Last night was interesting, to say the least. There is a dog in the neighborhood, a young lab mix, that is kept on a chain in his owner's backyard. The poor guy goes nuts every night when we walk past with Ginger--jumping, straining at his chain, barking hysterically--and it's a sad and sorry sight indeed. Every once in awhile his owner will step out of the back door to yell "Shut up!" but that's seems to be the extent of the attention he gets. I hate walking past his house; it breaks my heart to see a dog so neglected. It's an odd thing in our neighborhood, too. Most of our neighbors are middle aged folks that dote on their pets, and would never chain up their dogs. I guess everyone has "that one neighbor" even in a good neighborhood.
Last night, as we were doing our usual walk, we saw a black shadow running around the side of this dog's house. Lo and behold, the dog had somehow broken his chain and escaped the fence, and was running loose in the night. When we got close to his house, he rushed up to us, overexcited and leaping around. We immediately reined in Ginger's leash; it was obvious this dog hasn't had any socialization and we knew it could mean trouble.
The dog is probably good natured in general, but he scared us from the get go. He kept jumping up on us and Ginger in an intimidating way and refusing to let us walk on in peace. Ginger was nervous and growling and the situation was getting out of control. The owner came to his door (I guess he heard the ruckus), and GB yelled for him to come get his dog. He came out of his house, dressed in nothing but a pair of shorts, looking like a drunk redneck (which he probably was) and started walking our way to retrieve his crazy animal. Then all hell broke loose!
Ginger and the dog started to fight. Ginger's collar slipped off and I was left holding the leash with the empty collar dangling at the end. The two dogs were rolling on the ground, snarling and yelping, and no one could get a handhold on them. Ginger broke free from the dog and started to run; the crazy lab was right behind her, and I panicked. I vaguely remember yelling something along the lines of "Get your f*ckin' dog! Get your f*ckin' dog!" as I scrambled after them. GB was in the midst of the melee, trying to punch or kick the crazy dog to get him to let go of Ginger, and the owner was trying to grab his dog. (GB told me later he landed a couple of hard kicks to the dog's ribcage). We all ended up in another neighbor's yard, screaming and grabbing at our dogs, until finally Ginger broke away and ran down the street. I went after her, the drunk redneck finally was able to grab his dog, and GB came running after us. I was shaken up, and furious, but Ginger was fine. Apparently the fight sounded worse that it was; it was difficult to see what was happening at the time because it was so dark. We walked directly home after that, with me shaking all over with adrenaline and fury and declaring I would call the police if Ginger had any bites on her. She didn't, thank goodness.
Later on, we were able to laugh about the experience (once it had all ended with no one hurt). We must have looked like a bunch of loonies if any of the other neighbors were looking out of their windows! I was cursing like a sailor, the dogs were rolling on the ground snarling, GB was kicking and drawing back his fist preparing to punch, the drunk barefoot redneck (in nothing but shorts in freezing weather) running after me and the dogs....it must have been one hell of a sight in our normally sedate middle class neighborhood!
Definitely a first at our house; a family street fight!!