This is going to go on a bit, so if you get bored easily, shut the thread now.
So, Molly was subject to a fairly bad biting by some kind of terrier cross...bit bigger than her.
You'll only be getting my side of the story, so you'll have to take my word for it. The other dog, a bitch, was being walked into the park by someone I recognise (she runs keep fit classes in the park) but didn't realise owned a dog, as we were coming to the point where she always has her lead re-attached. She was chatting to the owner of a flat coated retriever (our witness), Oreo, who we know well (thankfully). While we were sorting her lead out, and mrs deadly was chatting with the Oreo's owner, this other terrier stood over Molly...the body language wasn't looking good, and just as I was calling her to have her lead on, the bigger dog caught her just above the shoulder - we had a hell of a scrum to get her off - not helped by her owner picking the two of them up - I'd have just given it the hardest boot I could have - but maybe it's best in the long run that I didn't get a chance.
Anyway, after around ten seconds of trying to pull them apart, we finally managed and saw that Molly had a pretty deep and big (for a small dog...maybe 3 - 4 inches long, opening out to an inch in the middle, lots of under-the-skin flesh on show ) gash where the other dog had hold of her. We took the owner's number (I know her PT website so she can't very well disappear) and raced up the road to the nearest vet, where they told us it was too serious a cut to be managed there (it's an "outpost" of a well known chain in S Bristol) and sent us to the main branch.
After a consult there, I contacted one of our best mates who actually is Molly's vet and asked him if he thought it would be ok to bring her there. The other vet said she'd be fine to travel. She was in a bit of shock at this stage and the wound wasn't bleeding too much. There was talk of an overnight stay as the wound will have to be cleaned, possibly drained and stitched under GA.
She's had painkillers and an hour or so ago, our vet rang us to say Matt (our buddy) would be sorting her out this afternoon. Hopefully, she'll be fine and possibly home tonight.
So I texted the other owner:
"Hi ****, this is Ciaran, the owner of Molly who was bitten by your dog this morning. We took her to Highcroft to be checked over but we decided to take her to our vet which is Fernlea in Hanham as our best friend is her vet there, it was safe for her to travel and they are much cheaper than Highcroft. She has quite a bad wound to her shoulder which will need to be treated and stitched under GA. She was in shock and has been given painkillers. Our friend Matt will be operating on her. She should be home this evening but may well have to stay overnight depending on how bad the wound is when she is clipped back and they can have a better look. She was quite shaken up but seemed ok overall. We'll keep you updated as soon as we know more."
To which I had the reply:
(bearing in mind she's Czech, so her English isn't fantastic)
"Thank you for your update. I am sorry for happen today and I was shaken myself as my dog has never done this before. I sorry for any inconvenience this caused you. *****" (name redacted)
Any suggestions for next step?
All i can safely say about the incident are:
Molly in no way approached her dog and tried to get away when it stood over her.
No injuries were inflicted on the other dog.
I heard her saying to Oreo's owner (who was hanging onto the dog up on its back legs, straining to get in for a bit more), "She's so unpredictable!" (I'm trying not to draw conclusions vis a vis "She's never done this before" in her text...)
Is another dog owner legally required to cover your vet bills or are you just dependent on goodwill?
I was thinking my next update text will finish with, "...I will ask Fernlea to email a copy of the bill to you..." I don't want to be hostile about it. She was obviously very upset that it had happened, but hey, she wasn't the one carting her dog off to the vet with a ripped open shoulder.