Bad dog! A first for me...

Real Estate Agent with Ozarks' Independent Realty

I love dogs. Dogs love me. Or, at least, I used to think they did...

I sell foreclosures, and a lot of times that puts me in situations I would normally avoid. Having to knock on the door of bank-owned homes that are still occupied, and try to convince the tenants or former owners living there that the best thing for them is to accept the money the bank is offering them to get moved out... Well, that isn't usually easy. Most people know the house is lost and they have to move, and are thrilled that there will be a little money coming to help them start over. Some, especially if they are renting, have no clue and get very angry. Understandably so, but hey, don't kill the messenger.

A few weeks ago, I had to deliver the Cash-for-Keys paperwork to one of my new listings. School was out, due to snow, so 2 of my kids were with me, and as I pulled into the subdivision, one said, "Look at that dog, Mom!" I glanced over and saw a beautiful, brindled Pit-Bull mix walking along the road. He looked part German Shepherd  but there was no hiding the characteristic head/jaw of a Pit Bull. It didn't really bother me. After all, dogs like me and I like them.

So I pull up in front of my new listing, tell the kids to stay in the car, don't kill each other, I'll be right back, and I get out. Now this house has a long covered entryway, about 3 feet wide and 15 feet long, leading to the front door. Lots of boxes are already packed and stacked along the corridor, and lots of other stuff is piled up, as well. Essentially, there is a space about 2 feet wide all the way up. I ring the bell and the door opens immediately to a young lady. We talk a moment, I give her the paperwork and just start to explain it, when I hear a growl behind me. The lady yells "Tiger, no!" but then I feel the weight of the dog hit me in the back and I fall against the boxes and the wall. She calls Tiger and he walks past me to the door. I recognized the Pit Bull mix we had seen a few moments before as I righted myself, slightly shaken.

Before she could even get the whole "I'm sorry" out of her mouth, Tiger turned toward me, met my eyes, and jumped at my face. I barely had time to raise my arm over my head and neck and turn away, presenting him with my back, before he was on me again. I crashed into the junk again, into the wall, and started to fall. All I could think was that I hoped my kids were not able to see what was happening.

But then he was off me as the young woman stepped out, grabbed him by the collar and dragged him inside, closing the door. She was very apologetic, I was shaken and later, bruised, where I had fallen into the wall and the boxes, but except for a small scratch on the back of my neck, was otherwise unharmed by the dog. I count myself very blessed! With the well-known strength and tenacity of the Pit Bull, it could have gone a LOT differently...

I still love dogs. But I won't assume anymore that they ALL  love me. I will have to remember to exercise a little more caution when in unfamiliar territory- especially when there are dogs who consider it their territory. My husband said he will be getting me some kind of pepper spray to keep on me, though I am not sure I like that idea very much. And my kids? They saw nothing. They were too busy trying to kill each other in the car!

Comments (41)

Kendra Adams
RE/MAX Alliance - Windsor, CO

I was attacked by a dog as a child but have always been around them and have always had at least one in my home, however in the field I am very frightened by them.  I have no idea how I would have reacted in your situation.  I am glad you are o.k. and hope you will be safe in the future.

Apr 08, 2008 04:38 PM
Sandra Workman
Coldwell Banker Realty - Bradley, IL
That dog should've been tied up no matter what!  Your very lucky.
Apr 10, 2008 01:26 AM
Kathleen Lordbock
Keller Williams Realty Professionals - Baxter, MN
Keller Williams Realty Professionals
You did get out without severe injuries and that is wonderful. It doesn't alway work that way.  We have German Shepherds but they are extremely well trained and very lovable to everyone. Still since they are so large and probably look scary when I hear a bark, I try to get them inside and make them all sit and stay on the front steps. New delivery people appreciate that - the old ones call them to come for pets.
Apr 10, 2008 04:28 PM
Dawn Workman
Veracity Real Estate Group, LLC - Camas, WA
Camas Real Estate Expert, MBA, 480-540-8100

Yikes!!!   Were you kids watching, or were they trying their hardest to come as close to killing each other... while not actually doing it?


Apr 10, 2008 06:04 PM
Brittanie Monroe
Long and Foster REALTORS - Irvington, VA
Northern Neck Real Estate
It is a shame that this happened to you, but you are very lucky to be okay.
Apr 11, 2008 06:31 AM
Jim & Maria Hart
Brand Name Real Estate - Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC Real Estate
I know I would have been terribly shaken up after an experience like that.  I would consider myself an animal lover, and there has only been one dog I've ever had an issue with.  In my senior year of high school, a friend and I went to visit another friend for his birthday.  Once inside his house, I started to bend down to pet their small dog, as I had done many times, and it jumped at me and bit my lip.  I still have a scar -- guess I should have gotten stitches.  That's probably the reason we have large breeds :)
Apr 11, 2008 07:57 AM
Latonia Parks
Top Bragg Realty, Fayetteville NC, Home of the 82d ABN DIV - Fayetteville, NC
Certified Military Relocation Expert
I am certainly glad you are OK.  That was terrible.  I am already afraid of dogs so I don't take such chances.  If there was a crowd of 500 people outside, the dog would smell the fear on me and take the plunge.
Apr 11, 2008 08:41 AM
Amber Bourland
Ozarks' Independent Realty - West Plains, MO

Thanks, everyone, for your comments.  

Dawn- my kids couldn't have sen much, the way the house is positioned with the long covered entryway to the front door. Of course, they were a bit preoccupied, fighting over their Nintendo DS game, so all was as it should be with kids...

Kathleen- I wish more dog owners would train their dogs like that! Of course, I can't talk, mine are not the most obedient. WE live about 18 miles out in the "boonies," and they have the run of our land and some of the neighbors'. I have Great Pyrenees and Pyrenees' mix dogd, so they are the area watchdogs and kep coyotes and mountain lions away. They run alongside the few vehicles that drive past our house (I think, in their minds, they are "escorting" the intruders off our property, as they stop right at our property line and come back wanting praise). That is their biggest problem. They tolerate anybody who parks and comes up to the door (as long as we are home). I made the UPS drivers get out of their trucks and meet the dogs the first few times with me present, so the dogs would see they are allowed. We leave our doors unlocked most of the time, since I don't know anyone who would get out of their vehicles with 6 100+ pound dogs surrounding thier car.  But that's the way we want it on our property....

Latonia- I understand. When I went back to do the CFK, I told them the dog needed to be off the property or confined in a vehicle, or they would not get their check. So they had the dog in themoving truck. Until they got their check. Then they put him in the back of their daughter's pick-up and left. She went into the neighbor's house for about an hour, leavingthis dog they call "crazy" out there unattended. He never left the truck bed, but everytime he saw me, his head went down and he growled, so I went inside, closed the doors and did all my pictures and damage reports until they left. I just wasn't goingout there, because I knew I was afraid ofhim, and I am sure he knew it, too! 

I did get a thank-you card froma neighbor who got my info from a sign i put in the window. In part, they thanked me for getting those nasty people out of their neighborhood, and making them take that dog, too. Now they feel safe letting their kids play outside again...

Apr 12, 2008 04:32 AM
Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing

At least the owner was apologetic...... and she did not sick the dog on you.....

I am glad you are allright, sis.......

At least the dog did NOT take a chunk out of you!!


Apr 12, 2008 07:07 AM
Tricia Flicker-Miller
Cressy & Everett Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
Cressy & Everett
Not all dogs are bad.  But this just makes me feel even stronger about owners who don't keep their pets restrained. This is obviously a dangerous dog that has no business being loose. I'm glad you made it out safely.
Apr 16, 2008 10:21 AM

There is bad in every animal kind.  An animal is anything you make it!  Some people make them  mean by the way they are raised and treated, but most are loving and raised to be that way. You never need to teach an animal to be protective or aggressive.  That is a natural instict that animals can sense about someone naturally.  I was attacked by two vicious pit bulls.  Their owner made them that way.  Mace muzzle spray is what I now carry, I have used it and it works.  I purchased it through  Im sure it can be purchased locally through a firearms dealer also.

May 12, 2008 06:50 AM
Griselda Tealdo-Perez, REALTORĀ®, e-Pro, GRI, TRC
Coldwell Banker Real Estate - Miami Lakes, FL

Amber, I too love dogs and usually have a good response from them as well.  But...(there's always a "but"), I'm always careful with dogs I don't know until we get "introduced" and I feel there's good chemistry between us. I'm glad to hear that this scary story had a happy ending. Most dogs are lovable creatures, but some can be lethal weapons.  


May 12, 2008 02:50 PM
Laura Moore Godek
Laura Moore Godek, PC - McHenry, IL

Do you stillthink bringing your children with you was a good idea?  You are dealing with desperate people in desperate circumstances. 

May 13, 2008 06:49 PM
Shannon Livingston
John R. Wood - Naples, FL

It is unfortunate that pet owners are not more responsible.  If a dog is outside it's home it should be in a gated yard or on a leash - that is the law in most places and best for everyone.  I have a Bichon that insists she poop in a particular neighbor's yard (we clean it up so he is quite nice about it) but it requires that we walk her down the street.  One day my husband was walking with her and she was attacked by a neighbor's dog that was out in the front yard, unattended and unrestrained.  My dog is submissive and rolled on her back right away, but my husband was very scared and had to reach into the conflict to pick up our dog.  Our dog was ok but Animal Control told us that we shouldn't walk anywhere in our neighborhood (which is by the beach and houses are not cheap) without a big stick and pepper spray.  What a shame - I can't even have my 13 year old son take the dog out for a walk, and even going on a walk after dinner requires that we DRIVE outside the residential area to walk in a safe place.  If a dog is out and off the leash, you can safely assume the owner is irresponsible and that the dog cannot be trusted because it probably hasn't been trained properly or kept current on shots.  Humans are to blame for vicious dogs, not the breed.      

May 15, 2008 03:11 AM
Pat Emmett
Prudential Palms Realty - Sarasota, FL

I just joined this group & yours is the first post I read.  Had a similar experience, and I know how frightening it can be.

I was literally trapped in my car by a big sheep dog (think Stephen King).  There was a little dog running beside him.  When the owner finally came & grabbed the beast, I jumped out of the car & did my inspection on the house.

When I was finished I saw the lady with her big dog, now leashed, & I thanked her.  Her comment was..."my dog won't hurt a flea, but that little one you stepped around, he'd take your leg off".  Oh.

May 22, 2008 02:23 PM
Susan Peters
Dove Realty Inc. - Seattle, WA
The Better it Looks the Better it Sells


Take extra care when working bank owned and short sales. Dogs that are normally friendly often pick up on the stress of their owners and can act out. Even though you're just the mesenger they see you as the mesage and it isn't good.

May 25, 2008 06:29 PM
Marko Johnson

I think if you have a <A HREF="">pepper spray</A> in your purse or pocket you will not have a problem. Just be aware of whats going on and things should work out great!

Dec 13, 2008 04:24 AM
Marko Johnson <A HREF="

Sorry about that tried to submit a link about pepper spray and I accidently posted code. Check it out in the above link.

Dec 13, 2008 04:26 AM

Try carrying a quality dog pepper spray.  It is legal in most areas where pepper spray is illegal.  It can also be used against an attacker.

Apr 08, 2009 03:37 AM
Liz Lockhart
Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO - Cape Girardeau, MO
GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate


I almost always take another adult with me when I do OC. That person either stays in the car with cell phone in hand or "hangs back" a bit on the sidewalk to keep a sort of look out.

When I was still relatively new to REO, I decided to post a house that I thought was empty. It was the middle of the afternoon and the house looked completely abandoned. I actually only meant to do a drive-by and come back later with someone else, but the house was in the country and it seemed a waste of good gas not to at least leave the required door-knocker and take a quick photo so I could go ahead and fill out my occupancy check form. I did go up onto the porch and even knocked on the door, but I was so sure that the house was empty that I whipped out the tape and started taping the paperwork to the door. I practically fell forward when the door was jerked open and the smell of stale whiskey engulfed me. Maybe it was good that the guy was drunk, because that left him pretty unstable.

I started back-tracking and quickly stepped off of the porch, but not before I could clearly see that he had nothing on other than minimally fastened pajama bottoms that did not fully hide his sexual identity. I have learned my lesson, for sure!

Aug 28, 2010 02:02 PM