Last Saturday evening I was checking on the pastures and found Joey (our Great Pyrennes guard dog) in one of his preferred spots–asleep on the hay I had put out for the goats and for Rowan (our horse). They were standing around munching on the hay, but right in the middle, on top of the largest part of it, was Joey, fast asleep.
I went in and called Joey, and he came over, still a bit sleepy. As I was brushing the hay off of him I reminded him that the hay was not a bed for him.
Then, for no apparent reason whatsoever, Joey turned around, growled and charged at Rowan, who was eating hay and minding his own business. Rowan was startled and started to trot away as Joey leaped into the air and bit him on this flank. Rowan kicked, barely missing Joey, then galloped away as Joey chased him, barking.
It was a bizarre thing to see. Those two have been good buddies for years and the attack was totally unprovoked (unless it was precipitated by something that happened before Joey’s nap).
Once everything settled down a bit I got a look at the bite, and it wasn’t good.
So we had to call the vet. It was about 5:30 on Saturday, December 23 and the vet was having a Christmas party at his house. I texted him the photo. He said it definitely needed stitches, but wasn’t urgent. He told us his wife would kill him if he missed the party they’d been planning for a while, so he asked if he could come in a couple of hours and we said that would be fine.
He showed up about 8:30 and got Rowan sewed up. He pointed out that if the bite had been a little lower, on Rowan’s tendon, we’d “be digging a hole for the horse.” And I knew that if Rowan’s kick had been a little better aimed we’d be digging a hole for the dog. In hindsight I think neither animal wanted to badly hurt the other, but I couldn’t risk putting them back together.
So Rowan stayed in his stall all night and the next day Peyton and I moved him to a different pasture.
Joey, looking like Mr. Innocent, stood at the fence whining and crying as Rowan left.
Fortunately Rowan hasn’t objected to his new home.
He seems to be healing well.
Ah, the simple life.