Major event yesterday. One of Syd's friends, Keith, came over and since they had never been here before, Tiger and Smudge started barking as they usually do with people they don't recognize. The difference this time is that Smudge actually bit Keith in the hand. Not a life-altering bite but certainly enough to break the skin and freak out Keith, let alone his mom and Liza and I.
After whirling through Disbelief, Shock, Anxiety, and Parental Concern (not necessarily in that order), we brought him to a doctor friend of ours who treated it and calmed the adults' fears. (Keith had forgotten to be worried about it as soon as he saw the trampoline in our yard.) We apologized profusely and many thanks to Keith's mom, Janet, for taking it a lot better than Liza would have. As near as we can tell, they smelled Keith's cat on him since Keith and said cat had been frolicking just before his visit.
Liza and I talked about it last night and again this morning and I'm a little saddened by something. Until yesterday, the dogs were more than I hoped for in family pets. They're friendly, they're good with kids, they're protective of Syd, they bark at strangers, they don't wander (too much), and they generally come when I call them. But it occurred to us that we are never going to be able to completely trust our dogs around people again. How can we take the chance that they won't bite someone else's child and perhaps a more serious bite at that? I'm not handing out a questionnaire to every person that comes over asking what animals they've been exposed to in the last 24 to 48 hours.
Liza and I have often been at odds about how to treat them with me often defending their right to wander more freely around the property. Now, what can I say? Particularly when I agree with her now. We've had lots of kids over and many of them are freaked out by the dogs at first when they come running up and sniffing. I'm quick to say, “It's OK, they're good with kids” but not anymore. Now it has to be, “Don't get out of your vehicle until I lock up Tiger and Smudge.” And I hate doing that and they hate when I do that. But it has to be done. At least now it does.