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All Bark And No Bite.

Posted Jun 10 2010 8:11pm

We’ve seen this dog before. You know, the one who barks loudly at you while you’re doing your usual run past his house. Or better yet, HIS territory. At first when you hear the dog bark, you’re startled; almost thrown off your game. But, you realize that the closer you get to this barking animal, the faster he starts to back up as if he’s scared of you. Now keep in mind, there are dogs out there that actually do bark AND bite, but most like to bark as a warning or to at least say “I see you!” On the topic of dogs, I’ve taken the opportunity many times to post pictures of my child and talk about the funny things that she does. No, I don’t have a little girl hiding in my house, most of you know that when I say child, I am referring to my English Bulldog Bella. Bulldogs are inside dogs and are practically like a baby because all they are capable of for the most part are eating and sleeping. I’ve often said, if anything ever happened to her, I don’t know what I would do. Well, something did happen to her. But obviously you know she made it through, otherwise this post would be a sob fest. It all happened a week ago today. And somehow this story ends up relating to having a healthy lifestyle. Hm, go figure! Let me back track to last Thursday.

My husband and I decided to make an impromptu 300 mile trip back home to see our new niece that was born the week before. Whenever we make a trip, we always make it a big deal to Bella. A dog’s biggest concern is not where are we going, but am I going. So the entire day before we left, (we left Wednesday night after church) we were getting Bella all hyped up about getting in the car for a ride back home. Going back home means she gets to stay with her favorite in-laws which are English bulldogs Maggie, Molly, and Ginger. She also gets to stay with Chloe who is a Bullmastiff and is my husband’s parents “guard dog” if you will. Here is a picture of the happy family all together.

It’s pretty easy to tell which one is Chloe. Poor thing, she looks a little out of her element huh. Speaking of Chloe, notice how big she is in size compared to my Bella, which is the one with her head slightly tilted to the side. She always does that. For whatever reason, my Bella, who is 30 pounds less than Chloe, likes to go and jump in Chloe’s face.  Almost to taunt her. Bella is by no means a vicious dog and has never bitten anyone or any animal, however, her playing comes across as a little aggressive in front of a dog. On different occasions while being back home, Bella and all the dogs will go outside to play. A little while later my husband and I will go check on her, and non-fail, she will come up to us with a cut on her face or a little bit of blood on her mouth. My Father in-law said that she keeps bullying Chloe. I guess that’s where the Bull comes in Bulldog. Because why my Bella would ever think she has the means to bully a 100 pound Bullmastiff is beyond me.

Back to last Thursday, my in-laws live on a river and own a sandbar that we love to go to in order for us and the dogs to swim. We loaded all 5 dogs up and took them on the golf cart. Here is Bella riding to the sandbar.

She was so excited about swimming in the water. When we arrived, we let the dogs out and they all ran for the river. None of the adults went swimming, but we all enjoyed the entertainment that the dogs gave us. As time went by, Bella began her antics again. She would go up to Chloe jumping in her face barking and nipping playfully. Chloe did not like this at all. However, instead of starting to fight with her, she shot Bella a warning as if saying “You don’t want to mess with this.” Bella obviously didn’t understand because 2 more times she went and playfully got in Chloe’s face. Again Chloe warned her, but the 3rd time she had had enough. The next thing I know Bella is on the sand and Chloe has her face in her mouth and is piratically pulling her up off the ground. I couldn’t bear to watch, as I got up from my seat and looked away. My husband and my Father in-law quickly tried to pull Chloe off of her. After what seemed like an eternity, Bella was free. After the initial fight, it was as if someone had taken every ounce of pride, spirit, and soul out of Bella. She would not look at any dog or any of us for that matter. Instead she layed down in the water and would not move.

We did everything to get her up and moving around. We wanted to console her and see what the damage was. When we did finally get her up, she began to vomit constantly. After she finished she layed back down in the water and acted as if her entire ego was torn to shreds. We were so concerned and scared but we decided to leave her alone for a few minutes until we called the vet to explain what had happened.

After letting her lay down for a little longer, we called the vet and explained what had happened and Bella’s odd behavior. The vet then told us that Bella was in shock over the incident. Many times, if a dramatic situation happens such as a fight, or the dog gets badly hurt, they initially go into shock. Therefore, their body temperature begins to go down and their tongue and mouth  turn pale. Rather than treating Bella’s cuts, it was more important to first get her body temperature back up. So we then loaded her back up and took her to the house. We heated a towel and blanket and wrapped her in it. To make a long story short, after a few days, she started to slowly become herself again. At first I was scared that the fight changed her personality, but I can say happily that she is back to her old self. Out of it all, she had a gash on her eye and a puncher wound on the roll above her nose. My husband and I are having to clean it out every night so infection won’t set in.  Gladly after a week later, she is getting back to her previous state. Like I said before, I don’t know what I would do without her. :) Here is Bella now:

So how does all of this relate to health and fitness? Well, you could say that the moral of the story is this: While Bella is going to be okay I think I can make light of this story a little bit. Basically, Bella was schooled. Meaning she got what was coming to her. (insert chuckle) I in no way am mad at Chloe for fighting with Bella because Chloe gave her plenty of warnings and only did what her natural instincts were. Now I am certainly not happy that Bella got hurt, because like I said, she is my child, however, Bella was taught a lesson. First, never go up against someone or something that is way bigger than you, and second, if you’re going to bark like you can take someone, then you better bite like it too. In human words, you better walk the talk or it may come back and get you. We health and fitness bloggers love to take ordinary stories and relate it to all things health, and we’re good at doing so. With that said, this whole “All Bark, and No Bite” story makes me think about all the talking I do sometimes about eating right or exercising on a regular basis, and then what do I do? I don’t go through with it. So basically I am all talk, or bark, well you know what I mean. In any aspect of our life, we can sit there and say we’re going to do something, but when it comes up in our face are we going to take action or are we just going to let it beat us up? So whether we voice a goal about eating healthier, exercising more, being a better spouse, girlfriend, whatever, when the time comes to face the issue, are we going to live up to our words? Or are we just going to sit back and be all talk?

Question for you

Do you ever struggle with putting your “talk” into action?

Have you ever seen a dog or your dog get in a fight? What happened?

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