My blond-haired, blue-eyed, four-year-old daughter, J, climbed on the white plastic swing seat out back of our home. I pushed her while she clutched the metal chain loops and repeated “again.”
It was about 6 p.m., and time to prepare dinner. The swing set was below my kitchen window, and I left planning to watch J from inside. If she needed me, I could run to her quickly, but I didn’t know that I wouldn’t be quick enough.
For reasons unknown, I guided my chocolate Labrador retriever, Boh, by his chain collar to the swings telling him to sit and stay knowing that he wouldn’t leave.
I prepared dinner, and as I spoke to J, I watched a cream, pointed-eared chow, that I didn’t recognize trot towards her. I had seen a chow growl at J during dog training class and I also watched one attack another dog.
I flew out the great room’s white French doors, onto the wooden fortress-like deck, and scrambled down the sturdy steps jumping from the second to last one. I turned the corner as the chow bared his white, upper and lower teeth and lunged for J’s face.
Boh charged the chow and blocked J, who jumped off the swing and leapt into my arms. We screamed while both dogs stood on hind legs, fangs to fangs and ripped jaws, heads and throats while dog screeches and loud, guttural growls pierced the neighborhood.
I put J down on the ground and grabbed sticks and rocks and hurled them at the chow hoping to end the fight. The chow finally backed off but stayed in my yard.
Hearing screams, the chow’s owner sprinted to my yard holding a leash. When I explained what happened, she apologized repeatedly and said that she recently adopted the dog from the pound and knew nothing about its history.
Then she fastened the leash to the chow’s collar and left. I learned later that she returned the dog.
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