Winston now holds the title of Budapest Street Fighter Extraordinare.
Well, not really. But he got into his first tussle with other dogs at a dog park yesterday, and he emerged with approximately 2% less ear than he brought in with him.
It started out innocently, as these things do. The dog park closest to our temporary housing either has zero dogs, or it has 15 dogs. Nothing in between. We’ve been trying to go to parks that do have a fair amount of dogs and people so that Lexie and Winston can “make friends” [this is code for “learn to not be so timid around other dogs”]. It’s been going pretty well so far for Winston – he is Mr. Social, so he’s running around howling at everyone, begging for belly rubs from the pretty ladies, and sniffing everything in sight. Lexie, on the other hand, turns and runs away anytime someone or some dog approaches. This means they’re almost always on opposite ends of the park (Winston in the middle of a pack, Lexie alone by the fence) and I’m usually running back and forth between the two monitoring them.
Yesterday, during their pre-dinner walk, Winston was checking out a group of 3 other dogs. As you probably know, dogs investigate each other by sniffing each other. All over. It’s kind of awkward, but they seem to dig it, so whatever. In this particular instance, Winston and two other dogs were all checking out dog #4, and dog #4 was not happy about it. He snapped, the other three dogs snapped, and somewhere in there Winston lost a chunk of ear.
Of course, Winston is a manly little schnauzer, so he played it off like nothing was wrong. I didn’t even realize he was hurt at first – I had called his name once I saw the snapping, he ran over to me for a second but then ran right back to the group of dogs and resumed sniffing. I’m standing there for a few minutes chatting with an older gentleman (he’s discussing how much he loves Americans and the TV show Dallas and have I ever been to Southfork Ranch?) when all of a sudden he tells me, “Um, I believe you are bloody?” I looked down and my hands were, in fact, bloody. I called Winston back over and checked him out. It actually looked far worse than it was because he had shaken his head and blood had dripped EVERYWHERE. Sorry for those of you reading this while eating.
Anyway, we figured out that it was just his ear, I hightailed it back to the apartment and sealed Winston up with me in the bathroom while I tried to stop the bleeding. Luckily, Richie is Mr. Prepared (I don’t know whether he was a Boy Scout, but he certainly takes their motto to heart) and had stuff on hand that is supposed to help stop bleeding from “minor cuts”. I wasn’t so sure this met the definition of minor, but I gave it a shot. Richie came home from work shortly thereafter, and he came to our rescue. Winston kept wriggling around and re-opening his wound, so Richie devised a really awesome [read: really embarrassing for Winston] turban to keep his ear immobile.
Yep, that’s our Winston, wearing his very fashionable turban. You would never guess that it was crafted from an undershirt, right?
Today he’s almost as good as new – I am not letting him loose in the dog park for a few days, though, and he expressed his irritation with that by howling allllll the way on his walk this morning when it was clear that we were not headed in the direction of the park. Obviously this incident has only scarred him physically, because he is more than eager to get back to sniffing his “friends”. And now he has some street cred with the local dogs, right?