Marcus and I took Saffi for a walk – we decided to take a route across Barnes Common as it leads to an ancient cemetery which is really interesting and then a huge field near Rocks Lane which Saffi loves. Not long after we set off we saw three caravans – and beside them two liver and white working Cockers. They looked friendly enough and we said ‘hello’ and moved on. Since we were a good distance from the road at this point we let Saffi off the lead and before we knew it the male Cocker had pounced on Saffi and had her pinned to the ground. I was terrified and shocked and Saffi squealed and screamed at the top of her lungs until we kicked/pulled the dog off.
A woman came out of one of the caravans and when I asked her why she doesn’t keep her dogs on a lead if they’re going to exhibit aggressive behaviour she stated that the dogs were just doing their job as guard jobs and that Marcus must have provoked them! When I told her that was ridiculous, that Barnes Common is a place people feel safe to let their dogs off the lead, she got nasty and slammed the door in my face.
We left and carried on our walk – Saffi seemed fine but I was a mess – scared for Saffi’s safety and furious about the woman’s attitude.
Later that day I was thinking about the turn of events and I realised that Saffi had shown some typical signs of fear – her tail hadn’t been wagging like it normally is when she meets dogs and when she looked up at me her ears seemed further back than normal.
Luckily Saffi wasn’t injured in the exchange and has seemed absolutely fine around other dogs since. However, I have learnt that her instincts will often be stronger than mine and I need to more keenly monitor her behaviour for any signs of fear or nerves.
I’m relieved and pleased to report that the travellers have been issued and eviction note and will hopefully soon be moving on.