The Awful Incident with a Shar Pei at PetSmart.
If we aren’t Facebook friends and/or you don’t follow me on Instagram (you totally should, though), you might not know that Sean and I got a dog. If you are my Facebook friend and/or follow me on Instagram, you are probably sick to death of hearing about Arlo. I’m not sorry about it though because Arlo is the best dog in the world.
Or, as Sean would say, Arlo is so handsome, he makes Tom Selleck’s mustache feel insecure.
We had a bit of an incident at PetSmart this morning, however, and I am sort of embarrassed to admit that I cried like a little baby. In public. In front of lots of people, dogs, parakeets, fishes and lizards.
Arlo is a beast, and he’s not super great on the leash yet, so we have a heavy-duty leash with a rubber handle down near his collar so whoever’s walking him has total control. We were standing in line at the PetSmart register, and an older man walked by with a Shar Pei. The Shar Pei (we found out later her name is Mariah) walked right up to Arlo and got in his face. Arlo was on a very tight leash (I never thought I’d be using that phrase literally). He was right by Sean’s thigh, and we were in a narrow aisle at the register and had nowhere to go. Mariah’s owner seemed oblivious. It all happened very quickly; before we could really react, the two dogs got into a fight. It was very brief, but there was some snarling and biting on both dogs’ parts before we got them separated. Mariah’s owner seemed completely unfazed and wandered off with her. I got down on my knees to check out Arlo’s face and make sure he was okay. He seemed completely fine, but I saw a flew spots of blood on the floor. I walked over to the Shar Pei and her owner (who was checking out the dog treats and apparently hadn’t looked over his own dog to make sure she wasn’t injured) and noticed she had blood in her mouth. I told him so and suggested he walk his dog over to the pet hospital attached to the store, which he did.
He immediately placed all the blame on us and Arlo, which didn’t really surprise me, I guess. Mariah stopped bleeding pretty quickly, and the vet checked her over and put her on antibiotics just in case of infection, but she didn’t require stitches or anything. We got to read his written version of the incident, in which he described this “vicious attack” as “completely unprovoked.” This is about when I started sobbing. I was worried this guy would, I dunno, press charges or something and sue the pants off us (even though I didn’t believe we, or Arlo, really did anything wrong in this scenario) and we would lose Arlo. We had the opportunity to write our own witness statements, and the managers all got involved and the whole thing was very scary. The man was kind of a pill to the vet staff, too, but he did eventually shake our hands and thank us for being so wonderful. We paid for the vet treatment of his dog, which I believe was the right thing to do even though I’m not convinced we were at fault. The only thing I think we could’ve done differently was not take Arlo to PetSmart in the first place, which perhaps we shouldn’t have done until we had him for a bit longer and knew how he’d do. The two women who were fostering him before us had seven dogs of their own and Arlo got along fine with all of them.
Anyway, we believe this was just a one-off incident, but even so, we’ll definitely be more careful with him going forward. And, as one of the PetSmart managers told us, beware of other dog owners. It’s like defensive driving. Even if you’re the best driver in the entire world, you can still be in danger because of some asshole out on the road.