Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Update on Alli (see previous post)

[Further update below the post]

First, the important news. This afternoon I found an envelope on my back door, and in the envelope a note:

Thank you for your help!!!
We want to thank those of you who came out to help save Alli's life. Words cannot describe how grateful we are for all that you did to help this awful situation.
Alli is recovering at her vet today. We hope to bring her home this evening.
Your neighbors...

A picture (pre-attack) was included:

Here's the pit bull that attacked her:

The reason I have the pit bull's picture is that the story made the paper. The Orlando Sentinel, that is. Natch. The mayor's involved. The print version headline reads: "Dyer rescues terrier from jaws of pit bull." The much less detailed online version says that "Mayor Buddy Dyer rescues terrier from jaws of pit bull," to which are attached some 280 comments offered (save for a few exceptions) by a melange of idiots. Both headlines made me laugh at first. I suppose there is a sense in which they might be true. Maybe we wore the dog out and he had to take a second's rest, but I doubt it. Maybe his locked-in, bred-in-the-blood instinct to hang on until the other animal's dead freed up for a second in the realization that he was disobeying the humans around him. Who the hell knows? But in fairness to the mayor, nowhere in either article does he make the claim being attributed to him by its author. He simply says, "I was just hanging on with everything I had." In fact, the article admits later that "the pit bull turned Alli loose long enough for Dyer to pull it away, and an onlooker scooped up the injured animal."

Onlooker. I'm thinking of changing the name of my blog to The Onlooker. I like the sound of it. Opinions welcome.

Later, "Alli...was rushed to an emergency veterinarian and treated with antibiotics..." No mention of an onlooker, though.

We are also told that Alli's owner was "walking down Dyer's street [no, he doesn't own it - ed.] with her 9 year old Jack Russell terrier," while I had been informed that she was riding a bike and the dog trotting along beside.

I love the online version's first sentence: "No one came forward today to claim the pit bull that tangled with Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer over the weekend." It sounds like the two ran into each other on the street and decided to square off. Maybe I'm expecting too much from newspaper writing.

Anyway, because my wife was at the scene while I was gone, and because she actually spoke to the police - being the only one at the time in possession of the victim's name and phone number - I could say more about how certain things get into the newspaper, and why, but I don't really give a damn.

I have a theory about why Alli survived. Just a theory. But it could be that she saved herself by all her squirming and twisting. Maybe she kept the pit from getting a genuine death grip and left him mostly with a mouthful of skin. But I'll never forget her exhaustion when she finally broke free (or was released). She could not move. Her whole energy had gone into trying to survive, and there was nothing left. It was a pitiful sight.

But the important thing is that she's still with us and back home in the arms of her owner. I hope to pay her a visit in the next few days. A really sweet dog.

Update: I stopped by and visited Alli yesterday. Her owners live one street over and one block up. The puncture wounds on her back and neck are still quite visible, and I didn't even try to look at her throat where the damage is worse. She's on antibiotics. She can eat only soft food, doesn't try to bark much, and when she does it's very soft because no doubt it hurts to try. But she seems to be getting back to her old self. She was allowed outside where she, in turn, allowed me to pet her. She has a "sister", by the way, a silkie terrier slightly smaller in size but equally friendly. Here is a page devoted to the Jack Russell terrier, with photos here.

Alli's vet was surprised that she had survived, adding that part of her incredible good fortune lay in the pit bull's tooth having missed her jugular by mere fractions of an inch. The owners, still reeling with gratitude, had been planning to visit us this weekend, apparently bearing a gift of some sort, but I told them to forget the gift and just bring the dogs.

I haven't been able to verify it by other means, but the owner (in contact, I presume, with Animal Control) also told me that the pit bull is scheduled to be put down this Monday.


Lydia McGrew said...

Good job, onlooker. :-)

tso said...

LOL. It could've been worse: "the pit bull turned Alli loose long enough for Dyer to pull it away, and then a completely irrelevant person unrelated to the mayor scooped up the injured animal."

William Luse said...

Thanks, Lydia. I'm a very experienced looker-on.

TS, one almost gets the feeling that if the reporter could've written it that way, he would've. :)

Lynn said...

Thand God the dog is on-lookers did a great job!

Lynn said...

What about the pit bull and his owner?

William Luse said...

Noone's claimed the dog yet.

Bernadette said...

I think I believe your theory, dad, on why Alli survived!

I feel so bad for that poor pit bull - I know he did a bad thing but I hate to think of any animal being put down. Now, had Alli not lived I might feel diferently.

William Luse said...

He's going to be put down on Monday.

TS said...

I don't think I've ever seen a yellow pit bull before.

William Luse said...

The lighting in that photo makes him look a lot different than he appeared to me in daylight, of a tawnier color.

Steph said...

In no way am I criticizing you for your efforts in trying to convey your heroic story, however, its disappointing that you label a pit bull as some vicious breed that latches onto victims like a crocodile and death-rolls its prey until they lay lifeless in the streets. As an owner of a very gentle, rescued pit bull I’d like to only clarify some of the comments made. For one, pits (nor any other dog) have locking jaws. While the pit bull has one of the strongest psi bite forces of any breed, they’re like any other dog. People must remember no matter how cute and cuddly their pet may look, they evolved from a wild animal and can revert to/carry those same traits (i.e. walking in circles before lying down). It appears that the dog was never socialized or taught to be friendly to other dogs. My pit was, like I stated, rescued. He had been severely abused and malnourished to the point where he weighed less than 35 lbs (he now weights 60 lbs). He is scared of almost anything, including most men, people with facial hair, hats, and anything that resembles a rolled-up newspaper. – But the point I am trying to get across is that he’s a very loving animal and the toy poodle down the street is more likely to attack someone/thing (and has) than my pit. I just hope that people keep in mind that the breed isn't what makes the dog mean. - This is a truly sad and heroic story and I hope the poor dog that was attacked is doing better.

William Luse said...

its disappointing that you label a pit bull as some vicious breed that latches onto victims like a crocodile and death-rolls its prey until they lay lifeless in the streets.

You might be right, or you might be only partly right. I was basing my comment on the behavior of this particular dog, and the fact that pit bulls are responsible for 65% of the fatal dog attacks in this country. That means that toy poodles aren't. I'm glad yours is such a sweetheart. I will never own one nor let anyone else's near my family.