We Never Get to Know

A bloodied dog is a sight that skips the heart of any livestock guardian dog owner. There is no forewarning that you’re going to see it after all, so you are not prepared. But experience teaches there is no need to panic until you know it is time to panic. 

So you get yourself to your dogs side, you inspect the damage and you wonder what the hell goes on when you’re not looking, which is a lot of the time in the case of these dogs. Then you go home, you collect supplies to doctor them up if you're able to, you return and offer aid, and you wonder. 

You wonder and you wonder. The crux of it all is that you never get to know. You never. get. to. know. They have a life that is lived largely outside of ours. All we get to do is guess based on injury and attitude of other dogs. 

Unbeknownst to guardian dogs, humans have placed an aura of heroic, almost to the point of angelic, keepers of the flock upon them without questioning the propensity of the dogs. (On second thought that might be an appropriate statement for all types of dogs). We imagine possibilities of winning encounters with predators and defending turf which is a very real possibility.

What we imagine less so, is that it might be an in-house affair. It might just be dog against dog but we don’t wish to know that our angelic keepers of the flock are capable and willing to beat the shit out of each other if they feel it is necessary. And either way, in the end the dog still bears the injuries and still we never get to know.

p.s. The dog is doing okay. He has three puncture wounds to his neck so someone was real unhappy with him but thankfully let him live.


  1. Oh I am so sad to see such a picture..my heart goes out to you and your dog ? I wish I was close enough to help you nurse him/her back to health..(I have nursed many many in my 86 years,and actually love doing it,day and night,dogs are so grateful when delivering the sometimes hurting care they need,the eyes usually say it all)The best I can do is send healing vibes and love, with hands on from here.

    1. Oh, how I would love to have you or someone like you at my place year round. Nursing is not my cup of tea. Whiskey is doing well.

  2. It must have been a horrifying moment, before you got there and saw they were still alive. And yes, I can only imagine how terribly hard it is not to know for certain, if ever, what happened. But thank God your dog will be okay. So sorry you and the dog had to go through this.


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