Dog attacks my emus

Crazy weekend … Friday we had a snow/ice/freezing rain mess, so Laura and I had to leave work early to pick up the kids from school. Saturday morning – I was just on my first cup of coffee – Laura noticed a large Rottweiler chasing the emus in the back yard. I put on some clothes ( it was in the low 20s – well below freezing) and ran out. I knew the dog – it belongs to a neighbor down the road and has been on our property before. I was trying to get between the dog and the emus, but it was difficult. The kids of the owner tried to help, but they¬† ended up leaving a gate open and one of the emus got out. Somehow the emu got in the horse pasture, running away from the dog. All that got the horses all riled up and they started cantering up the hill and got the dog even more excited. After a few Minutes, the dog caught the emu and grabbed it by the lower neck and brought it down. The kid and I were right on top of the dog and got him to release the bird, who ran away.

Now the kid was lying on top of the dog and could barely keep him down that way. I grabbed a length of rope and started choking the dog, so he would stop struggling. After a while the dog got tired and Laura brought us a rope. I tied the rope securely around the neck and chest of the dog and the kid started to try to drag the dog back home. He could not even get the dog to walk. The dog would just lay down and refuse to walk. He wanted to back to play with the big chicken.

I left the two to their own device and went to check on the bird. He was pretty freaked out, and we decided to just leave him alone to give him some time to calm down. Interestingly, he made no attempt to get out of the pasture. Seeing that the kid was not really able to get the dog home in any reasonable way, we decided that Laura would stay and keep an eye on the bird, while I would help the kid get the dog home. I just dragged the dog by the rope across the icy road for a bit. Then I ordered him to get up and walk, and eventually he did.

We locked the dog up in the back yard and I had a little talk with the owner. I told them that the next time I see the dog on my property, I will call animal control and they will take the dog away. I also suggested they hire a dog trainer who can help them get control of the dog, because the dog is not basically a bad dog, he just needs to learn to listen and respect his owner. I gave them the phone number of a friend who is a dog trainer and I told them that I want them to contact her right away and set up an appointment. They agreed and Monday morning my friend emailed me and confirmed that they made an appointment. So that’s really good.

Back at the farm, the emu had calmed down, but Laura and I saw that he was bleeding from the chest a bit.¬† In the icy pasture, Laura and I managed to corner the bird and catch him. I carried him back into the back yard, where we took a closer look at the wound. It was just a puncture wound but it was still bleeding quite a bit. I had to let him go, because he has gotten quite heavy – probably around 40 pounds. As long as I hold him, he goes limp and plays dead. But as soon as his feet touch the ground it’s all over and there is no holding him. We caught him again later and put some antibiotic ointment on his wound and I made that mistake and did not let go right away … he shredded my jeans with his feet (did not hurt me, though).

So now I guess I have to figure out how to teach my emus some self defense technique. I mean, I good kick on the nose of the dog from one of their legs would definitely make an impression. The gate to the back yard is now barricaded, so I doubt that a dog could get in (unless he can jump the fence). But later this year the emus will go out on the pasture, and there they might encounter dogs or coyotes. They definitely need to learn some karate kicks …

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