Soon after I adopted Anna, I began taking her to East Portal Park while Benjamin was in Seminary. In the pre-dawn quiet nearby residents often used the park as an informal puppy park. There Anna made friends and romped with dogs of various breeds and sizes. The most regular visitors to the park and Anna's best friends were Sydney & Davos, Bernese Mountain Dogs, and Tuffy, an Australian Shepherd.
Tuffy's owners took a particular liking to Benjamin, recognizing him to be an exceptionally fine young man. They soon began asking him to Tuffy-sit when they were out of town. At first Benjamin would go to their house a couple of times a day to tend Tuffy who stayed in the backyard. (I don't know how the neighbors felt about that because Tuffy has a very sharp bark and is a lively dog to say the least.) Soon Tuffy began coming to our house to stay while her owners were away. A nice arrangement for all of us. Anna and Tuffy are always delighted to see each other - although after the initial happy greeting, they often ignore each other most of the time. And here I hoped they would play together and give each other company and exercise. Tuffy loves tennis balls and begs for them to be thrown all day and most of the night. She whines and cries and barks for her ball to be thrown. Rarely does one see her get weary.
We are nearing the end of another such visit of little over a week. Last evening everything changed. I don't know what happened as I was in the other room. Even Benjamin, who was right there, is not sure.
Benjamin had been tossing the ball for Tuffy. Generally, Anna doesn't care much about tennis balls and basically ignores them. Yesterday, she did show some interest in them for a while. Maybe that led to the problem? Suddenly the dogs were fighting!! Benjamin grabbed Anna to pull her off . Anna is much bigger so she was naturally most easy to get hold of. As he pulled Anna, both dogs came - one or both was holding the other. He shook them free of each other. Joseph somehow at that point was more or less between the dogs who were still trying to get to each other. (Anna's tail was wagging. Which seems strange. What does that mean? They were not playing. Tuffy has no tail, no read there) Joseph tried to help keep the dogs apart by grabbing Tuffy's collar. She bit him. He grabbed the nearby dog bed and subdued her under it. About then I showed up, got Tuffy's leash on her and Joseph let her go.
Joseph went to wash his bite. Benjamin and I quickly checked the dogs for any signs of obvious damage - none. We now have a family room dog and a front of the house dog with a baby gate between. I don't know what set them off. Anna became unreliable around some strange dogs and I no longer take her to the dog park. Tuffy is a very good dog, of a 'sharper' breed, but never shown any vice. We have long known that Anna the food hound is a little protective of her food and we never feed them together, but other than that, they have been so good together. There goes Benjamin's pleasant little job and Tuffy's folks pleasant dog care.
Joseph's little finger was pierced in a number of places with scrape-ish wounds. Tuffy bit and Joseph probably reflexively pulled away. Fairly bloody. And of course, his hand didn't feel quite right. Choosing to err on the side of caution, we went to Kaiser. They were very good to us, but we were low priority, of course, so we were there for hours. It was determined that there is no major damage although his whole finger is covered with wounds. Just one finger and mostly surface damage. Eventually, armed with oral and topical antibiotics and dog/cat wound instructions, we got home around 1 or so. Not really bad for an emergency room trip, but plenty late for us.
When I opened the New Testament for my bedtime scripture read, I read Philippians 3:2 "Beware of dogs"