This is about an incident on Monday that could have ended in disaster for BJ roo and hen Ellie. The dog's guardian had rather an attitude when I brought the dogs back to her house - this is the first chance I've had to communicate with her since then. The note is reasonably polite because thank goodness no one was hurt and because I believe she got the message loud and clear the day it happened as I told her in no uncertain terms to keep her dogs in her yard. Maybe this will help somebody else dealing with a similar circumstance. (I refer to BJ and Ellie as "birds" in the note to her as I am trying not to draw attention to them being chickens - she hasn't actually seen them and for all I know could cause trouble as it's a small residential area) JJ December 6, 2008 This has been an impossibly busy week for me or I would have written sooner. I am sorry we had to meet in the way we did. I hope this note will help you understand the anxiety you were met with Monday morning when we met (12/1). It started when I heard a terrible ruckus outside in my yard and ran out - I didnt see my pet birds anywhere (they cannot fly so are very vulnerable to dogs). I only saw your dogs. They were both snarling and barring their teeth at me and it took me a long time to get them to come with me back to your place because every time I tried to get them to move they stood their ground, snarled and barred their teeth. It was a slow process of getting them to move a few feet at a time and then they would stand their ground again. At one point the larger dog bit my right hand. I had to yell to get him/her to let go. I am okay (though please shoot me a quick e-mail or leave a phone message on my machine to let me know if he has had his rabies shot - thanks). Traveling together, these dogs displayed a pack mentality with the snarling and barring of teeth. My birds would not have stood a chance had I not intervened in time. I had no idea where my pet birds were or if they were hurt but couldnt go check on them until the dogs were back under your control. I knocked on your door for awhile and when you finally came to the door you seemed frustrated, saying you were busy with your baby, it was hard to care because at that moment I didnt even know if my pets were still alive. You may have been busy with your baby but I was forced to be busy with your dogs. Every moment I was with your dogs or waiting for you or speaking with you might have been crucial to employ life saving measures for the birds had they needed them, or even god forbid, final goodbyes, and so for me every moment was an eternity till I could go check on them. And as I explained at the time, because of this situation I was very late for work, indeed for an extremely crucial meeting. Dogs are natural predators and because of the possibility of disaster they must be in the control of their guardians at all times. Let me please explain from personal experience why I must say this. And before I explain, please know I am an animal lover and have rescued many a homeless dog over the years. I do not dislike dogs. Heck, I ran into the middle of Route 29 in front of oncoming traffic to save a dog that was about to be hit. Even got a scratched cornea in the process of throwing me and him to the side of the road in the nick of time. And I would do it again. In past years, when I was caring for birds at another location just down the street, twice there were dog attacks. Once from a dog whose owner was never found and another time from a dog whose owner professed that she never thought her dog would do such a thing (thats always the way). The birds were in their own yard - indeed even in their own house - where they should have been able to safe. In both cases, the vet bills were in the thousands (dog owner disappeared), the sweet birds suffered immeasurably for weeks on end, and I lost several weeks off work nursing them round the clock and thankfully back to health each time. The dog owners went on with their lives, never missing a beat. Our neighbor mentioned that your larger dog is a Rhodesian Ridgeback. As you likely know, they are known for their ability to hunt LIONS. Both Ridgebacks and Jack Russells are also renowned for their ability to ruthlessly murder ground dwelling birds. I am a member on a bird website. A heartbroken woman recently posted about a Rhodesian Ridgeback who tore to shreds her birds - she was left with a bloody massacre. There cannot be another breach. All is takes is one minute of distraction, dogs get loose and the suffering can be immeasurable. I am really sorry that I could not talk when you came down to my house a few minutes after I brought your dogs back. I had already explained to you when I was up at your house that I was tremendously late for work as a result of this and having to explain this again when you came down made me even more late. Being late for the crucial meeting was very bad I inconvenienced a lot of people. I tried to explain to you that I had to leave, it wasnt that I didnt want to speak with you I did - I just could not do it at that moment. I hadnt even been able to verify yet that the birds were okay. While my birds seem to be okay, other than being very stressed and in hiding for 2 days afterward (this is bad enough), there can be fallout from these situations even if no one is maimed or killed. I lived it that morning. When I finally got on the road, I realized that in my haste I had grabbed the wrong earring backings so the earrings wouldnt stay in and fell out onto the car floor. I reached down to try to find some pencils so I could rip the erasers off the ends and use them as temporary earring backings. In so doing, my cup of purple pomegranate juice spilled all over my green sweater. And in all the chaos with the dogs, I didnt manage to bring a brush or comb with me. And then there was all the mud on my clothes from the dogs jumping on me. So I was quite the sight for this very important meeting! Erasers coming out the back of my ears, purple splotches on green sweater, hair looking like I had put my finger in an electric socket, dried mud stuck to me here and there. Truly a sight to behold. I believe what happened wasnt in any way intentional and I hope you can understand why I was upset. I dont know if youve ever had it happen to you (I hope not) but it is heartbreaking to see a being you love and have long cared for mauled and in agony and I pray it never happens again. It cannot happen again. I certainly wish we had met under better circumstances. Be well.