View Full Version : biting dogs and runaway trailers

David Gretzmier
05-27-2011, 02:24 AM
had 2 low moments and one high moment this week. feel free comment or to share any stories that relate.

low moment number one was nearly getting bit by a dog while fixing a timer on a wonderful nightscaping trans.

I could hear the dog inside barking, and knew this dog was capable of biting from my original meeting with the client. I waited at the back picket fence gate and rattled it hard, waiting for the dog to possibly come out the dog door. after seeing the dog barking at the back window and waiting a long 10 second pause, I carefully went in the back gate with no problems. I went to the trans, knelt and took off the cover, push up and lift and... why won't these covers ever come off easy?, push, fingernails...grab the multi-tool and pry, and cover comes off and began working on the trans when I heard the click of paws on the porch behind me. this dog was not barking, but growling and coming towards me fast. I lunged for the gate and vaulted over, well, attempted may be a better word. gate kinda wobbles under me and the dog gets my boot and pulls me back. my stomach goes to the pickets and breaks two tops, and I go head first over the gate into the concrete taking the dog with me. The dog lets go of boot when he realizes that his neck is over the the 2x4 and kinda squeezed betwen broken pickets, and then he proceeds to try to bite me through the gate. bleeding and angry, the painter comes over and asks if I am ok, and proceeds to tell me that the dog has almost gotten him 3 times. I make the mistake of calling my contact person and ask why the dog was available to eat me when I told him I was coming at 6 , and though I calmed down as we talked, I probably was too upset on the phone. the scabs on my bald head are healing nicely.

The next day I got a great high for the week- the deposit/contract on a project for a client I have been wanting to do for some years now. I can't really go into detail until I have permission to use their name, but it always feels good to know you can land high visablity clients, by just by referral, reputation and no discounts. I am just excited by taking it from where it is to looking awesome.

today brought another low. at the end of the day one of our trailers- the 24 foot triaxle, broke loose from our f-450 box van and took out a mailbox, a small tree and cable box, and ended up in a fence. safety chains ripped the metal off the bumper, and it appears the trailer hitch itself does not fully lock on the ball. luckily, and thankfully no one was hurt, and the property damage was minimal. this could have been spectacularly worse.

I put new safety chains on the trailer tonight, and if these ever break, either the truck or trailer will have to be totaled in the process. I will buy a new bulldog hitch tomorrow, and go ahead and put a new jack on as well.

In case you are wondering, the old chains were 5/16 high test rated at 3900 pounds each. it looked fine, as it was bigger than most safety chains I had seen. hopefully bigger is better in this case. my new chain is the 3/8 transport grade 70 goldish colored chain. rated at 6600 pounds each, I warappd around and bolted this through the tailer frame with grade 8 1/2" bolts rather than rely on welds. it now clips to truck using winch hooks with spring closure, to a new 1/2" quick link rated at 7500 pounds each. this link is also bolted through the bumper with 1/2" grade 8 bolts. I have no idea what physical forces happen when a trailer cuts loose, but this looks overkill silly. hopefully this will hold the trailer if the hitch ever fails again.

Take a look at your safety chains and upgrade them now if they look skimpy. I thought mine were fine.

anybody got dog or trailer stories?

RLI Electric
05-27-2011, 08:55 AM
I have realized that you need to always look DOWN when doing landscape lighting. Some of the challenges in landscape lighting do not exist in interior lighting (well, mostly). I came to this epiphany sitting on a log, cleaning the bottoms of my Redwings. Although, I haven't been bitten by a dog in a long time, it is always those little rat dogs that do the biting and not the big tough ones. They are usually cupcakes. Ha, and they leave cupcakes in the yard too

05-27-2011, 10:00 AM
While I'm not at job sites on a daily basis, I did have a little-dog-from-hell encounter a few weeks ago. I was visiting one of our vendors and walked into the office. I was warmly greeted by the owner and not so warmly by a little dog about the size of a toaster.

The dog proceeded to bark and hop around my feet as I walked through the office. "Don't mind her" the owner said. I tried not to and succeeded until the dog started to bite my ankles. It felt like tiny needles piercing the skin.

As nicely as possible, I said, "Your dog is biting me." The owner replied, "Oh, she never bites." I replied, "She does now."

Eventually the dog got bored and moved away. My ankles itched like crazy.

This story is nothing compared to David's escape-from-death, it's just one more example of dog owner delusion.

05-27-2011, 10:33 PM
I had a bid about a month ago in which I had to walk behind the homeowners house to see the area in question to bid. I had to walk back out to my truck to get my notebook and this guys stupid "chog" (more cat than dog) kept attacking my shoe laces and by the time I got to the truck managed to untie both shoes. So now I have my notebook and shoes re-tied. Back into the fray with the stupid little ankle biter achieving the same results by the time I hit the back patio. No apology from the homeowner or attempt to get his chog to stop. Long story short, homeowner says I'm overpriced, I bid him good day and proceeded to walk back to my truck. I turn and go around the corner of the house (out of view now), with the chog hot on my shoelaces. Field goal practice!!! He didn't come after my shoe laces again. Stupid chogs.
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05-28-2011, 12:24 AM
So Tim.........was it just an extra point or a 50 yard'r? :)

05-28-2011, 03:41 AM
It is an absolute, carved in stone, by Moses himself policy of mine not to do business with owners of crazy dogs. 99.9999999% of the time, the dog reflects a defect of personality or character in the owner. Letting a dog nip you and trivializing that bad behavior leads me to several conclusions about the owner. The mere idea of an owner having a vicious dog, knowing of its behavior and not taking actions to correct such behavior is a huge red flag to me. I have never known a nice, and easy to deal with client who was also attached to an out of control mutt.

The Lighting Geek
05-29-2011, 10:56 PM
I was entering a backyard a while ago, got about 15' down the side yard and I heard something big lunging/running towards me around the corner of the house and instinctively didn't bother with the gate and one handed it over the fence as a 160+ lb rottweiler skidding to a stop at the gate. The homeowner said she just wanted to play, I'm checking my shorts and told her I'm out of here. She was apologetic and all, but I didn't care. I was impressed though with the one handed leap over the 6' fence..lol It is amazing what a little adrenalin can do!

Now I ask if they have a dog...DUH...lol

starry night
05-30-2011, 11:02 AM
..... I was impressed though with the one handed leap over the 6' fence..

Gold medal if that were an Olympic event. :)

05-30-2011, 05:23 PM
Gold medal if that were an Olympic event. :)

Especially with a load in your shorts!!!:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

05-31-2011, 07:23 AM
We were working on a pier few years back and I walked off the pier to go to the van an a 25 LB goose was in attack mode an chased at me for 30 feet or so , it was a wild looking site to say the least.


RLI Electric
05-31-2011, 07:36 AM
Not really my story but I'll share it anyway. A friend of mine worked for the phone company and worked in a depressed area in Hartford. He was walking through an alley to get to one of the apartments when he heard a slow klink, klink sound. He stopped and so did the noise. He started walking again and the klinking started up again. In time with his steps. He thought maybe it was something on his tool belt. He stops again and so does the noise. So he starts walking again as does the noise. He picks up the pace and so does the klinking. He told me he had the urge to run, which he did and the klinking starts going at a rapid pace to all the sudden, WHAM, he hears a sudden choking sound. He turned and it was a 140 pound Rottweiller with all the scars and other battle wounds you can imagine. The klinking sound had been the chain rubbing against a post.The chain had run out and slammed the dog to the ground. It never growled or barked but I am sure as is he, that he got lucky that day

05-31-2011, 09:45 AM
I'm not a lighting contractor but I own a dog that bites. When my cousin passed away,his Yugoslavian Mountain dog had to find a home,or be put down.He knows my family since he was a puppy so we took him in 2 years ago.
One not so bright 20 year old kid ,decided to ignore the large Beware of Dog sign and open the gate to our yard. When he saw this 110 pound dog charging him he turned and ran;without closing the gate.Jake caught the kid 1/2 a block away and bit him in the butt,let go and having done his job wandered across the street to pee on a tree,where I grabbed him by the collar and walked him home.My son talked to the kid who was rubbing his butt,gave him $1 for bus fare and he never reported it or came back to our house.
Another kid walked unannounced into our kitchen and jake bit him in the stomach. (never reported) Our house used to be the neighborhood hangout,but thanks to Jake they have moved on,they only come in our basement occasionally ,never in our house. (jake is pictured on the right of my avatar)

David Gretzmier
06-02-2011, 09:24 AM
I am not sure about the law, but I am pretty sure if a dog bites you on the owners property the owner of the dog is safe from liability. I think there may be an exception for yugoslavian mountain dogs, but only the long hair. the short hair is fine.

06-02-2011, 10:28 AM
I am not sure about the law, but I am pretty sure if a dog bites you on the owners property the owner of the dog is safe from liability. I think there may be an exception for yugoslavian mountain dogs, but only the long hair. the short hair is fine.

Fortunately his bites were never reported.When he's at the dog park,people walk up him and pet him without incident,but when he's home,he considers himself on duty.We never lock the doors to our house anymore,no need to.He is the long hair variety,used by sheep ranchers to guard against coyotes etc.My neighbor said in his homeland Albania,ranchers leave a pair of these dogs with their flocks,and can go down into the village for supplies(be gone for days) ,these dogs will fight off bears,wolves anything that threatens the flock(including poachers trying to steal)

06-02-2011, 01:03 PM
used to do directional boring, co worker walked into a back yard to locate the cable tv, we heard a sliding door open then a little boy yellin "NO BEAR COME BACK" chomp co worker has holes in ass and dog is gets it with a shovel a few times before it decides to go bk in! non fenced yard, the boy didnt see us and was letting his doggie out to pee