both came up as I lifted. I was screaming, kicking, and punching and was getting no where. My grip slipped and I fell backwards on my butt and still the growling and screaming continued.
Finally I was able to get enough of a good kick into the big dog that she loosened her grip long enough for me to pull her away. Jack was quickly up and ran away and I sat upon the side of my big dog and held her down until she relaxed and submitted to the restraint. I was gasping for air, my heart was pounding, and my hands shook. The adrenalin rush had done its job but its effect wasn’t gone. It had just come out of nowhere, this fight, so unpredicted, and so violent, all over a few tidbits of spilled horse feed. I sat there stunned.
My dog is a shepherd, German in every way. They are my favorite breed, loyal, intelligent, sensitive, etc. I have had many of them in my years and loved them all, but most have regrettably had an incident of some type of skirmish with another dog. The fights are always brutal and traumatic to the other dog and to the breaker, or breakers up, of the fight. Shepherds are hardwired to be possessive and to be dominant, are formidable to this end, and do not suffer fools lightly. They fight with one quick and determined bite, a firm hold that squeezes and crushes, and one that does not loosen without one using a force greater than the dog possesses, to do so. This time a kick in the ribs was the final answer to my saving Jack from an almost certain death.
After locking the shepherd away, I assessed poor Jack’s damage. There were two holes on top of his head, perilously close to his left eye, and blood poured freely from them both. Another hole was under his jaw, and a bright red stream flowed from it as well. The jaw bone was not broken and inside his mouth his teeth checked out ok as well. So I cleaned the wounds and tried in vain to regain some composure, questions screaming thru my brain about the whys of what had just happened.
By this time the moon had risen to above the tree outline and out in the woods nearby the coyotes began howling like Sirens and the remains of the afternoon air hung wild with an electric energy. Had that rising full moon's appearance really caused such a flurry of fighting, all of it coinsiding in such a brief moment? Was it indeed caused by being in the exact crossfire of the beam of light from the setting sun before it illuminated the rising white orb? Legends and stories abound of lunacy and strange events, including werewolves, all being caused by the full moon. This orb rose and left revealing no answers. Come next full moon tho, I will be very cautious in animal world, and may lock them all up.
Jack is home from the vet with new antibiotics. He is not looking real pretty but can almost get his left eye open, and is feeling much better. Pecking orders have been re-established and peace is settling down on the farm again. Tonight I will finish the spanakopita for Thanksgiving with the family, and tommorow do the "over the river and thru the woods" thing again to my parents' house yet again. It sure seems like Thanksgiving was yesterday when it has only been twelve rises and falls of the moon since the last.