What an awful fucking day. Hopefully in a couple of weeks today's incident will just be a minor footnote in the continuing #CassieAdventures. Hopefully there will not be a followup blog, "Boston Terrier Puppy Goes Blind from Dog Attack".
After Cars and Coffee San Francisco I should have just gone home, but figured Cassie, my incredibly adorable, playful, 7-month old Boston Terrier puppy, should have her fun running around Mission Bay Creek Dog Park. This is Cassie's second home. We've been going here once a day for the past 3 or so months, and she absolutely loves it. What dog wouldn't?
It's around 10:30 AM, not too crowded, maybe 7-10 dogs. Pretty calm (we've been here when there are 30+ dogs, all running around like crazy). Cassie is super playful, trying to play with everybody. 10-15 minutes in she's playing with this brown dog about 3-4 times her size. Boston Terriers have no fear when it comes to playing with big dogs! Then this black dog, about 4 times Cassie's size, and his owner approaches the gate. Cassie runs over to greet them, like she typically does. Per dog park etiquette, I go over and pull her away, to allow the new dog to come in.
Immediately I didn't get a good feel for the black dog. He's growling and just not acting very friendly/playful. The owner tries to calm him down, then lets him in. Cassie's BFF, the brown dog, tries to play with the black dog. The black dog wouldn't have none of it. Starts chasing the brown dog and bites him. The brown dog's owner steps in and luckily the brown dog is big enough and fast enough to get away injury free (I think).
So I'm trying to get Cassie to come to me and chase her down because I knew we better get the f*** out of there. But she's still running around, probably thinking everybody is still playing. Then the black dog attacks Cassie. She squeals and is pinned to the ground. Mind you, this dog is probably 4 times, maybe 5 times Cassie's size. I've never felt more frighten or helpless. We were able to break things up pretty quickly but the damage was done.
Blood. Cuts. Open wound.
Most worrisome was the big bite the black dog made above Cassie's left eye. Any bite is bad, but near the eye area...will Cassie's have eye problems? Go Blind? All I could say was, "fuck, fuck, fuck."
Cassie was scared and starting running toward the gate. I hugged her, tried to comfort her. Felt so helpless. There's this big bite wound half an inch above her eye, blood on her face, another bite on her right eye. After a couple of minutes she settled down a little and the brown dog's owner gave her a treat. Beside the physical injuries I was really worried about Cassie becoming fearful/aggressive of other dogs now that she's been attacked. So I stayed for another couple of minutes, hoping to show Cassie that most dogs are friendly.
Then it was off to the SF SPCA emergency hospital. The doctor cleaned her up and gave us some antibiotics and pain medication. For now the main concern is infection. Apparently even though external wounds can heal pretty fast, bacteria can cause infection deep within the tissue. I'm still super worried about lingering eye issues. Bostons have big, cute, vulnerable eyes. While that bite bound above her eye might heal OK, the trauma to the eye area may cause eye problems. Keeping my fingers crossed.
I should be very, very, very angry right now, but honestly, I feel more relieved than anything else. Cassie is a small puppy. That large black dog could have done some serious, serious damage. Half an inch lower and Cassie loses her left eye. We're not in the clear yet (infections, hidden injuries, etc.) but it could have definitely been much, much worse. Emotionally, I think Cassie is OK. At the hospital she was still her friendly self. Don't want her to become one of those super timid, fearful dogs.
So no dog park for the next 5-7 days. Will need to figure out how to keep Cassie active without her daily dog park play time. Need to make sure Cassie can play with some friendly dogs to deal with any lingering/potential emotional issues. And will need to re-evaluate whether dog parks are worth it.