It is a route that Victoria resident Lynda and her dog Baxter have walked numerous times in the past, but last week Gonzales Beach became the setting for Lynda’s worst nightmare.
Lynda, who did not want to give her last name, along with her eight-year-old labradoodle, a friend and her two poodle crosses, were walking along the beach, an off-leash area, last Tuesday afternoon.
As they were wrapping up their walk, a dog that Lynda described as a brindle shepherd cross came charging at them full-speed, grabbing onto Baxter’s neck.
“We just grabbed pieces of driftwood and starting beating on this dog, but he wouldn’t let go,” said the 77-year-old pet owner. “The snarling coming from the dog was horrible. I thought he was going to kill my dog right here on the beach.”
The dog eventually let go, running off towards the street. Lynda and her friend picked up their dogs and made their way towards the street. But near the 300-block of Foul Bay Road, the dog returned, this time attacking Ranger, the smaller of the two poodle crosses.
The dog was bleeding profusely while the dog’s owner, Ruth was trying to protect the two dogs.
A good Samaritan who witnessed the attack jumped out of his truck and was able to grab a hold of the dog, leash it and lock it in his truck, while a neighbour called police and animal control.
“Something I’ll never forget is after the nice man who stopped and hauled the dog off, the dog was on the street panting and there was blood dripping from its tongue,” Lynda said. “It was such a horrible sight.”
Victoria police confirmed they attended the incident.
Baxter is currently under veterinary care for the puncture wounds on his left flank, while Ranger had to undergo surgery and have his neck stitched up. The dog will need physiotherapy due to the amount of damage done to his neck.
According to Ian Fraser, senior animal control officer with the City of Victoria, the roughly seven or eight-year-old cross-breed dog was in foster care for a couple of days before it escaped from a nearby home. The people looking after the animal searched, but where unable to find it.
Fraser wouldn’t comment on where the dog came from, but said it had a history of aggressive behaviour, also attacking another dog on a beach in 2012.
“It’s interesting that the incident in 2012 occurred on a beach and the incidents started on a beach. Maybe there’s some sort of connection to that, but we’ll never know,” he speculated.
The dog has since been put down.