So, i got bitten by a dog. How was your evening? (with pictures)

[long, rambling]

I was jogging at about 7 this evening, and i saw that i was coming up on a couple (a relatively elderly man and woman) walking their dogs. They were traveling in the same general direction as me, but the woman was facing me and saw me coming. I generally assume that, in such cases, people will get a tighter grip on the leash if they think there’s any chance that their dog might get aggressive.

Even so, i also know that it’s best not to come too close to a strange dog, especially if there’s a chance that you might startle it, so i veered off the sidewalk and onto the grass verge, away from the two people and two dogs. I went pretty much as far as i could, but a tree prevented me from going further, and going outside the tree would have put me on the road and in traffic. I thought i had plenty of room.

Apparently not.

The dog that the guy was holding lunged toward me and snapped. The dogs were large terriers of some sort (looked like Airedales, but i’m not an expert), tall enough to reach about to my thigh. Which, coincidentally, is exactly where he sank his teeth in.

Actually, as it turned out, i was almost quick enough to get out of his way. Instead of getting both upper and lower jaws clamped around my thigh and lower buttock, i twisted enough that the dog didn’t get a full bite. Judging by the wound, one of his large top teeth penetrated the skin and raked a fairly short but deep groove. It looked pretty mangled at the time, and started bleeding quite a bit.

I yelled at the couple to keep control of their fucking dogs, and went into a short, adrenaline-fueled rant about irresponsible asshole dog owners. The woman told me i should not run up behind dogs. I told her that she had seen me coming, and that they should have taken control of the leashes, and also that i had done my best, within the space constraints of the sidewalk and the tree and the road, to avoid the dogs. And besides, when you have your dogs out in public, it’s your fucking responsibility to make sure they’re under control at all times.

I’m not reticent about profanity at the best of times, and my speech was liberally laden with expletives—something i felt was rather justified under the circumstances. But she also told me that i shouldn’t swear. I asked if she was fucking kidding. Then she said, “You’ll probably have a decent bruise.” I repeated my previous inquiry: “Are you fucking kidding me? Did you miss the gash and the blood and mangled flesh i just showed you?”

The husband was extremely apologetic, and they asked me to walk back to their house (around the corner) so they could help. I wasn’t in the mood for any help from them, and i knew i’d have to go to the hospital for tetanus and antibiotics anyway, so i took their name and address and left. I went to a bar around the corner and used the phone to call my wife, who came and picked me up.

We went home, where i had a quick shower (i was sweating and stinky from running), took a couple of photos of the injury, and put some gauze on it. Then we went to the ER at the hospital around the corner from our place. Luckily, it only took about two and a half hours from walking in to walking out. When we first arrived, it was busy and i had visions of all-night waits, but most people were apparently there for relatively non-urgent stuff, so it didn’t take me too long to get seen. They cleaned it out with iodine and then put some antiseptic cream (something like neosporin) and a dressing on it, before giving me a tetanus jab, a prescription for antibiotics, and a half-dozen Tylenol 3 in case of pain.

I was glad i got the name and address of the dog’s owner, because animal control has to go and check that the dog’s shots are up to date. The couple seemed pretty well-heeled, and live in an expensive neighborhood, so i’m guessing they do all the required stuff for their pets. If not, there’s a slight possibility that i would need a series of rabies shots, which would reeeeeeaaaaally suck.

The guy at the scene offered to take care of any medical expenses. My insurance will cover most of it, but i’m going to send him a bill for my ER deductible.

Now my leg throbs (but the pain actually isn’t bad), and has really bruised up nicely. I’ll probably be crossing the street a little more frequently in order to avoid dogs for a while now.

For those not grossed out by such things, here are a couple of photos of the wound, taken before we went to the hospital. (possibly NSFW; shows my upper thigh/lower buttock area, and some blood and stuff):

I don’t know quite exactly what to say, but it seems that the husband of the duo was an alright guy, and both for his and your sake I hope the medical bill is small. Good luck with the wound.

Ouch, that totally sucks you got bitten. I’m glad you took the right precautions to prevent infection. The wound looks painful but at least it’s not too serious.

Still though, while your anger is understandable, perhaps you went a tad bit overboard in your reaction? These were an elderly couple, who, judging by the polite and well-meaning nature of their response, probably were trying to control their dog. And even if they weren’t, I dont think it’s appropriate to publically lambast an elderly couple over what in the end boils down to an accident. Their fault comes into not controlling their dog, but thats unclear. Some dogs are strong and can lunge even when the owner is trying to restrain it, especially when the dog is roughly 60 pounds (from Wiki on Airedales) and the owner is an old man.

So, while I feel bad for you, I also feel bad for the old couple.

I don’t think he went overboard at all. He was physically attacked and responded by yelling. No words of mhendo’s were going to do hurt the couple anywhere near as much as their dog hurt him.

I have no sympathy for the couple who couldn’t handle their dogs. What exactly do you think is “unclear” about the situation? They were walking their dogs, failed to control them, and their dogs caused harm to a person because of that failure. If the old man can’t handle a 60 pound dog, he’s got no business walking it in public.

Sometimes you’re justified in reacting angrily. There are some people out there who are saints and won’t react angrily to anything, I’m not one of those people nor is mhendo or most other normal humans.

Getting bit by a dog fucking hurts. As a lifelong dog lover I’ve managed to only get bit once, and that was when I was ~35 and was dog sitting my grandmother’s cocker spaniel. It was a demonic beast that, would sometimes behave perfectly well. After about a week I foolishly thought it had finally started getting used to me and behaving, and was more comfortable around it. One day I bent down to put its leash on to take it for a walk and it bit cleanly through my hand, which is pretty impressive for what was a relatively small dog, but if I had been so inclined I could have threaded something completely through the wound.

I was by myself (aside from the dog) and went into a profanity-laden tirade that would make most hardened sailors blush. If I had been jogging and someone else’s dog had done that to me, I probably would have reacted in exactly the same way. After the fact, I wouldn’t hold much of a grudge against the elderly couple, what has happened has happened. But on the scene you can bet I’d chew them out, and not feel a bit sorry for it later, as Enginerd said, the worst tongue lashing they could get isn’t as bad as what happened to mhendo’s thigh.

Exactly. My husband is a letter carrier in a well-to-do neighborhood, and he encounters far too many people with more money than sense. Some people will put their dogs on an “invisible fence” collar in the front yard and think that counts as proper training, while meanwhile the dogs are still so yard-proud that they bark menacingly at anything that dares come down the sidewalk or the walk across the street. He finds he can’t come up the front walk to the mailbox on the house because these dogs are going apeshit while he stands back from the sidewalk. Often if the owner comes out, he or she will unconcernedly say “My dog doesn’t bite/won’t bite you,” while the dog is snapping at his ankles and trying to circle around behind him, as he’s backing off the lawn. Attempts to rein in the dog by owners like this are typically an ineffectual, weak-voiced calling of the dog’s name as the dog continues its behavior.

No, not all dog owners there are like that, but some have been so bad that he’s had to dog-spray or physically fight off the dog in front of the owner, who makes no effective attempt to intervene, but then throws a fit that the bad postman dared hurt their Precious Puppy. The fit usually only lasts as long as it takes for him to cite relevant statutes on keeping one’s dog under control, but some have had to call the post office and hear the same thing from a supervisor, along with how the office would press charges and/or sue, as applicable.

Ow! Ow!

I got bit in the butt by a neighbor’s dog when I was a kid. She was carrying me into the basement so I could see the new puppies, and mama dog jumped up and bit me! It wasn’t bad, but I can relate to the pain (and fear!). Hope you’re feeling better.

I love dogs. There are five sprawled about me right now. I prefer the company of my dogs to most humans.
However, dog bites hurt! The *only *proper response when your dog bites someone (except when defending against a true threat) is OMG I am so sorry!

I might try to be a bit more cousious when im jogging iv never really bother when jogging around dogs… But seeing as i wouldnt know anything about getting proper tratment in the UK!

That is no excuse. If you cannot control your dog, you should not be walking it. A dog leashed to an owner that is not capable of restraining him, is just the same as an unleashed dog.

Take your dog to obedience school, get a smaller dog, hire a dog walker, get a gun to shoot your dog when he goes away, whatever works for you. Just don’t try to excuse your dog’s attacks saying that you are too frail to control it.


Damn, Mhendo. That looks pretty bad. I’d be tempted to sue for P&S because of the woman’s attitude. It means that she won’t be any more careful in the future because she feels like the whole thing was your fault. If she goes unscathed, someone else may get bitten.

OUCH! I just saw the pictures! You need to report those dogs. The owners have no business allowing them in public if they cannot be controlled.

The dogs have been reported; Animal Control will check to see if they are up-to-date on rabies vaccinations. If they are not, our OP will have a lovely series of injections to endure.

mhendo - I am very sorry for what happened to you, and glad you had the common sense to get the wound (ew. nasty. painful.) seen to properly. I am glad at least one half of the couple was reasonable. If it had been me, I would have offered to bite the old bitch to let her see how she liked it.

Where were you. . .up in Canterbury, or RP or Oakenshawe or something?

Gotta be careful when you come up behind dogs jogging/biking/walking. . .they see something out of the corner of their eye, and it’s all instinct. They dart out into roads, snap, etc.

That’s not to say its not 100% the dog owner’s fault.

That’s a pretty good wound. Good thing he didn’t get your package.

Oh, blow it out your ass. Anyone can be taken by surprise.

Our twenty pound beagle mix Katie was pretty strong. Occasionally she’d decide we were gonna walk a different route and plant her paws, leaving us little alternative but to let her lead the way. (Man I miss her. We had to put her down a couple of months ago after having her for almost sixteen years.)

Once when we were walking Katie, she was attacked by a large dog. We were familiar with this dog who seemed friendly enough - she’d always come over to her fence (guess it helped that are Milkbones were popular with the neighborhood dogs) to see us. On this particular occasion we were walking past her house and her owner was getting ready to walk her. Seeing us the owner stayed in her driveway holding the dog until we passed. But the dog broke away from her anyway and attacked Katie. I managed to pull her off with no damage to Katie (other than her being frightened), but the woman, who had been holding her dog tightly, was suffering a broken finger.

Just sayin’, any dog could break away from its owner under the right (wrong?) circumstances.

stegon66, did you see the part where the OP said the woman walking the dogs saw him coming? How is that being taken by surprise?

If you can’t control your dogs and they bite someone, you are responsible. I don’t care if you are 21 or 81, or if they are beagles or mastiffs. You are responsible for the behavior of your dogs. If you cannot keep them from biting someone who has just as much right to use the sidewalk as you do, keep them at home.

Bummer. That’s a nasty gash.

I’d have definitely asked the couple to show me proof of rabies vaccine. I might have called the police and reported the dog, especially if the owner was nasty about it. If you’re a dog owner, you need to make sure your dogs can behave.

I’m puzzled by people who go to the ER for dog bites. Unless it was so bad that it would require stitches, or a bite on my face which would require the skills of a plastic surgeon, I’d have cleaned the wound myself and plopped some neosporin and a bandage on it. Of course I come from the “brush it off and suck it up” generation…

Hope you heal up soon.

You have my greatest sympathy. I was bitten by someone’s yard dog that had gotten out while delivering newspapers when I was 14. Luckily, we were able to find the owner and I didn’t have to get rabies shots. It totally freaked me out and I was quite phobic about stray dogs for quite a while. I’m still not comfortable around them and will go well out of my way to avoid them.

However, I think you should take the guy up on his offer to pay the medical expenses. Your insurance company shouldn’t have to pay for their negligence.

What’s that long scratch under the wound from? Dog’s paw?
Or did the tooth do that too?
I ask cause it looks like it goes in a different direction than the major wound does.

stegon66, c’mon. Accidents can and do happen to anyone. We had a mastiff and once we were jogging alongside a fence and when we passed by the entrance gate to the park, she decided to go in at the last second. It smacked my shoulder against the post and luckily the chain broke before my shoulder. After that, all it took was a command to stop an unleashed mastiff from wandering into a playground. She walked home by my side, unleashed.

All that said, I was strong enough to hold her and even to pick her up, if need be. She was obedient enough to stop on command and walk home unleashed without wandering. She was not too smart and caught me by surprise, but it was a once in a lifetime event.

The OP is telling us about frail owners with a massive dog, that saw him coming and had ample time to do what was needed. They didn’t and felt they didn’t have to. That kind of people should not have a dog, period. Maybe a toy thingie, indoors only.

Accidents are not accident if they come from negligence.