Sunday, November 29, 2009

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Ian turns 10!

... and I was there on his very first day!!!!!

Happy Birthday Ian.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Off Leash Dog Park

Cosmos was always afraid of Off Leash Dog Park. As a result, neither of my boys attended there. I was sad about it as I had good experiences with Mr. Daisy, Achilles, and other dogs. But each dog is an individual and I certainly wasn't going to take anyone where they were not happy.

But with the passing of Cosmos, and the adoption of Lucy, I suddenly had a dog on my hands that needed exercise. LOTS of exercise. Dog park seemed a good way to get what Lucy needed. Sunny, I was sure, would enjoy it. And so we went and our first few visits were very successful.

Then came a visit last Wednesday. I described it in my Facebook account as follows:

"Sunny badly hurt from attack in dog park yesterday. He's at home, but with admonition that I am to bring him back if he worsens. Can barely walk, face is 1/2 shaved to expose wounds from dog bites, and thank goodness they didn't get the eye that he can still see shadows in. I've never seen anything like what happene...d yesterday. Different breeds, different owners, all ganged up on Sunny and dog piled him.

In response to many MANY comments, and also a thread started by Steve on his own account, I made additional statements:

"One dog - who started it - knocked him down and started biting him in the face. It was at Off Leash Dog Park. Dogs started coming in from all corners of the park to attack him. It was a dog pile.

Owners came charging in to remove their dogs from the pile. Everyone disbursed quickly with their dogs. Nobody - including me - realized how badly Sunny was hurt right away. Nobody stuck around to find out. Probably just as well as the dogs continued to want to attack, even as the owners were grabbing them and pulling them off. I've never seen anything like this.

I don't know who the owners or the dogs were. I am liable for vet bills.

We know that one of the 3/4" long facial bites went all the way through to the inside of his mouth. There is diminished neurological function in his back end. We don't know whether it is from before (he already had a bad back, we think from being hit by a car before he was mine) or new from the attack yesterday.

He's on heavy-duty meds, in a lot of pain, and all I can do is watch him closely right now."

"He went in this morning. I didn't realize how badly he was bitten until later last night and vet had 6 hour wait at emergency. They advised, since Sunny doesn't do well in waiting room, to go in first thing this morning. That's what we did.

Last night, he could still walk normally. Now he can barely sit up, stand up, or walk.

He can't stand or even sit to eat. I sat next to him on kitchen floor and hand fed him his dog food. Fortunately, he is still willing to eat."

I received this comment back from a FB Friend:

"Laura, I am so sorry to hear this. It sounds like one dog was the aggressor, and then pack mentality kicked in. When a dog is down, especially if it's old or injured, other dogs will move in for the kill. It happens even established "muliti dog" households when one is old or sick. Shame on the owners for not offering to help, especially the owner of the dog who started it. It's the problem with dog parks--you cant temperament test what is allowed inside. I hope Sunny recovers quickly but I wouldn't take him back there, ever."

And made the following comments back:

"We don't want to start with Steroids because we suspect Cushings is starting based on last blood test, so we're going to wait and see. Sunny is getting an antibiotic and Roxbaxin for pain. He's a little goofy on it which, to my way of thinking, is fine. I'd rather his memory be dimmed.

Don't worry. He - and we - will NEVER go to dog park again. I will find some other way to get Lucy the exercise she needs. Maybe we will go after agility training hard and enter competitions; she's the right breed for it and then she gets to run and jump off leash. Or the Obedience Club we're taking lessons from have other types of competitions for dogs and I don't even know what they're for. We'll explore everything until we find something that Lucy likes. Sunny can come to the competitions with us and lounge around in his exercise pen and be fussed over.

Next summer when Eric & I move in together, the dogs will have a yard for the first time as well as lots of kids to play with. That will be a blessing. Goodbye Condo Life.

I've lived in multi-dog households and still have not seen the likes of this. In fact it was exactly the opposite. The dogs were ultra protective of the sick and old ones. That's what's happening now. Lucy is being very careful around Sunny. Surprising since she is only a puppy, is new, is insecure, is possessive of me, and has no real established etiquette yet. It's nice to know that she comes by compassion naturally."

The conversation turned towards whether off leash dog parks should exist or not. and I was urged to contact local media:

"I am not in favor of closing dog park. There are a lot of dogs and dog parents who get a lot of pleasure there. Additionally, there are a lot of dogs like mine, who live in condos and this is their only outlet to be able to run and play the way dogs should. That's why we were there.

I have never seen dogs that looked or acted abused in any way, shape or form at dog park. And in fact, the entire thing was so fast and my dog was not killed because the owners got their dogs off of Sunny very quickly.

The part that saddens me is that nobody, and i mean NOBODY stuck around to even see if Sunny was ok. And he is not by a long shot.

If you would like to help, e-mail news tips into local Los Angeles organizations, telling them that you heard of t his incident. Steve is right. News media needs to warn people that this is possible, so that others don't expose themselves or their pets in the way that I did. I will NEVER bring an old dog to dog park again, and since I always have at least one in my brood, I will not be going there again. But that does not mean it is a bad place.

From what I understand now, this is classic dog pack mentality, and while not common, is also not uncommon when a sick or injured dog is felled. It has nothing to do with mistreated or evil dogs.

NBC Los Angeles can be contacted by going to

ABC Los Angeles can be found at

Scroll down the page until you see: "Story Results" and a link to click is directly under the banner.

CBS can be emailed at :
Thank you for caring. Thank you for your help."

Look at my boy today. I took the video above this morning. I feel so awful that I exposed him to get hurt in this way, especially just after losing Cosmos. I do agree that others should be warned that this could happen. Please, if you think this story is news worthy, contact the media as follows and direct them to me and/or this blog. I can be e-mailed through this blog or, if you know me personally, feel free to supply my phone # to the media.

Again, I am NOT looking to close dog parks down, nor am I interested in getting the owners in trouble. What I want is to make sure that the public is aware that this could happen so that other innocent dogs are not attacked.

Thank you.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Headline: Lucy to start Obedience School Tonight


NAME_Laura Silverman

ADDRESS: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

CITY: Tarzana, CA ZIP xxxxxxxxx

PHONE – HOME: xxxxxxxxxxxx WORK: n/a CELL: xxxxxxxxx

E-MAIL: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

BREED: Black Lab DOG’S NAME: Lucy aka Lucy-Fur

HANDLERS LEVEL OF OBEDIENCE TRAINING: Many rescue dogs taken through classes at Reseda Park, varying degrees of “lack of success.” My last three in order:
Sunny – my current Lab/Shepherd mix was expelled with an admonition to have him destroyed due to his tendency to attack all other dogs and bite people including me. He is doing fine, thank you, and it only took four years to find somebody who could identify the difference between being a bad dog and one who had a terrible fear aggression issue, and then finally help us. He is a very sweet and gentle boy and I love him.

Cosmos – my amazing Dalmatian - who I lost about a month ago - in the end of class “competition” came in 3rd out of a class of 4. He was very bright, but was definitely a ‘special needs’ student. Too many distractions, too little time. But we had a great Graduation Party for him, featuring hot dogs as the main course. He was in favor of that.

“Mr Daisy” – a Terrier / Border Collie Mix, who if he felt like working, couldn’t be beat in local obedience competitions, but at the times he wasn’t in the mood, he was considered a very disruptive influence on the other dogs. He was left behind in school on many occasions, and was often bumped into private lessons. That was a time that I thought maybe I wanted to do Dog Obedience trials, but the others at the local play competitions did not appreciate us, no matter what Mr. Daisy’s outlook of the day was – lol!

DO YOU WISH TO COMPETE IN ANY TYPE OF DOG SPORTS? : I don’t know. Maybe. This is the first time ever I’ve ever had a “go to the head of the class” kind of dog, so we’ll see.


LAURIE BURNAM 818-784-8440 home 818-427-3032 cell

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Proud Parent!

Sunny & Lucy went to the Off Leash Dog Park. Sunny hasn't been there in close to a decade, and this is Lucy's very first outing.

I was so proud of both of them! Sunny was a perfect gentleman, and he not only played with the other dogs, but even broke into an old-dog arthritic run at one point. Lucy was very sweet, albeit nervous. She didn't get more than about 20 feet from me at any time. However, I can see the makings of a dog-park pro in her. She wanted to go off and chase that dog and chase that ball. When she's more secure, I have a feeling that she will be burning a lot of energy out there.


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