“I thought for sure my dog was dead.”
These were the thoughts that went through Ashley Morrison’s mind after her 10-year-old Lab-cross Buck was attacked by two dogs while she was out for a walk in the J.J. Collett Natural Area near Lacombe on Sept. 3.
Morrison and Buck were about five minutes into their walk when they were approached by a dog owner with two dogs on leash — one described as perhaps a Husky or Malamute and the other as a Lab crossed with a bulldog breed. Morrison called out to the owner to ensure she knew she was approaching, but the owner had headphones on and did not make eye contact or respond back.
As Morrison and Buck passed, the owner removed the two dogs to a few feet off the path and informed Morrison to keep walking. As she finished speaking, she lost control of the dogs who immediately began attacking Buck.
Morrison said the possible Husky (she described him as wolf) immediately started biting Buck’s neck.
“He was tearing at his neck, while (the owner) and I were trying to get the dog off. Then (the owner’s) second dog got involved and was going after my dogs back leg,” Morrison said.
Morrison and the other dog owner both worked to pull the dogs off Buck and control the situation. Once they managed to free Buck, Morrison left the scene and headed back to the parking lot. Once there, Morrison took photos of the owner’s licence plate and waited for her to return. Once she arrived, the owner did not want to speak or make eye contact with Morrison.
“I didn’t really make an extra effort to go talk to (the owner) because I was too wound up. I knew that would be ugly situation,” she said.
Once the situation died down, Morrison contacted the Lacombe Police Service, who informed her to contact the RCMP, since J.J. Collett is located outside city jurisdiction. After speaking with RCMP, she was directed to city bylaw who finally put her touch with provincial bylaw — who she currently still in contact with.
While she was contacting bylaw, Morrison also went to the Lacombe Vet Clinic to have Buck assessed. Buck is currently on pain ication and has a limp in his back leg, some puncture wounds around his neck, a gash on his right-front shoulder and a scab under his eye.
After ensuring Buck’s safety, Morrison went the emergency department at the Lacombe Hospital to have the bites on her arm assessed. Emergency then set her up with public health, which is standard procedure for all dog bites.
“Public Health let me know I likely don’t have to worry about rabies but they take it quite serious. Once they find the animals, they will be quarantined for 10 days,” she said.
Initially, Morrison was angry enough about the attack to want the two dogs destroyed — but she has since changed her stance.
“I want them muzzled and everything that comes with the title of a dangerous animal,” she said.
Since the attack, Buck’s health has improved but he did show some skittish behaviour initially during a walk around the block when dogs barked at him from a neighbours yard. Morrison said he seems to have gotten over that however.
“He is back to his normal. I think I am more traumatized than he is acting,” he said.
Morrison hopes that by going public, other dog owners know to take extra precaution with their dogs — even if they are on leash.
This story will be updated as information becomes available…