Friday, July 27, 2012

Bad Dog


But first, the good dogs. Cute little Elliot (Debbie’s dog).


And Joey, a neighbor’s sweet dog that visits us daily. Jim has really taken a liking to her.


And now for the not so sweet dog story. Yesterday we wanted to give our legs and knees a little break from any serious hiking, so we took a walk to the post office, through downtown Ouray, and on to the Uncompahgre River Walk, a completely flat 2 mile loop trail north of town. It was a pleasant stroll along the river with the benefit of fantastic scenery and not having to be careful of falling off a mountain with every step.

About a half mile from the end there were some small houses with backyards adjacent to the trail. We stopped to watch a couple of cats on a carport, then as we continued on in front of the same house a medium size white and brown dog came down the steps onto the trail. I think I said something like “cute dog”, and we both thought it was coming to get petted. As it approached Jim he leaned over a bit to do just that. It was at this point he realized that although the dog had not barked or growled, it was baring it’s teeth in a snarl and he knew he was in trouble.

My attention was elsewhere at that point, but I heard an expletive from Jim, then a whack sound (which was Jim hitting the dog on the head) as it bit him on the knee. The dog then ran off and the owner came out. She was concerned and apologetic but said tourists walking the trail come up the steps into their yard frequently (hard to believe) and the dog is very protective. Of course we weren’t in her yard but on a public trail. She denied that the dog had ever bitten anyone before, said it had recently gotten it’s rabies vaccine, gave us her contact information and a wet paper towel for Jim to clean off the blood which was now running down his leg.


We came home and I researched dog bite treatment on the internet. Jim washed it well with antibacterial soap and rinsed for 5 minutes, applied antibiotic ointment and bandages. He then called the police department to find out where to report the incident and they told him he had to come down in person, which he did. The officer then went to the woman’s house and verified that the dog’s rabies vaccination was current. He told her she had to keep the dog restrained and if another incident was reported “you know what that means”.

Let’s hope all is well and this won’t happen to someone else. And also hope that Jim doesn’t develop an infection, since he would not go to the doctor to get it checked. You know how men are!

The day ended better, though, with no thunderstorms for a change. so we soaked up the view and relaxed. Perhaps we would have been better off going on another death defying hike…



  1. Egad! That's the kind of adventure you could live without. Glad you reported it.

  2. See, hiking a mountain is safer than staying home :))
    Hope all is well with the Alfa Male (jim).

  3. Oh good grief! We think about what just happened to Jim when we walk on trails. People take their dogs on trails without being on a leash...which bothers us tremendously. We think it is extremely selfish of them.
    We hope Jim is doing well today. Glad you called the police and they checked it out. Because of your action, someone else might not be hurt.

  4. A small child could have been in a world of hurt.

  5. Don't tell Gayle but I believe that I will live. I intend to milk this (honey could you bring me a beer).

    This is the second time in my life that I have been bitten with no warning. The first time I was a child and the dog bit me on the face and I went through the rabies shot series.

    Still love dogs and animals in general. I blame the owners and in this instance I was stunned that the owner allows the dog to roam freely. We made no move to enter their property and were standing in the middle of the trail looking at their cats when the dog strolled slowly onto the trail and in front of me.

    The dog stopped in front of me and it was then as I was leaning over to pet it that I saw the bared teeth. My next move was going to be backing away but it was at that point he leaped and bit.

    The police asked if I wanted to prosecute which I didn't. I just wanted to be sure he was vaccinated and I felt that the owner needed to be put on notice and hopefully it won't happen to someone else although from the comments of the owner I suspect that the dog has been aggressive to others.

    Anyway, I still look forward to making new animal friends like Joey.


  6. Hello Jim:
    Our grandchildren have been taught in school, that if they encounter a strange dog: (1) fold your arms. That protects your hands (2) turn around. That protects your face. (3) look up and never at the dog. Animals take direct eye contact as a threat. Once the dog gets a sniff and decides you are not a threat, almost always they just mosey off.

    A visit to a doctors office would have yielded a prescription of antibiotics as a preventative measure. Easier, and much less painful, to prevent an infection then to cure one.

    You two continue to enjoy your travels.

    Take care:

  7. Bad owners make me furious. I hope the dog won't have to suffer because of the stupidity of the owner.

    But I also hope Jim that Gayle isn't right about your refusing to go to the doctor if this gets inflamed. Hiking definitely sounds safer. I think this is unfortunately why our National Parks no longer allow dogs on the trails.

    Pet owners all seem to say, Oh my dog is friendly or he won't bite you. RIGHT. I've had animals all my life, dogs, cats, horses, chickens everything but when I'm out running and a dog comes toward me, I stop dead and IF there is an owner near by boy do they get a GLARE from me. Unless they are in your own fenced yard dogs belong on leashes at ALL times.

  8. That's pretty scarey, but I'm glad Jim is okay and that you did all the right things. It's hard to believe she would let the dog run free with a trail right outside her yard like that - and you never know if or when a dog is going to bite. She's just asking for a lawsuit. Bummer. :(

  9. So sorry this happened to you. It seems very strange that someone living adjacent to a public trail would allow their dog to be outside unattended. I wonder why they don't have a fence. Anytime the skin is broken by any injury there is a risk of infection and a visit to the doc would not be out of order.

  10. Sorry to hear about the dog bite. Not pleasant. Hope you don't have any problems.

  11. What a bummer! I was once bitten by a friends dog while helping them work in their house. Stay away from that trail for sure.