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WWYD: Bit by dog on my run

(13 posts)
  • Started 3 years ago by JetSettinMeg
  • Latest reply from ZoeDog
  1. User has not uploaded an avatar

    JetSettinMeg
    Member

    I was jogging in my neighborhood today and was approaching a woman walking her dog from behind on the sidewalk. As I got close I moved over to the grass in between the sidewalk and road to pass them. The dog was on the opposite side of the owner, but still lurched out at me and bit me on the back of my thigh through my shorts. The owner was obviously caught off guard and pulled the leash and her dog back. Luckily the dog did not get a good grip on my leg, but did slightly puncture the skin. The owner apologized profusely and asked if I'm okay. I was in shock and the bite didn't seem too bad--no blood coming out--and knowing that I have a current tetanus I just said that I'd be okay and continued on my way. I thought about getting her name and number to report the incident but being that I was on a run, didn't have anything to write the information down, or my cell phone to record it. I certianly felt like screaming at her, but that's not my approach to unfortunate situations.

    My questions to you all: What should someone do in a situation like this? Do you report it? Should I have gotten her information some way?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  2. User has not uploaded an avatar

    20feet
    Member

    Hmmm, glad to hear you are ok. But I wonder, was the lady and her dog alerted to the fact that you were about to pass by her at a run? I could see my dog being startled and protective if we were surprised by someone running past us from behind. I have no idea how he would react, hopefully not in the way this dog did. But lots of dogs are very protective of their owners, especially females. If he saw you as a threat he may have acted as such to protect her. We have been startled a few times by people when walking home, both times it was a creepy bum, but my 70lb pup instinctively barked and growled. I was able to get him to sit and calm down both times, but these guys weren't running by us, just stumbling out of the bushes or shadows. Not sure he would do the same if it weren't a bum but rather a normal looking/acting person, but my inclination is yes if he perceived them as a threat to me.

    I'm not trying to say this was your fault, I just wonder more about the situation. It seems from your post that the woman was "caught of guard." Which to me implies surprised. From the dog's reaction, or you running by, or both, I don't know.

    All you can do is asses the situation at the time, I'm sure adrenaline and emotions were high for both of you, plus her trying to calm down her dog, so it probably would have been hard to get her info anyway. If you weren't seriously injured I'm not sure if there would be much to talk about anyway. I don't know....

    Posted 3 years ago #
  3. User has not uploaded an avatar

    ABMJ
    Member

    My thinking is that even if you did come up from behind and they didn't know you were there, you should not expect to be bitten. Runners coming up from behind are a very common occurrence when walking. If I thought my dog were to freak out when that happened, I would be careful taking her for a walk.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  4. MBartley

    MBartley
    Member

    You absolutely should have done something. A dog that just reflexively bites anyone who startles it should not be out in public.

    What you just did was tell the owner that the dog's behaviour is OK. It isn't, and by you not protesting, you were complicit.

    That dog will probably end up biting a kid unless it's taken off the streets. Hopefully, the next person will be a bit more assertive about protecting the community.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  5. User has not uploaded an avatar

    OneGuy
    Member

    "Protecting the community"??? Give me a break. How about all of us start giving our neighbors the benefit of the doubt and not immediately jumping to report/sue/etc. It's reactive aggressive activists like MBartley that are making this neighborhood a vigilante fest.

    It is not at all unusual for a completely friendly and docile dog to lunge if startled in this way. How about if we try calling out when approaching ANYONE from behind, regardless of whether they have a dog with them? It's common courtesy.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  6. User has not uploaded an avatar

    Lets Get Real
    Member

    Make sure your bite is not infected (most dog bites will) and post the description of the dog and the woman. I am a responsible dog owner whose child was mauled by a dog that had never attacked anyone before. If my own dog ever bit someone, I would either keep it indoors or in my yard for the rest of her life. Once a dog bites a person they are more likely to do it again and yes, we do need to protect the community: your thigh is probably about the same height as a child's face.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  7. User has not uploaded an avatar

    Lets Get Real
    Member

    ps: this dog did not just lunge (most dogs will do so in order to warn the other party), but it BIT the runner. Big difference.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  8. User has not uploaded an avatar

    fred
    Member

    A cat scratched me the other day, it was my friends cat and in my friends house but it still hurt. Should I sue her and the cat or call the police?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  9. User has not uploaded an avatar

    Lets Get Real
    Member

    Not funny, Fred. I didn't sue the owners of the dog that mauled my child's face but will continue to advocate for common sense and safety. A dog that bites people should not be out in public. Period.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  10. User has not uploaded an avatar

    e
    Member

    I actually thought Fred was quite funny...

    A dog that bites someone ONCE, well I don't think there is a need for them to not be in public. Happens. When ANY dog feels threatened, it could bite.

    Now, I'm not saying that the dog is in the right to bite.... I'm just saying it happens. Yes, it probably should be reported. But. One bite is not a reason to put a dog down, or keep it inside for the remainder of its life. I mean. Kids hurt other kids too. Say one gets in a fight with another, should the instigator be put down? I think not.

    As it was a very minor bite...I don't think it's a big deal that you didn't report it. Luckily it wasn't major. For future reference though, approaching a dog from behind, running, might trigger it to bite if it is unaware of you coming.. that's any dog. Because it feels threatened. It's best, if the owner doesn't notice you, to run around the dog a ways so that you aren't in lunging distance. I'm not saying it's your fault at all, it's not.. I'm just saying precautions are good.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  11. User has not uploaded an avatar

    dfh
    Member

    If no one reports a dog bite, minor or not, how would anyone know that there was ONE bite - even if only the FIRST bite? This dog could have bitten others but if no one reports then no one knows about them.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  12. timflan

    timflan
    Member

    Lots of folks seem to be sharing their opinions, even when their opinions don't make much sense (I like the one where "you are complicit" in your own victimization!). The only thing I suggest you ought to have done would be to obtain contact information for followup, if necessary.

    But in the heat of the moment, with the adrenaline flowing, it's all but impossible to remember all these rules and guidelines we armchair internet advisors might suggest. So don't torture yourself trying to figure out if you did the right thing. You did fine. Best you could under the circumstances. But you recognize you might have done better.

    It's tough because you were in midst of a totally different activity when the incident occured, and your mind was engaged in whatever cognitive tasks that activity required. Your mind didn't have its "interpersonal injury situation" decision-matrix slotted, did it? Why would it? Human mental capacity is really very limited, and you need to give your wetware a chance to change modes and respond after a sudden disruption.

    So here's my advice:

    Focus your self-improvement effort in this area to one simple guideline that applies to a huge variety of situations: When something traumatic or disruptive happens (anything that triggers your adrenal system, really), try to STOP for a moment and think. And then spend a few seconds focusing on the present situation. Be assertive about saying "Could you just hold on a moment while I figure out what needs to happen here?"

    Posted 3 years ago #
  13. User has not uploaded an avatar

    ZoeDog
    Member

    Brilliant advice, Tim. Quite the best and most helpful.

    Posted 3 years ago #

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