Meet our family's newest member, Arlo (pictured above). He's just under five months old as of this story, and a very sweet little boy with our kids.

He's a rescue dog who was brought to our area when he was just eight weeks old. And although there can be many unknowns when it comes to rescues in terms of health, he's so far doing fantastic.

Now yes, potty training is taking a while, but he's getting better with it. And he's also been introduced to a few other dogs within our family, as well as our immediate neighbors.

When the weather isn't too cold out, we've been trying to work with walking him more. Although that was a bit challenging at first, recently he's really beginning to get the hang of it.

We're also fortunate that our elementary school is within walking distance from our home. It allows us to take him with us on the drop-offs and pick-ups.

And I've gotta tell you, he absolutely loves seeing all the kids and other parents at the school. He really is fantastic with children and other pets alike.

But that might be changing a little bit now as we go forward after the incident we just went through. Now before I go any further, I think it's important to point out that neither our puppy nor our son got hurt.

They were, however, shaken up. In fact, all of us were. My wife and I were walking with both our sons back from school and had our pup with us.


What Happened?

My kids have been learning how to handle a puppy on the leash and have been getting the hang of controlling him. And on this particular day, one of my sons was walking him on the leash.

We decided to go on a slightly longer walk home and take a street we normally don't go on. We had just crossed one intersection when we approached this big, two-story corner house.

As we were ready to walk past it on the sidewalk, we saw two dogs in the yard by the front door. Neither dog, however, was leashed up, nor was there a fence surrounding this house. There were, however, some hedges.

So as we walk by, both dogs start barking. At the moment, we're thinking that either the dogs are well-trained to stay on the property, or that there had to be an invisible fence.

Stephanie Deissner

The Incident

Shortly after we passed the front door of the house, one of the two dogs made a move. I noticed it backed up, then ran full force onto the sidewalk and right onto our dog.

And this dog was much bigger than ours. My dog suddenly got frightened, as did my son.

The leash also wrapped around my son making it hard for our puppy to move himself. But this larger dog would not stop.

Even though I'm trying to describe the events that unfolded in detail, in reality, this all happened very quickly.

Ryan McVay

Escalation Continued

Even though the dog got to us really fast, the part about getting this dog away from my son and puppy did not. I had to throw down everything I was carrying to get in there and separate this dog from them.

Eventually, this dog got the hint and eventually ran really fast back onto the property. It was, however, still barking at us.

At the time it seemed like aggression. Rightfully so with how badly this dog seemed to want to get onto our dog.


Where is anybody?

Here's the other thing. There were no homeowners anywhere. At all. Just these two big dogs hanging out in the front yard on their own. And yes, that one dog could get through the spots where the hedges were.

Our pup got so scared that he actually pooped on himself with his tail down. He was also shaken up, as were both my sons.

What's more, one of our neighbors who lives close to us came to say hi, and for the first time, our dog was scared of them. That never happened before, but goes to show how terrified our poor little guy was.



So after we got home and I got our dog cleaned up, as well as checking for any bites or scratches, I went back to that house to confront the owner. All I could think of at that moment was, "What the hell!?"

Now, we were very fortunate that nobody got hurt or that any blood was shed during that incident. It definitely could've been much worse had my wife and I not been there to take quick action.

But right before I got back to that house, I saw another person walking their dog in front of that very same house. And, like us, that very same dog also charged this guy's dog at full speed.

Eventually, that same dog returned back again, and I told that other person what had happened to us about half an hour earlier. Quite clearly, nobody was watching these animals.

Explanation / Shocked / Surprised

The Front Door

When I got to the front of the house, both dogs were there barking at me. However, there was no way to get to the front door without walking through both of them.

Since this was important to me, I decided to start walking up anyway. And as you might've guessed, both dogs seemed uneasy with me approaching.

But after standing there awhile calmly petting and talking to the dogs, they got friendly toward me and allowed me to get to the front door.

Finally, I was able to ring the doorbell, but it took a couple of tries before anyone came to the door. Again, nobody was around at all outside to watch these two dogs.

Covered porch and front door of beautiful new home

The Confrontation

When the person finally came to the door, they didn't seem to know that any of this had happened. From what I can tell, they were by themself at the time.

Now when you confront anyone whose dogs get loose, you never know what to expect. Will the person be aggressive? Will they be dismissive?

Well, I'm glad to say that neither of those was the case. In fact, the guy was very apologetic.

They had one of those invisible fences but apparently, the one dog got brave enough to go through it anyway. That would also explain why the dog backed up first before running full force through it and out onto the sidewalk.

Shaking Hands
Flickr User Wirawat Lian-Udom

An Understanding

The homeowner genuinely seemed to have no idea the one dog was doing that. After I explained what happened with us, as well as the other dog owner that went by, he put the dogs inside.

My honest thinking was that the homeowner had no idea the dog figured out how to breach the invisible fence, and I was right. I also thought it was important for me to go to the house directly to talk as opposed to making assumptions on social media.

Yes, we could've assumed this was a terrible person, but I didn't get that vibe at all. Nor did I feel threatened by the dogs after they calmed down.

But it also doesn't change the fact that this dog did get out and is frightening others. This could've ended very differently should it have happened to the wrong person or wrong animal.

NJ Pets / dog / cat
Getty Images/iStockphoto (Canva)

What You Need To Know

Should this happen to you, try to resist going onto social media without first knowing the facts or details. Yes, if you get attacked and someone does get seriously hurt, call the police.

Since that didn't happen in my case, I thought it was better to go back on my own. You never know if it truly is something the owner is aware of.

As for those of us who have dogs? We need to make sure that they're properly secured and have no way of getting out. We also need to keep a better eye on them.

Especially with those invisible fences. As I just learned, some dogs do learn how to resist the shock. Please be more careful, and thank you for understanding.

(Photo: Steve DiMatteo, Unsplash)
(Photo: Steve DiMatteo, Unsplash)

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The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 Sunday morning host Mike Brant. Any opinions expressed are his own.

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