Saturday, June 07, 2008


I have been volunteering or working at an animal shelter since late 1999 or early 2000, which makes almost 10 years. I have never had a serious dog bite, until this week. I have handled probably close to 10,000 dogs. I'd have to really sit and do some serious calculations, and if there is on thing themacinator does not like to do, it's math/serious calculations. Maybe closer to 50,000 dogs, because I have also probably temperament tested 10,000 dogs. These are unknown, strange dogs that I know virtually nothing about. I've done everything from walk them on a leash to vaccinate or microchip them to restrain them for various procedures to poke and prod them to decide if they're "adoptable."

And I had, until this week, never been bitten seriously. Of course the occasional dog has snapped at me or the person for whom I'm holding the leash. One chihuahua bit me the first year I was volunteering and I stopped walking little dogs, which got me involved in pit bulls (the only other option at that shelter), but he was a chihuahua- no harm done. I got bit by runningwithdogs' favorite dog at the time about 3 years ago, but he (yellow lab) nailed my leg, and didn't even break my jeans. My grandmother's miniature schnauzer has bitten me twice, but she is missing 2/3 of her teeth, so all bites by her are forgiven, since she is incapable of breaking skin with her gums. And Mac, bless his dumbass little heart, has bitten me two or three times when he misses his monkey. But this is a brand new development, and I'm just so happy to get him in "drive" mode, that I'll take it.

This bite, though, was different. The dog was an 8 week-old puppy, and he meant business. He put 4 punctures in my right forearm, and there was bruising, which is the sign of serious pressure. Pressure from tiny little jaw. And I take that kind of aggression personally. Bite me, you better watch your booty. My feelings, as well as my arm, were hurt. I guess I'm not a bite-rookie any more, though. More firsts coming soon.


Anonymous said...

I've been volunteering as a dog walker at the San Francisco SPCA for about 5 years and have never been bitten. However, I've had a few close calls with vicious chihuahuas and a mean pomeranian.

dog said...

don't tell me the ACO that is scared of dogs and thinks your handling skills are crazy was there.

that would be too much...

what kind of pup? whadya do to make him SO angry?