I’m not sure what time it was yesterday. The sun had dropped behind the Micheltorena Ridge to the west but it wasn’t anywhere near dark yet. I was in the office when I heard Susan say “Oh no!” before I heard what she was saying “Oh no!” about.

Then the screaming outside amped up and I looked out the library window to find two women on the sidewalk across the street struggling with their dogs who had engaged. One I recognized. She and her two dogs live in the recently repainted craftsman to the north across the street. The other woman I hadn’t seen before and she was growing increasingly panicked and proportionally loud because she was trying to pull her big crop-earred pitbull off the neighbor’s dog and the pitbull, as they are well known for doing, was holding on tight.

I’m genetically predisposed to involving myself in these situations so through the living room and out the frontdoor I go, barefoot down the front steps, with Susan telling me to be careful while keeping Ranger and Shadow from coming with me. I start across the street but at a measured pace because first I don’t want to stub my toes (which I’m really good at doing and there are few things I hate doing to myself more than stubbing a toe), second I don’t want to burst upon everyone and freak the women or their animals any further, and third I don’t want to jump in the middle of a dog fight that I can’t break-up.

By the time I hit the curb and look around the parked car they’re behind, the woman with the pitbull is on the ground in the middle of the two dogs and screaming as if she’s the one being attacked.

Fortunately she wasn’t and from down where she was she saw me as I moved in and grabbed the pit’s collar and tried to calmly whisper to her to try to quiet down and move away and let me see what I could do. Very much to her credit and maybe her relief she did as I asked, coming up and away from the melee holding a bloody hand that neighbors from the house to the south immediately tended to with hydrogen peroxide and bandages they had available. In my periphery I could see other neighbors coming out in curiosity.

But mainly now it was just me and the neighbor and the two dogs. The good news was that the pit had what amounted to nothing worse than the other dog’s right jowl in its jaws. The bad news was that the pitbull had a really tight clamp on the flesh and really had nothing better to do than hold on tight.

So I straddled the beast and lifted it by its collar enough to gets its front legs off the ground put a little pressure on its windpipe and basically I just stroked its neck and patted its side and whispered in its ear that it was OK to let go now while the other dog’s blood dripped on the sidewalk and my bare left foot.

And after a few more seconds, thankfully, it did and the dogs parted. Still in proximity of the rival the pit made a semi-weary lunge in an attempt to reacquire, but I held firm and after going nowhere it sat down panting for a bit while the neighbor retired from the field to get her dog (unleashed, I must add)  in the house. Once they were both out of view the pit went to work cleaning up the blood splattered on my foot and then we just chilled for awhile there on the sidewalk with me complimenting it for being such a good dog, at least relatively speaking.

Eventually we made our way to where the pit’s understandably distraught guardian was being treated and I learned that “Chopper” was a rescue and there was actually a second pitbull with her and that when she let its leash go to concentrate on stopping the fight it booked south. Thank goodness for that small favor. Can you imagine two pits involved? Yikes.

As to her injured hand,  she suffered it by doing the ultimate no-no and reaching into the middle of the two dogs, wherein Chopper bit and wrenched her hand badly enough for her to think one or more of her fingers was broken. Ouch.

By then the neighbor had come back after securing her dog and apologized saying it was all her fault; that she’d let out her two dogs offleash out through the front door without seeing the woman and the two pits. The smaller dog then charged after the pits and the bigger dog followed and Chopper got the drop on the latter. While the second pit ran one way the the neighbor’s other dog ran the other.

In an attempt to be helpful she got in her car to cruise the neighborhood to see if she could find the fugitive pit, but while she was doing that the injured woman’s boyfriend arrived with the news that “Nell” had come straight home to their place a block over, putting him on the alert. He took “Chopper” from me and walked him home to get his car to come back and take her to the hospital.

Before leaving she was very thankful to the people that helped with her injury and to me for being there to lend a hand, so to speak. I told her to think nothing of it and not to beat herself up mentally anymore than she already was physically.

And after she’d gone we were finally formally introduced to the neighbor, Julie, who then left to take her dog to the vet for hopefully what amounted to nothing more than a few stitches. We learned the couple who ran the impromptu triage station are David and Carol Lee.

It was nice to meet them, adrenline-charged circumstances not withstanding.