Vinnie: Merry Fencemas!

SillyRabbit wrote:

Blood Boiling Follow Up.

Wow, that lady is a piece of work.

Yeah, ma'am. You owe it to yourself, your babies and your neighbors to ensure that this goes to court and those dogs are taken away and destroyed. It's only a matter of time before they attack Vinnie again or someone else in the neighborhood.

That lady is a classic malignant narcissist. Good thing she doesn't live anywhere near me because, as other folks may have noticed, I have an overdeveloped sense of vengeance.

The whole "I just want my babies to come home" business is probably the only truthful part of what she said. She probably CAN'T have your dog put down and is just putting it out there as a way of saying "we are both equally to blame on this" when in actuality she's just being a complete feminine hygiene product.

I would suggest no further communication with your neighbor without benefit of counsel.

I would suggest no further communication with your neighbor without benefit of counsel.

Yeah, I was just about to say, if she tries to talk to you again, you just answer, "My attorney has advised me not to discuss this with you," whether he has or not. For one, it's probably just a good idea not to talk to her. Two, that might make her a little nervous, which is always nice.

This woman probably doesn't want to remember the truth of what happened because it screws her and her dogs over. Never underestimate the ability that your average human being has to deceive themselves. She could believe what she's saying. Thankfully, I don't think there's a judge out there who would.

SR - I don't have much to add to the thread, except I know how hard it is to be without your pet, and how much you just want them to be at home and OK. Our kitty is in quarantine for another 2 months (has been in for 2 already). She's never been out of our home (except when going to the vet and moving to a new house). Now that we moved to Ireland, she's in quarantine, in a strange place, with dog kennels on the outside of her kennel. I can't imagine how scared she is, and I am so happy when I hear her purring when we come visit...So this is just to say that you and your family are in my thoughts. And yes, even your neighbors, deluded and irresponsible though they are, will also be in my thoughts.

As the old saying goes, nobody ever thinks it will happen to them (no matter which side of the fence you're on).

Symbiotic wrote:

Our kitty is in quarantine for another 2 months (has been in for 2 already).

"

Why has she been placed in quarantine for so long? I would be infuriated if someone did that to my neighbor's cat. >=(

ZaneRockfist wrote:
Symbiotic wrote:

Our kitty is in quarantine for another 2 months (has been in for 2 already).

"

Why has she been placed in quarantine for so long? I would be infuriated if someone did that to my neighbor's cat. >=(

UK quarantine, it's brutal. Most people I know who emigrate give their pets away rather.

MrDeVil909 wrote:
ZaneRockfist wrote:
Symbiotic wrote:

Our kitty is in quarantine for another 2 months (has been in for 2 already).

"

Why has she been placed in quarantine for so long? I would be infuriated if someone did that to my neighbor's cat. >=(

UK quarantine, it's brutal. Most people I know who emigrate give their pets away rather.

It's the same in Taiwan. The idea is that it is easier to contain outbreaks of things like rabies on an island since they can control the traffic of animal carriers. As such, they want to make sure their island stays free of the nasty stuff.

What they said. Ireland is a 'rabies free' country. In order to keep it that way, they have ridiculous quarantine policies. That said, we love our cat and honestly couldn't imagine giving her away. Had we known we were moving far enough in advance, we could have avoided the quarantine by jumping through all the hoops in the US six-month early. We only got a 2-month headstart, thus 4-months of quarantine here.

Symbiotic wrote:

What they said. Ireland is a 'rabies free' country. In order to keep it that way, they have ridiculous quarantine policies. That said, we love our cat and honestly couldn't imagine giving her away. Had we known we were moving far enough in advance, we could have avoided the quarantine by jumping through all the hoops in the US six-month early. We only got a 2-month headstart, thus 4-months of quarantine here. :(

Sounds like an effing racket to me. Are they billing you at all?

SillyRabbit wrote:

She then says, very sweetly and humbly, and I paraphrase "I know how these wounds happened, I know why ... we spoke to the Co. Atty today and he told us that since our dogs came on to your property, probably nothing would happen except we'd be responsible for your vet bills, and we could have your dog put down, but I don't want that, I just want my dogs to come home". I just played it cool and didn't respond.

Wow, you handled that exceptionally well. I probably would have responded in kind something along the lines of "I'd really like your dogs to come home too, there's this little brat across the street I'm sure they could take care of. Brutal murderers are so hard to find these days."

Of course, you don't want them to pressure you into saying or doing anything that they could use against them in court. While it'll feel like crap in the short-term, playing it smart is totally the way to go.

Best wishes during this stressful time. Hope it all works out.

SillyRabbit wrote:

Very long update

I know it must be scary to find Vinnie suddenly missing more flesh, but everything you've said makes me think he's getting the best possible veterinary care. Even though it's proceeding in fits and starts, he does seem to be making progress.

Two points on your neighbor:

* The whole "I could have your dog put down but won't" vibes to me like a plea for clemency - trying to show that she has a carrot and a stick, but you're both reasonable people and aren't carrots tasty? You handled this situation extremely well, and much better than I think I would have.
* I'm neither a lawyer nor a vet, but the advice to compare bite patterns if she's foolish enough to push on with her story that Vinnie bit her sounds very good. It's also great that your vet is willing to testify about the level of pain and fear that Vinnie would have been feeling, in the event that she "forgets" to have pictures of her injuries which are detailed enough to exonerate your pup.

This might be unpopular to say, but I think handling your neighbors with the respect that you are is the right thing to do. They will probably be your neighbors for years to come, and as painful as it is to say it, salvaging what's left of that relationship is very important. I had a falling out with one of my neighbors (regarding my dogs and him showing disrespect to my wife), and now I just basically have to wait until the old man is dead before the tension hovering around there eases. I worry regularly that he's going to throw poison on my side of the fence in an effort to kill my dogs.

It sounds like your neighbor is a selfish woman whose negligence caused a horrible accident, but I think you're definitely doing the right thing by acknowledging that she's not an evil person and she's affected by this as well. Those dogs *were* her babies, and the empathy you're showing her will go a lot way to stalling an all out suburban war.

I'm still rooting for Vinnie's recovery, and I still don't want to see her dogs returned, but the fact that you're making an effort to understand her pain is going to go a long way.

Seth wrote:

This might be unpopular to say, but I think handling your neighbors with the respect that you are is the right thing to do.

Shouldn't be an unpopular thing to say, SR did handle it in a very classy way, but she mustn't trust the apparent olive branch.

The neighbor is probably scared to death of her husband. He'll blame her for the loss of the dogs and make her life (more) miserable.

"I have complete control over my dogs and my weak wife lost control and couldn't stop the attack."

So, she made up the story to make it look like SR's fault.

SillyRabbit, do you know if anyone has ever gotten pictures of your neighbors bite wounds? Those could be pretty instrumental in proving who did the biting if necessary.

I had to put my dog down two weeks ago, so I've kept a keen eye on this thread.

Don't let that woman affect your actions, SR. You're doing the right thing. You're in the right.

That's all that matters.

Keep us posted.

I'd like two echo two sentiments: the congratulations for taking the high road and not treating this woman as she "deserves" to be treated, and the exhortation to NOT say anything else to her. I learned that lesson the hard way, but luckily in a much lower-stakes situation. I got into an accident in a school vehicle and, when the other person asked me if the school would pay for the damages, I said that I really didn't know...it would seem to me that the school's insurance would take care of it, but that I DID NOT know the school's policy on situations like this, so I really can't say. I re-iterated that last point for emphasis several times throughout the course of that conversation, because I knew it was risky for me to even speculate on the first part.

...and sure enough, the next day in the meeting with the superintendent, she and her husband angrily declared that I had assured them--SWORN, in fact--that the school would be paying for the damages. Luckily, neither my supe nor my business manager believed them, not that it would have made much difference what I had said anyway (we didn't pay out anything).

So...some people, if you give them half the opportunity, will absolutely hear what they want to hear (whether it's out of deliberate malice or delusion, as I suspect my situation was), and since this lady has already demonstrated a relaxed attitude towards portraying events as they actually occurred...I hope she didn't "hear" you admit that Vinnie had maliciously attacked her.

I'm still thinking and praying for you...keep the updates coming!

You have the patience of three saints SillyRabbit. I doubt I would have been able to keep my cool like that. As others have mentioned, it's in the hands of lawyers at this point. Take comfort in the fact that the odds are in your favor in that regard.

Best wishes to your friend's continued recovery.

You guys don't know how much I appreciate the words of support and the advice you've given me. I'm so glad I had this community to turn to. Thank you for being here.

Vinnie's temp fluctuated again today, it was up in the am, normal around noon, they hadn't checked it yet in the pm when I was there, but were going to after they rebandaged him. He's walking amazingly well, and I got some more tail wags and kisses. He's hangin' in there but still has a way to go. I'm anxious for him to come home, but also worried about being able to take good care of him. I mentioned before that there's a vet tech that lives up the street, I'll probably ask her for assistance or advice. The vet has assured me she'll send him home with good instructions.

With regard to the neighbors, it's been fear more than patience or wisdom that has kept me from saying anything to the neighbors, shock and worry have kept me from getting angry, and I do have compassion for them and their animals. There's no way that girl isn't traumatized. Plus, the last thing I want to do is debate this with them or do any bargaining. The stakes are too high. I think I've seen enough to know I can never be sure the dogs can't get in my yard, and I'm sure they're going to want to - especially when they see Vinnie in his injured state. He's still seeping blood from open wounds. They'll be able to smell him a mile away. I don't think it's wrong to assume the dogs will try to finish him off. I'm scared to death of what could happen if they come back into my yard. Everyone involved was lucky this last time. You can't count on everyone being that lucky again.

Finally got a call from the Co. Atty's office, he wants to see me Aug 6, next Friday. In the meantime, the quarantine is over Monday. All the dogs come home. I've been advised by the police and Co. Atty's office to be extremely cautious when I'm in my yard, and if the dogs get in my yard, get myself and my dogs to safety, call the police, protect myself any way I see fit. (I was advised that I cannot discharge a firearm in city limits - that's ok, I don't have one anyway). I suppose I'll go to the gun shop tomorrow and get some of that heavy-duty pepper spray and get me a good aluminium bat. I think I will continue taking the dogs out one at a time on a leash.

Also spoke with an atty today, he thinks I'm in good shape, that my meeting with the Co Atty is what needs to happen next. He can't imagine any claims being made against me, but if it happens, he'll defend. In the meantime, he doesn't think I need to retain an atty, restitution would probably be part of the criminal case, since animals are considered property and that would in essence negate the need for me bringing a civil suit. But, again, everything rests with the Co. Atty and what he thinks needs to happen. So, I'm in a holding pattern until I get to see him.

SillyRabbit wrote:

(I was advised that I cannot discharge a firearm in city limits - that's ok, I don't have one anyway).

Scary, your city is a haven both for violent pitbulls and the undead.

Yonder wrote:

Scary, your city is a haven both for violent pitbulls and the undead.

Well, maybe I can fend them off with my LP collection.

Enix wrote:

I'm glad to hear Vinnie is getting better. I hope his prognosis continue to improve day by day.

As for pit bulls, Eff then with a capital F. They are nasty, evil, vicious dogs that should not exist in decent society.

A neighbor's sweet old rescue grayhound was mauled by a pit bull a few years ago while my neighbor was taking her for a walk.

Sorry, just can't let this go. I'll trust a pit over a Rottweiler, a German Sheperd, or a Dalmation any day of the week. And I sew up a helluva lot more Greyhounds who were attacked by other Greyhounds than I do put bulls, or dogs attacked by pit bulls. As has been said enough times already, its the human part of the equation that makes the biggest difference.

It's easy to blame the breed, and it's easy to blame the owner. In this case, I thought the owner seemed to have some pretty good dogs, until things went wrong. I have to reiterate what I've been told by a former pit bull breeder who still loves the breed and by an animal rescuer, independently. The breeder told me that pit bulls should not live together, and the rescuer told me that one of their requirements for rehoming a pit bull is that they don't own any other pit bulls. These dogs have a strong pack mentality, and maybe so to rotties, GSD's or dalmations, I don't know.

Every case should be examined on it's own merits. But, I will accept the advice of the experts and combine it with what I have experienced and say that I never want to live next door to a pack of pit bulls.

Jakobeldlam wrote:

And I sew up a helluva lot more Greyhounds who were attacked by other Greyhounds than I do put bulls, or dogs attacked by pit bulls.

This is interesting. The weekend that Vinnie was attacked, my own vet office treated 2 other dogs that were bit by pit bulls. I'm sure they had other dog bite cases, but those were mentioned to me because it related to my situation.

Hi SillyRabbit, some reactions to your recent update.

SillyRabbit wrote:

I'm anxious for him to come home, but also worried about being able to take good care of him. I mentioned before that there's a vet tech that lives up the street, I'll probably ask her for assistance or advice. The vet has assured me she'll send him home with good instructions.

The vet tech up the street sounds like a great resource to tap. From what I read, they're taking good care of Vinnie and want the best outcome, so they won't let him go before he's ready.

SillyRabbit wrote:

With regard to the neighbors, it's been fear more than patience or wisdom that has kept me from saying anything to the neighbors, shock and worry have kept me from getting angry, and I do have compassion for them and their animals.

As my Granny says in her sweet southern drawl, bless your heart. No matter where the words and actions are coming from, I think you're doing just what you need to do. Your composure and care are admirable.

SillyRabbit wrote:

I think I will continue taking the dogs out one at a time on a leash.

Sounds like the right move. I'd be shocked if your neighbors continue to let their dogs roam too, since they don't want to lose them, but you can never be too prepared. If something weird or frightening should happen, don't hesitate to call Animal Control or the police for assistance. That's their job.

SillyRabbit wrote:

But, again, everything rests with the Co. Atty and what he thinks needs to happen. So, I'm in a holding pattern until I get to see him.

I hope the week passes swiftly for you. Keep your chin up. Thanks for the update.

It sounds like you've got things about well-handled as you can; you've got legal advice, you've got lots of good ideas from the thread, and you have a remarkably level head. I don't think I could have continued that conversation with that woman after she accused my dog, to my face, of biting her; I would have reacted very poorly indeed.

The thought occurs that you might want to avoid talking with her further, because that gives her room to make claims about what you said during those conversations, and she's a demonstrated liar. It could be prudent to just avoid her until after the County attorney makes his or her decision.

Glad to hear Vinnie's stable and improving. We're all pulling for both of you.

Good to hear that Vinnie is making a full physical recovery. I feel for him psychologically.

Forgive me for being Captain Furious here, but I would still be major league pissed that that neighbor of yours has, as the result of her actions and negligence, robbed you and your dogs of the right to enjoy your yard in an appropriate and legal manner. Hell. I get pissed enough to urinate in air conditioning intakes when someone parks in my parking spot. If someone's idiocy resulted in my not being able to use my front yard, I might have to take care of business in a wholly different manner.

I'm on board with Paleocon in this case.

I'd get a good shovel....and sharpen the hell out of it.

Paleocon wrote:

I'd get a good shovel....and sharpen the hell out of it.

That's not a bad idea, you'll have much more reach and leverage with a shovel than an e-tool. Although psychologically it's much more difficult to hit someone hard with a slashing weapon rather than beating them.