Dog injures pets; owners fearful; Louie's wounds cover his body.


Byline: Ellie Oleson

AUBURN - Louie the dog survived Hurricane Katrina but nearly died during a Thanksgiving Day attack that was a nightmare for one local family.

Christine V. Herbert was in her kitchen at 15 Elizabeth Drive Thursday morning, basting a turkey, while her husband, William M. Herbert, and six relatives were visiting.

Outside, the Herberts' dogs, Maggie, a 90-pound, 9-year-old Portuguese water dog, and Louie, a 27-pound, mixed breed the family had adopted from a rescue organization after Hurricane Katrina, romped with a relative's 1-year-old, 40-pound Goldendoodle. All three dogs were outside, within an electronic invisible fence that surrounds the Herberts' 3-acre property.

"My stepdaughter said Louie was barking strangely and there was another dog out there," Mrs. Herbert said.

She raced out in time to see Louie being shaken back and forth in the mouth of a huge, black Newfoundland, 5 feet from the kitchen door. Blood was spattered everywhere.

"I kicked the dog as hard as I could. The boy that owns the Newfoundland grabbed its tail and tried to pull it off. Louie got free and hobbled into the house. The dog chased him inside, knocking over my 13-year-old daughter. My husband grabbed that huge head in a headlock. Blood dripped down my husband's pants and all over the kitchen," Mrs. Herbert said tearfully, still badly shaken.

While the son of the owner of the Newfoundland left with that dog, Mrs. Herbert rushed Louie in his crate to the Foster Hospital for Small Animals at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in Grafton.

"I thought he was dead," Mrs. Hebert said yesterday. "There was so much blood. We stayed for three hours while he had X-rays and got stitches all over his body. He came home Sunday night, but has been very quiet. He has a cone around his neck and is so uncomfortable. He's hardly eating or drinking. He didn't even lift his head when I came into the kitchen this morning." She spoke shortly before taking the dog back to the Cummings School to be checked.

"I'm so afraid he'll die. He was protecting us and the other dogs, but what can a 27-pound dog do against a 150-pound monster? I can still see that huge black head with blood dripping from its teeth."

Mrs. Herbert said she is afraid to go out of her house without a baseball bat for protection and has even considered getting a license to carry a gun since this isn't the first time her dogs have been attacked by the Newfoundland.

In June...

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