A yellow Labrador puppy is recovering from injuries to its face following an attack by another dog that was part of a larger pack in a Saanich park.
Don Jordan and his partner Erna Arndt were walking with Jordan’s yellow Labrador puppy Boomer in Elk/Beaver Lake Park on June 12, at about 1:30 p.m. when they passed a woman walking five adult dogs: a long-haired golden retriever, a short-haired yellow Labrador, a medium-sized boxer, and what was described by Arndt as a chocolate Labrador retriever, and a mixed-breed dog.
Arndt described the woman as being in her mid-50s, about five-foot-seven and weighing about 150 pounds with above-the-shoulder-length hair, light brown in colour with grey streaks. All dogs were off-leash at the time of the incident, including Boomer.
“But he [Boomer] was with us,” said Arndt. As they and the dogs passed each other, Arndt asked the woman whether the five dogs were hers. According to Arndt, the woman said that the dogs belonged to friends of hers.
The couple had left the woman and dogs little more than five metres behind them, when the mixed-breed dog attacked Boomer from behind.
Arndt described the incident as short, lasting no more than five seconds, but vicious.
“He grabbed Boomer by the face and neck, pinned him on the ground, and preceded to ravage him,” she said. “He was on him like a bullet,” added Jordan.
Boomer, according to Jordan, let out a “blood-curdling scream” that continues to haunt him. “I have never heard him like that,” said Jordan.
Once separated, Boomer ran away, seeking safety, said Jordan, adding that Boomer had never had any prior problems with other dogs, having undergone obedience training.
Following the discovery of blood on Boomer’s face, he underwent emergency treatment and received stitches and staples to close the wound. Boomer also received antibiotics.
The total bill for the procedure was $203. As a senior on a fixed income, Jordan said he would like the woman to contact him to help pay for the veterinarian costs.
Then there is the emotional cost. “I still hear Boomer screaming for help when I try to fall asleep at night,” said Jordan in his initial email to the Saanich News.
Jordan also reported the incident to the local dog pound, the Capital Regional District and the Saanich Police Department.
According to Arndt, the woman did not seem to show any concern about the well-being of Boomer. She also failed to leave her name and contact information.
“She just said, ‘Don’t worry, he is all right,” said Arndt, who quotes the woman as saying that Boomer had just been “taught a very good lesson in boundaries.”
Arndt said the woman told her that the attacking dog was the enforcer of the group.
“That tells me that that dog has done this before to other dogs,” she said.
Arndt said she is concerned that these dogs may develop a pack mentality. She is also worried that frail individuals encountering those dogs might suffer fates far worse than she and Jordan did.