Rufus was attacked!

Rufus | June 2015. Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Rufus | June 2015. Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Today we planned a fun pre-Labor Day beach excursion with some dachshund friends, and we were very excited about it. We had been looking forward to it all week.

When we arrived at the beach, it was relatively empty – which we love, but there were a handful of other dogs and their humans. We arrived almost at the same time as another family; two sweet older ladies, their three labs and their 10 year-old piebald female dachshund. We said hello on the way in and then we went on to find our own patch of sand for day.

As we just got settled, setting up the umbrella, chair and towel, the same family met us again. This time we took a few minutes to chat and interact and initially all appeared to be going well WHEN ALL OF SUDDEN (like it always happens) it went horribly wrong in a matter of seconds. For some unknown reason to us, one of the labs attacked Rufus. The other dog is significantly bigger than Rufus, and from what I could tell Rufus was taken by complete surprise (as we all were) by this dog’s reaction. I quickly got that dog off of Rufus, but not quick enough. Rufus received a puncture to this nose and a nasty gash under his front left leg (the equivalent to the armpit area for a human).  The vet just stitched him up and reportedly Rufus had to have 10 sutures. The nose puncture didn’t require one. I can pick him up today at 3 pm, and the countdown begins.

So, what did we learn today!??

First of all, for me, I learned that dog profiling benefits no one. I always know a dog attack is a possibility when visiting a public park or beach. I’m guilty of exercising greater caution and concern around specific breeds (like Pits and Rottweilers). I never ever imagined Rufus was be the victim of an attack by a Lab, and today Rufus paid that price for my ignorance. I should always act with caution and be methodical when meeting new dogs – whatever the breed.

Second, the Lab’s owners were very supportive and understanding throughout this traumatic episode, and in a text message exchange, I asked that they not be too hard on their dog. In my world, it’s not the dog’s fault but ours. As their humans, it’s up to us protect them and I should have been a better dad. The Lab was just being a dog – perhaps behaving slightly uncharacteristically for a Lab in my opinion, but we can’t hold a grudge against her. So as tough as it is in the minutes and hours immediately afterwards, I have to forgive that Lab. I don’t imagine we’ll be doing any play dates together in the near future, but I can forgive her.

Third and final, it’s so important to have a vet you know, love and trust. I called my vet from the beach and said we were rushing Rufus in after being attacked. When I arrived they ushered me in right away and saw to Rufus immediately. Please be certain to establish that relationship with your vet before you truly need them. After two years of fostering good relations, today I really needed them and they delivered. Their delivery of quality customer care helped in a very bad situation and made it a little better.

Okay friends. After 11 years of life together, I never thought Rufus would be attacked – especially by a Lab, but it happened. Under the circumstances, it could have been much worse so we’re choosing to be optimistic. Hopefully after some days of rest, relaxation and lots of pampering and attention Rufus will be back to his normal self. It’s heartbreaking to see our dogs suffer or be hurt, and I’m probably more upset by it than our sweet, happy, go-lucky Rufus but… I’m hoping the experience makes me a better, well-rounded parent.

UPDATE 3:30 pm: Rufus is home. He actually had two bites under his front leg (not one). He can’t really walk and is under strict crate rest for the next 14 days. Sigh. My heart aches for my sweet boy. I can tell he is in pain and discomfort; it’s just an awfully awkward placement for a wond. On a positive note, the lab’s humans paid for the vet expenses without hesitation which was very magnanimous of them. Thank you! More updates to follow in the days ahead. Thank in advance for all the support and well wishes.

Rufus | September 2015. Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Rufus | September 2015. Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Rufus | September 2015. Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Rufus | September 2015. Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

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55 Responses to Rufus was attacked!

  1. zananne says:

    Aww. So sorry to hear about your baby Rufus! Hope he has a speedy recovery.

  2. Joy says:

    OMG OMG OMG it looks horrible. Poor Rufus. I read this holding my breath. We are planning on going to the beach on Saturday. It will be more crowded due to the week end and a holiday week end. Rob cannot go with me due to MRI schedule on Saturday and I was thinking of bringing 2 dogs which I can handle. Now I will only take one that I can keep close to me. In the past, I feel I have been too relaxed in letting my dog go amongst others at the beach without checking out the situation first. I will be much more careful and anxious from now on. Hugs to Rufus. Poor precious boy didn’t deserve that.

    • Definitely be careful. We’ll certainly return to the beach again (after he has properly healed) but… learn from our mistakes. Don’t be too relaxed around strange dogs. Had I just kept them separated a little longer, perhaps this could have been avoided. Enjoy your day at the beach, but always be aware of your surroundings. Best!

  3. Gracie Roche says:

    Best wishes to Rufus for a speedy recovery! What a scary situation, glad he is OK. Gracie & Sophie send kisses to Rufus!

  4. Gina Fomin says:

    OMG! My heart cries out for Rufus 😦 I’m so sorry he had to experience something so traumatic. Prayers to you and rufus for comfort and quick healing.

  5. Eni green says:

    so sorry hope Rufus recovers soon!!!!

  6. laura oldham says:

    sorry to hear this we had a dachhound. we were luck enough to have him for 11 years. we miss him bad every time i think of him i cry he was my baby angle. good luck and god bless rufus. our was a miniture.

  7. vkpretz says:

    Oh No! Poor Rufus and Poor Johnny too! I can’t even imagine how awful that was for both of you!
    Sending our healing energy and love to Rufus. Johnny, It’s time for wine! Hugs.

    • Jackie warren says:

      I am so sorry this happened to a sweet furbaby. You can never be sure what animals will do. I have been thru that and my dog was tramatized. She was never the same. I am still tramatized when 2 or more dogs are together. I know I give off that panic feeling and they sense that.

  8. Barbara says:

    Follow Rufus all the time. So handsome! Bless you for being a good dad. You were not being neglectful you were allowing the dogs the ability to socialize. Labs can be sweet but super protective. Here’s my thoughts. Lab figured Rufus was stealing the ladies’ hearts. 💝. Prayers for all!

  9. Joan Fredericks says:

    Poor Rufus! Get well soon, little buddy!

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  10. kei says:

    Poor Rufus! I wish him a speedy and painless recovery. It’s important to be wary around unknown dogs, but appearances can be deceiving and you can forget to be on your guard. It has definitely reminded me to be more aware! It’s interesting that if it were one of the untrusted breeds that this incident may have led to euthanization, but since it’s a lab and you have no charges to press it won’t go nearly that far.

    Give my best to Rufus, and don’t be too hard on yourself!

  11. Mary Ellen Pollock says:

    Sending prayers for healing.

  12. Denise Beard says:

    I am so sorry to hear this. We have recently found an off leash trail thru the forest at a local park & have been thrilled to see how our 2 doxies LOVE being off leash, how well they walk ( they are normally dawdlers on leash), how much better socialized they have become ( either ignoring or happily greeting large dogs they would normally bark their food heads off if on leash). They have both become much more confident & LOVE their daily walks ( & actually are getting some real exercise!) when we take them to this trail. BUT, we worry that in a flash it could go all wrong. If the wrong breed walks by & the sight of 2 tiny dachshunds triggers the prey drive, or who knows what could trigger a certain dog to react in a certain way. The worry is that not only could a tragedy happen, But also if they come out of it relatively unharmed physically, what does that do their confidence & will they then become afraid of other dogs.
    You are right about the breed profiling. A lab, who would have thought? But you just never know.
    A timely reminder for us all to make sure we are vigilant & aware & don’t get too relaxed or lulled into complacency. Please give Rufus our love & our best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  13. Barbara Eden says:

    Know Rufus was devastated with this attack. We never know when a furkid is going to have a
    jealous moment and take heed to our baby furkid. Lots of hugging and loving will make Rufus
    feel good sooner. Our Doxie loves ice-cream every day. bje

  14. Jackie Sikora says:

    So sorry to hear about Rufus! I’m glad he’s going to be o.k. I do admire you for being so gracious about it all & thankful that the lab owners were responsible people. Who knows what could have triggered such an attack? We all love our dogs, but can’t always read their minds. My dad had two labs that I took on after he passed away & I never would have expected that behavior from them. Praying for a quick recovery for Rufus & that this doesn’t ’cause him to be fearful on your future excursions!

  15. Matthew West says:

    Sorry to hear about Rufus. My dachshund, Kaiser, was attacked by a pit bull last year very expectantly so I understand what you’re going through. My thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery for poor Rufus!

  16. abritswife says:

    Oh our precious Rufus…. My heart hurts! Never a pup have I met with more manners and decorum…in the doxie world! That the Heavens that he is ok…Loving you all from LA.
    Aly Claire and Sonny
    PS. My Cera was attacked by a Lab much in the same unexpected manner.

  17. Rose Skinner says:

    So sorry to hear you were attacked Rufus. Speedy recovery big guy, and hope you are back to your beautiful self soon. Rest up till then, and looking forward to hearing some good news in the future.

  18. Jacqueline says:

    I have 2 daschunds and would be sick if this happened to either of them! Sending positive thoughts for a speedy recovery for Rufus! Bless his heart!

  19. cadaisyjane says:

    I am so sorry to hear about the attack on Rufus, Johnny…I can only imagine how frightening it must have been for all involved. I am glad that your vet responded so quickly to your call and that Rufus is stitched and at home recovering (I am sure he will be one pampered pup during his recovery ;)). I am also glad to hear that the lab’s owners were so cooperative and caring. You are a wonderful pet-Dad and thank you for sharing as it is easy to forget how quickly a situation can “turn on a dime”. I belong to a pet memorial site and it is sad how many smaller dogs have lost their lives being mauled/attacked by larger dogs…many that knew each other well or had been “friends”. I am glad that the attack did not go that far but I am sorry poor Rufus is in pain and has two weeks recovery time. Sending healing thoughts and prayers at this difficult time!! xo Joy

  20. Pauine Porter says:

    Oh Johnny, I’m so very sorry to hear that Rufus has been injured. I remember so vividly how traumatic it was when Gidget was attacked by two large dogs. The owner was very cooperative and as her dogs got loose and attacked Gidget, then killed a cat from down the street. Luckily my Gidget healed well, lots of staples on the outside and stitches on the inside of her neck. The ladies dogs were put down and I know how it broke her heart. She didn’t fight it since she realized that her dogs were dangerous, but I still felt very bad for her.

    Rufus, take time and heal and you’ll get back to your wonderful self. Johnny, don’t be too hard on yourself. You took care of Rufus and gave all of us (even though I don’t have a dog now) excellent advice on how to be actively cautious with our fur babies.

    Hugs to you and Rufus.

    Pauline

  21. juli says:

    Poor baby! But your graciousness–and that of the Lab owner’s–made an ugly situation much less awful. Heal, li’l Rufus!

  22. Diane says:

    Thoughts and prayers to you and Rufus. Please keep us posted on his progress.

  23. Angie says:

    Im sorry to read this….my eyes teared up for your baby Rufus. I have two doxies and but in the past we had a beautiful sweet girl (Rat terrier) Susie…and our very own younger yellow lab attacked her…it was very bad…but she pulled through. But we still don’t get it to this day…Why? We had to let our Lab go before we brought Miss Susie home…time has passed but I am so cautious while walking my little ones….please give Rufus a scratch for us…..bless your heart for a speedy recovery Rufus.

  24. Nancy says:

    Prayers for little Rufus. Hope he completely recovers. Bentley Boy sends his get well wishes too!

  25. Nice dog! So sorry it had/has to go through so much. It was fortunate that the other dog’s owners paid for the expenses. It is great Rufus had such a good mistress. It is heartbreaking for a dog or other animal to be hurt. This too will pas, however. Bad things happen to good people….the same way as bad things happen to good doggies. Sad but part of life. God Bless! Betty Hamline

  26. Mayree Lowman says:

    It’s such a helpless feeling when this happens. And it sounds like you and Rufus got the kind of support and care you needed from you vet. It makes such a difference. The lab parents also did the right thing.
    Big Hugs to you all from Greta Garbo and Gary Cooper your doxies paw pals in NW Washington state.

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  28. Andrea Henderson says:

    I love Rufus and I’m prayer for a speedy recovery for him.

  29. Olivia Andem says:

    There is a picture on Facebook of a toddler with a horrible dog bite on her face and lips…it is not only dog owners who must be vigilant…!

  30. Linda DeGrote says:

    I am so sorry to hear about Rufus and his incent with a black lab. We can never be too careful. Don’t be too hard on yourself, as you are a good dog parent. I have always had a doxie even when I was a small child. Since being married our Gertrude is our second doxie. She suffered an attack by my son and daughter in-laws black lab. Needless to say this happened at Christmas two years in a row. Their dogs can not come to our house any longer as Gertrude does not need this in her own surroundings. We ended up with her at the vet the lab punctured her upper ear and neck area. After some care and antibiotics she recovered. But to this day she is so scared of large dogs and can tell a large dog just by the bark. This incident just brought flashbacks. Hope all goes well with Rufus and his family.

  31. Natalie says:

    My two dachshunds and I are sending wishes for a speedy recovery!! For both the physical pain and any emotional pain this has caused either of you. My boy Elliott was attacked by a Lab mix about five years ago. We were out for our nightly walk, and the dog came out of nowhere, off leash, and attacked. Elliott had three puncture wounds (initially). The dog had picked Elliott up with his teeth so it separated the muscle from his back, which caused a pocket for bacteria to grow in. He was on heavy antibiotics, but it still got infected. He had two more surgeries before finally having a skin graft. He looked like a patchwork quilt, and to this day, I call him my Frankenweenie. He has no lasting side effects (other than some scars), and his temperament was not affected at all by this incident. We are praying for the same for Rufus!! He will be ok. Dachshunds are so tough!! We will continue to follow his recovery progress.

    Much love.

  32. Francisco says:

    Hi,
    Rufus are well??
    Sendo news!!

    Francisco e Milene
    Ubatuba Brasil

  33. I had a friend who had a female yellow lab. You didn’t dare look her straight in the eyes, as she would take that very personally and attack. I am a pediatric nurse and see a lot of dog bites from labs. I have owned 2 and would never figure either of them for biters, but I always figure that if a dog has teeth, it doesn’t matter what breed they are, they can bite and do some major damage. Hope Rufus gets better soon, both physically and emotionally (you too!). It may be well worth trying some Bach Rescue Remedy also.

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