Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Spring 1998

He looked down at her lifeless body. What how could this happen? Just minutes ago Katie had been walking with Eric and him to the mailbox. It had been a pleasant walk in the late fall morning. They loved living on this new piece of land.

Eric and Katie had ran ahead, he’d smiled watching their small forms full of curiosity and wonder. They had lived there nearly a year, so there was no fear in his mind as they ran ahead and disappeared in the trees around the pond.

Suddenly Eric had been running toward him, his small face full of silent terror. Before he could wonder what was wrong, he heard Katie’s terrified anguished screams, and THE DOGS.

Terror gripped his heart as he ran toward the sounds of a pack of dogs after Katie. Frantically looking into the dark shade of the trees he saw her and THEM.

There were four or five near grown hound mixed with chow type dogs, they had Katie on the ground, she was fighting the best she could her small compact frame useless against the starved animals who with foaming mouths tore at her legs and buttocks. Working as a team to pull her to the ground. She was their prey and they meant to have her. He could see their ribs showing through their fur. Judging by their size and physical shape he could tell they were litter mates. Unwanted puppies who had been dumped, and who had some how survived to adulthood, but now they were starving and vicious.

The fence between Katie and him was several strands of barbed wire, too tightly strung for him to duck through. He ran to the gate, LOCKED, as he climbed the barbed wire that formed the gate tore at his clothes, puncturing his skin. But he did not notice. “Katie, he had to save Katie.”

Shouting and waving his arms he ran at the dogs, all but one ran off. The Alpha male, bigger than the others, was still biting and tearing at her, she had gone silent. Stooping the man grabbed a softball size rock and threw. It landed just short of its’ target. But its’ message was clear and the wild dog tucked tail and ran.

Katie lay before him, not moving. No sound. “Katie”, softly he called her name, no response. “Katie, their gone. “ He knelt fear filled his heart. Then he saw a flutter of eyelids. Her beautiful brown eyes, full of pain looked back at him. She was alive!

Now he had another problem. He had to get her the two tenths of a mile back to the house and medical treatment. He wasn’t sure he could carry her that far, plus how could he get her over the fence? He couldn’t leave her to go get the car and help. The pack of wild dogs might return and kill her.

As if to answer his unspoken questions, Katie slowly, unsteadily rose to her feet. Together with Eric they started the slow painful walk back to the house, and help.

Examination of her wounds showed medical attention was definitely needed. It was a weekend, and the type of medical help she needed was forty-five minutes away. Together with his wife and Eric, he loaded Katie in the car and headed for the emergency medical facility.

By the time they arrived, she was going into shock. The doctor told them immediate surgery was needed. While luckily she seemed to have managed to protect her vital organs and face. There was muscle and tissue damage to her legs and buttocks. In agony the three waited while the surgery was performed on the little one they loved so much.

Eric, a normally vivacious blonde, was quiet and withdrawn, not making a sound. He sat with his head hanging down, forlorn and lost without Katie. The attack had definitely done emotional damage to him. What about Katie, what residual damage would she suffer?

What would they all suffer? They had no insurance to cover this, the surgery would be expensive. But there was nothing else to be done, she had to have it, if she was to survive.

Anger slowly swelled in the man and woman. This was through no fault of their’s or Katie’s. The blame laid in the selfish people who had dumped a litter of puppies because they were an inconvenience. People who would go to a fast food restaurant rather than pay the small fee to have a pet neutered or spayed. Then when the unwanted puppies appeared, who thought it too big an inconvenience to try and find suitable homes. Nor would they pay the small fee to place them with pet adoption services, again they would have to give up some minor luxury for themselves to do that. Or as a very last result, have the puppies humanely put down. No it was far easier and cheaper for THEM to just dump the puppies. After all they were cute, people in the country would take them in and adopted them. At least that’s what they tell themselves and their children.

But instead, of those who do manage to survive many turn into vicious feral dogs. They form packs with other dumped and stray animals and together they hunt. First living off of small game, and then family pets, poultry cattle and finally attacking small children and the elderly, becoming more aggressive and vicious with each attack. This was evidenced by the attack on Katie.

It was apparent from the condition of the dogs that had attacked Katie that they were starving, making them a very dangerous pack. Although they had not completed their attack on Katie, others were in danger. Now the farmers and ranchers would have to ban together and do a job they detested. Destroy the pack. Katie was suffering, and others would too, all because some irresponsible pet owner, dumped a litter of unwanted puppies. Never considering the domino affect of their actions. Because some pet owner hadn’t spent less then $50 to have that litter’s mother spayed they would be out hundreds of dollars for Katie’s medical treatment, not to mention the emotional stress and pain it had caused. Nor did that pet owner think about the burden it put on the families in the country that would now have to deal with vicious, possibly rabid feral dogs. It was easier to just dump that litter of puppies, go out to eat and tell themselves it was perfectly okay.

Suddenly the doctor was standing before them. The surgery was successful and the damage was far less than they had thought. As long as no infection set in she would be scarred, but healthy. She had been lucky the man had been with her. She would not have survived otherwise. Katie could go home and be with her family, but she must be watched closely for the next 24 hours.

The man and woman took turns monitoring her condition all night. In the light of the early dawn hours he went to check on her again. Eric was with her, his small body curled protectively against her. He looked up as the man entered, sad worried eyes. “She’s going to be okay, boy.” He told the three year old yellow dog.

Katie looked up with pain ridden eyes and he reached out and petted the soft ears of the blue heeler. Thankful once again that both animals were fully vaccinated. Katie would not get rabies, if the dogs had been rabid, because of their foresight in not only spaying and neutering the pets, but in keeping them fully vaccinated. If only he could undo the damage and pain his pets were suffering now, because of others.

Giving Katie her antibiotic and pain pill he thought to himself. “There are those who would say, ‘Why be so upset, Katie is only a dog?’ “. He knew that statement would anger him, she was more than a dog, she was family. In the same instant he knew what his response to such a remark would be. “But what if she had been a small child?”

April 19, 2011
I wrote the true story above in the Spring of 1998 after our beloved Jealous Katie Katrina Quit!  was viciously attacked with my husband just a few yards away.  I repost it in various places periodically and especially this time of year when the dumping of household pets becomes a major problem for those of us who live in the country. 

I had actually forgot about posting it this year until an event last night.  My husband and I had just gone to bed for the night when Sean called out from the living room asking if I could come help him.  Grabbing our robes we both ran, we could tell from his voice something was definitely wrong. 

There in his lap was our beautiful white Tufted Roman goose, Wendy.  Wendy and her mate Casper are some of my personal favorite geese.  The two of them have been with us for about six years.  She had finally gone broody on a large clutch of eggs and was desparate to hatch them.  She and Casper are obvious in their love of goslings and she's only successfully hatched one gosling in years past--Lumpy, who a stray dog got when he was a teenager.

Last night it was Wendy covered in blood.  Sean had heard her screams and rushed out to chase away a LARGE black stray that was trying to drag her to the woods from her nest right in the light from our living room windows!

Sean screamed and chased the animal off and rescued Wendy, but her long graceful neck was tucked under her main body, she was upside down on her back and she wasn't making a sound.  When he picked her up her neck hung loosely, but she struggled to get away, thinking he was the dog come back.

Once in the house we doctored her wounds--one is really bad on her cheek and she bled a lot.  Once I got the bleeding stopped I held her in my lap to keep her warm and hopefully from going into shock while Sean fixed the nursery up for her. As I spoke to her of how she had to live because her goslings needed her she raised her bloodied white head and peered at me with an understanding blue eye.  I reminded her that Mama Rose had suffered similarly and had gone on to hatch and raise Beauty.  While her head wobbled on her neck it was wonderful to see the neck was not broken.   She leaned against me for comfort as we waited on Sean.

He built her a deep nest of hay and carefully moved her eggs to the totally enclosed structure in the big coop that we normally use for either a nursery of parentless baby birds or wounded hens and their clutches of eggs, then he gently carried her to it.

As we passed her old nest she struggled to get down to go to her "babies"--she's only been broody for two days, but her need to protect her eggs was strong.  Sean held firm and talked softly to her, telling her the eggs were safe and he was taking her to them.  As we passed Casper and the main flock who honked softly to her she struggled again, but not near as hard as she struggled when she saw her "babies" safe in a cage with deep soft hay.

Once Sean set her down she washed the blood out of her mouth in the medicated water he'd fixed her, nibbled a bit of the food supplies and then wobbled to her "nest".  She carefully counted the eight eggs and tucked them under her bloodied wings.  We told her good night and left her in God's hands.

This morning she actually hissed and spread out protectively over her eggs when Sean tried to re-arrange the water bowl in the wire and wood enclosure that will now keep her safe.  This is a VERY good sign.  

I have to say we all went to bed angry last night, which is not a good thing.  Someone has dumped this starving dog and we are dealing with it.  We think it has already got Miss Pugsley and Butterfly, (we keep hoping they are hidden on a nest somewhere--but we are doubting that is so) and none of us wants to kill an animal.  But it's coming right to the front door and something will have to be done.

While no one I know would ever consider dumping of an animal, some of you might know someone who might.  Please tell them the stories of Katy and Wendy and how much harm their selfishness can cause.

Jan who is sad to see Wendy in so much pain and still being so protective of the goslings she wants to hatch so badly in OK


  1. If only I could get a dog spayed/neutered for $50 I would in a heart beat. Close to $200 here. There is a clinic that is low cost, if you are on welfare. I have a dog we took in that just had a litter of pups. I am hoping to pull together the money to get her fixed, eating out isn't any where close to the cost.

  2. It ranges from $35 to $95 here to get a dog neutered. The story was written originally back in 1997 when spaying was cheaper. Still today to take a family of four out to eat can run you $40 easily these days. Bless you for getting your female fixed and not dumping the pups she has already had.