Sophie Says: No lark in the park

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A Winters Express opinion column

By Gerald Taylor
Special to the Express

Gramps Says

We are familiar with the term “Rumble in the Jungle” — the fight promoted by Ali. But you have never heard of “No Lark in the Park.” There is no easy way to write about this confrontation and no matter what is said it will be wrong. Even the ‘experts’ do not agree.

There was another dog and owner already at the Walnut Park dog run when Teri and I arrived. Fortunately we had met them before and Teri, the German shorthaired pointer in my care and the other dog had gotten along just fine in the past. Shortly thereafter, another dog owner released her dog into the enclosure and that tipped the scale, the dogs greetings erupted into what is best described as a three dog snarling, vicious boil.

What’s to be done when this happens? Most experts say distracting the dogs by dousing them with water is the best and safest method to diffuse the carnage. There is neither water hose nor water, for that matter, in the dog park enclosure.

The experts who recommend two people grab the hind legs of two animals and pull them out wheelbarrow style must have never experienced a thrashing, slashing tornado where a leg is not in one place for a millisecond. Some other experts decry that method as is can be injurious to the animal.

A dog trainer from Texas recommends wrapping a leash around a dog’s waist and pulling it away or putting on a choke collar and twisting it until the dog can’t breathe nor get blood to the brain, then turn your back from the other dog and walk away. The dog handlers in Hemingway’s ‘Call of the Wild’ used clubs as the failsafe method. Excepting the Texas guy, all the experts agree on one thing and that is, for your own safety, never get yourself in the middle of the melee.

The battle came to an impasse when one dog locked jaws on a section of Teri’s hide and pulled, with both dogs securing themselves in the prone position. It took a while to break that grip. This was followed by a trip to the emergency veterinarian service in Fairfield to get Terri sewed up — $1,200 and the tabs are still running.

Sophie Says

Disgraceful! It’s not lady like. I wouldn’t be caught dead in a dog fight.

I mainly stay out of trouble by maintaining a low profile. Of course this comes easy as I’m built close to the ground.

Gramps needs some dog training. The best way to handle a dog fight is stop it before it starts, thus avoiding veterinarians and risking losing a finger or two. The rule is simple — always have Teri on a leash when meeting strangers. If tension arises leave the dog enclosure and take a few laps around the park. Gramps could use the exercise.

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