Dog Attack and the Lord’s Protection

This morning, after a beautiful rainstorm, Ellie and I went for our almost daily walk. It was cooler than normal, and the breeze made it feel nice. I stopped for a moment to contact Mary about something, when suddenly, I turned and saw three dogs racing from the opposite direction at top speed. My heart sank. I had heard of these same dogs trying to attack another dog Sunday, and one was a pit bull. Immediately I shouted at them to stop. They circled Ellie and began attacking. I shouted and tried my best, but again, I couldn’t do anything in this situation except hold onto my puppy’s leash and cry out for someone to help me. Ellie’s yelps as she was bitten cut me like a knife, and time seemed to stop.

Thankfully the road is very public, and a car soon drove up. I could tell the lady wasn’t sure how to help, but she stopped and told me to get in the vehicle. The dogs stopped attacking Ellie and circled around the car, giving me a chance to pick Ellie up. As I was trying to get in, another vehicle stopped, and two men jumped out. They scared the dogs off and asked me if I was okay. I’m so grateful the dogs had not attacked me physically. The men were very kind and carried Ellie to their van and brought us back home.

We took Ellie to the vet, and although she sustained some minor injuries, she’ll be okay. It was extremely traumatic to both of us, but the Lord gave grace, and I’m grateful the little ones weren’t out too.

Lesson I learned? Always carry pepper spray. I haven’t, but believe me, I will. Obviously one doesn’t know for sure if that would have deterred them or if I would have had time to use it, but I will be prepared next time.


Ellie and I this afternoon with her bandaged paw
Ellie and I this afternoon with her bandaged paw

“Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will
I deliver him: I will set him on high, because
he hath known my name.”
Psalm 91:14

41 thoughts on “Dog Attack and the Lord’s Protection”

  1. Praising God that you were not hurt and that Ellie received only minor injuries. Great advice to carry pepper spray–I would never have thought to do that but will definitely start now. Prayers of thanks go out to those who stopped to help you both and prevent more serious injury!

    Thank you. Yes, I’m very grateful for those who stopped.

  2. I’m so sorry that you had this experience but thankful for the Lord’s watchful care over you and Ellie! Definitely keep that pepper spray with you!

    Yes. Believe me, pepper spray will be close!

  3. I am sorry this happened to you! I hope you reported this. Are they just stray dogs? Do they have owners? Pet owners should be held responsible immediately, especially since this is the second time (that you know of) that they have attacked someone. Thanking God with you that nothing major happened and that He sent you the help you needed!

    The dogs are not stray. The authorities are involved!

  4. That must have been terrifying! Are you going to search out the owners? Did you notify the police? I hope you can press charges. Maybe you can get reimbursement for your vet charges. Glad you are both ok.
    We notified Animal Control.

  5. So glad you and Ellie are ok. Very scary!

    Thanks. An experience I don’t want to have repeated.

  6. Sarah, I am touched by your story and reminded of your gift for writing while reading your entry. Thank you for sharing your story and lessons learned. I pray for recovery and for you and Ellie to be back out walking together soon. Thank you at this time for the blessing of the Moody book series which were just completed at bedtime. As we were on books 9 & 10 we read just enough to go to sleep savoring each bit. God Bless you.

    Thank you. What a sweet comment!

  7. My heart just sank when I read your post. The same thing happened to my mom and her dog required surgeries. I am happy to hear that you both are ok physically. Hopefully, it won’t have lasting effects on Ellie. Prayers are definitely with you.

    Oh, I’m so sorry about your mom and her dog. Yikes!

  8. I’m so sorry but thankful you and Ellie are safe. If I may make a suggestion; I was recently told by a police officer that wasp spray might be a more effective “weapon” since you do not have to get as close to hit the “target.” Pepper spray requires you to be quite close to the attacker. I hope you will not need such protection again but it is good to be prepared. The Lord be with you.

    Thanks! I hadn’t heard of that as an option.

  9. Sarah and Ellie – I am so so sorry this happened to you and I am thankful you are both okay. I just wanted to say something as a professional dog trainer – please make sure to continue to socialize Ellie with other (friendly) dogs as much as possible. All too often when dogs are attacked they become fearful of other dogs (even ones that don’t resemble the dogs that attacked) and can start to become aggressive themselves. Socializing Ellie with friendly dogs will reassure her and teach her that not all dogs are mean!

    Thank you! Yes, I will continue to socialize her. She has a buddy she plays with on a regular basis, and we will continue to have them play! Plus, she will continue to socialize with other dogs.

  10. What a scary situation! Praise God that you and Ellie are okay! I’m so sorry you had to experience that. I’m grateful for those who stopped to help you! The Lord shows such mercy and is a very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)

  11. Oh my Sarah, that is such a scary situation! I am so thankful you are ok and Ellie is on the mend.

    God Be With You,

  12. My sister-in-law has a leash with clips near the handle for a small plastic bag dispenser and a container of pepper spray. Maybe that would help you keep all the things you need for a walk in one place (and avoid overloading your pockets every time you head out!) Glad you and your sweet dog are okay. Roaming dogs are terrifying!

  13. Might I second the idea of wasp spray. My friend just spent time helping train military dogs and the man running the program, an ex-navy seal, suggested wasp spray as a means of self defense. It’s more direct and goes further. The down side is it’s bulky and harder to carry.

    How wonderful to know that you weren’t hurt!

  14. Sarah, I am so thankful that you and Ellie are OK! I am also thankful for those Good Samaritans who stopped to help.

  15. Oh my goodness, Sarah! How terrifying! But thank God you’re both safe. I’m so glad you’re both okay and Ellie looks good. Thank God for sending His angels. Hope He will calm your heart from all this.

    Love, Rebecca

  16. Glad you and Ellie are OK. Sarah, you should wear a whistle around your neck. There are whistle’s that dog’s don’t like, plus, the noise creates lots of attention.

  17. As a dog owner, I really felt for you reading that story 🙁 Thank the Lord for kind strangers – I’ve been blessed with many of them too when I’ve got into difficulties out and about. I was listening to ‘Great is they faithfulness’ while reading this post – how appropriate. I will pray for courage for you and Ellie.

  18. I am glad you are okay. I am wondering if carry a tazer or a really high pitched whistle (one humans can’t hear but drive dogs nuts) would also serve as deterents? Just a thought.

  19. I’m so sorry for you and Ellie! Sending lots of warm thoughts to you both.

  20. I have tears in my eyes! I love my dogs, they are a part of my family. Praise the Lord that you are both ok. This was a good reminder for me to be vigilant. Hearing stories about kind and attentive strangers always warms my heart though.

  21. So happy you and Ellie are okay. We are 1/3 the way through the 10th Moody book and are trying not to go to fast through it. 🙂

  22. Glad you are ok. A quick tip we have found for children in areas where there may be aggressive dogs. We don’t feel it is necessarily safe to have the kids carry pepper spray as they could end up hurting themselves. While the adult may have pepper spray – sometimes the adult could be a little behind or ahead of the child and not be able to react in time. If the child has dog biscuits in their pockets they can throw the dog the treat. This distracts the dog for a few seconds until the adult with the pepper spray can help. The dog biscuits are “safe” for the kids to carry and can help buy a few seconds.

    Great idea!

  23. Sounds like a happening in the Moody books! (:
    I am so happy you and Ellie are safe!! Sounded so scary!

  24. I am so sorry this happened to you and Ellie. So scary. I definitely agree with you, in regard, to pepper spray. When I bought my new, to me, house in July after my Phil passed away I wasn’t sleeping well. This was the very first time, in my life, I lived alone and I was scared. My son Zak, after talking with my older son Dylan and DIL Sheila who live in Brooklyn, NY, bought me pepper spray, one for my purse and one for under my pillow. I am a passive woman toward violence, but having the pepper spray does help me feel more comfortable at night. Glad to hear you are looking into this. (I do have two dogs, Bear is 100 lbs, 15 years old and completely deaf and Harley is a small Terrier lap dog that belongs/belonged to my mom.). Prayers for your and Ellie’s safety.

    I apologize for the length of this comment.
    Love, Mari

  25. Oh how scary! Praise the Lord you and Ellie are okay, and that none of your sweet nieces or nephews were with you. As a mom of 4 and mom to a golden retriever that’s 2 this made me realize I need to carry some kind of spray. Will be praying for peace over you and your sweet pup.

  26. I’m sorry that you had such a traumatic experience, Sarah. I will pray for peace in your heart as you continue to walk Ellie and healing for Ellie’s injuries. Praise God for His care of you through caring bystanders.

  27. I have to say that pepper spray isn’t the best defense, in this case. For one, when these dogs attack, you’re likely to get YOUR pet and YOUR eyes doused in the spray. It’s meant for relatively close quarters and you need something you can aim outward to fend off the attack before they get close. Wasp spray is a good alternate, for its range, price, and efficacy. I also carry an air horn .

  28. I am so sorry Sarah. There is nothing worst then loose dogs left to their own devices. There are a bunch of dog behaviorists that can probably give you some great tips on dealing with the aftermath. We don’t want Ellie to start becoming fearful. Be safe during this crazy heat wave coming next week.

  29. I like the dog biscuit idea for a person like Sarah who has lots of children to watch out for on a regular basis. Wasp spray conveniently stored by the puppy’s leash might be too easy for the little ones to find and is a poison whereas pepper spray I assume is not? Just another suggestion: I sometimes take walks carrying a child’s small plastic baseball bat.

  30. Sarah, Just as another poster said, my heart too sank as I read the title of this blog. I am so happy you were not seriously injured and that Ellie is on the mend. Please take care of yourself.


  31. Shocked that these dogs did this. Are they strays? If they belong to someone they need to be held accountable. So thankful you and Ellie are O.K.

  32. Oh my word, Sarah! SO grateful you and your sweet Ellie are ok. God is gracious to put people in the right place at the right time.

  33. I’m sorry this happened,I ride my bike around our neighborhood and I will be more careful about stray dogs. I also would recommend a stung gun you can buy at Cabelas.

  34. So glad for the Lord’s protection, glad to hear that Ellie is going to be ok! Praising God that you were not injured. I recently became acquainted with your blog and have enjoyed reading and seeing good stories and reports about the Lord and what He has done for you and your family. It is a warm welcome to see a family serving!

  35. Sarah, your dog is young. You don’t want her to be afraid of other dogs. . .and have her be a fear biter (yes it can happen to even sweet tempermented Goldens). . . find a happy dog that your dog can socialize with so that she won’t be afraid just because another dog shows up or is around her. Also watch for signs of infection in her paw, from the other dog’s saliva. (Fun times, I know 🙁
    If that ever happens to you again, shouting at the dogs, pretending to pick up a rock and throw it at them, can buy you time. By the time you get close enough to use that spray, It can also be in your dog’s eyes. You can carry a golf club as well.
    I know you love your furry girl and I am glad she is ok.
    My dogs are my world, and I know it is a heartsicking feeling to have this happen, having experienced it myself at a dog park.
    Well.. . .hope you are doing better and God bless you and Ellie.
    Thank you. She has a Rottweiler that she plays with once or twice a week. They played just this morning. They are the same age and are so fun to watch playing together.
    She is also on antibiotics from the vet.

  36. I am so sorry to hear this happened to you and your sweet dog. It sounds terrifying. I am praising God that He sent help your way. Praying for you!

  37. Sorry to hear of this. My daughter was three when she required 16 stitches due to a dog bite. Another child bit by the same dog needed 75. Some owners just do not follow the local dog ordinances or care for their pets well.
    I’ve heard of lemon juice in a spray bottle or squirt gun, however, I’ve never tested it out on any animals. Typical wasp sprays shoot about 20 feet. You could sew up a bag just the size of the can with a strap to sling across you so you can access it easily. I often carry dog biscuits in my car to use for any stray dogs I see near traffic to distract and get them away from the road. I carry pepper spray and it typically is for close range. With pepper spray, you will need to be careful of wind direction too as you don’t want it in you or your dog’s eyes.

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