Esme’s Blog: My Dog Attacked At The Loppet

By Esme Murphy, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — I don’t like to get scooped, especially when it’s my own story. Actually, it’s my dog’s story. On Saturday night, I put out a number of tweets hoping to find the owner of an Alaskan Malamute who mauled my German Short Hair, Brock, during the Luminary Loppet on Lake of the Isles. CJ, the gossip columnist from the Star Tribune, called Monday about the Tweets and I told her what happened. I expect it to be in her column soon.

So, here is my family’s version.

First, I wasn’t there. I was at my son’s hockey game. My husband, my brother-in-law and my 9-year-old daughter all went cross country skiing in the Luminary Loppet. Also skiing, or rather “skijoring,” was our dog Brock. Skijoring, for the uninitiated, is when the skier is pulled by a dog in a special harness tethered to the skier with a bungee cord.

As they took a break, Brock went up to an Alaskan Malamute. Brock, who could stand to lose a few, weighs about 90 pounds. My husband estimates the Malamute weighs about 120. Because of the bungee cord my husband could not immediately pull him back.

The Malamute, who was on a leash, jumped Brock, got his head between his jaws and dragged him down. My brother-in-law hit the Malamute with his ski pole, breaking not only the hold on Brock, but his pole as well. Brock was bleeding from his ear and had puncture wounds on his neck. As bystanders rushed to help, the owner of the other dog left.

Brock is going to be fine. He went to the Vet. The wound areas have been shaved and he is on antibiotics. My daughter, who is also called Esme, is still badly shaken. As you can tell from the picture, she adores Brock.

Having covered many horrific dog bite stories I cannot help but wonder what would have happened if Esme, or another child had approached this dog. There were thousands of people at this event. The dog should have been wearing a muzzle.

I want to thank everyone for their kind comments and tweets of concern. It has meant a lot to me and especially to Esme, who has been comforted that there are so many people who care about her best friend.

  • Roger Johnson

    Two important things. I have been training dogs since the 70’s. We take them to training and to trials in obedience and agility. We never allow “greeting” unless our dogs are on 6 ft. leads and the other dog(s) is also. Control is the key to safe conditions. Your skijoring harness does not qualify for the control you want in a greeting situation. Some might think we are being snobs but we have never had our dogs attacked nor have they been involved in attacking another dog.
    You may want to check but I have been told that the largest number of dog attacks in dog parks involve Mallamutes. I do not know this first hand – just a statement from a law officer. You would have to investigate this for yourself.

  • Julia Beasley

    Sorry for your ordeal. Hope everyone gets over the shock – especially your daughter. Brock sounds like a friendly, IMPORTANT part of the family. It’s very unfortunate the night skijoring ended this way.

  • Haterade

    You took a call from CJ? Whether you are in the press or not, I would recommend anyone getting a call from CJ just hangs up the phone. That is unless you want things to be distorted, blown out of proportion and slanted just to sell a few more newspapers!

  • Roundy

    The Malamute was on a lease, your dog Brock was on a bungee cord. The dog on the lease could be pulled away the dog on the Bungee could not. Many dogs are very possessive about the space they occupy. I had a dog; she loved all dogs until one day she was attacked while she was on a lease. Ever since that day she would not let other dogs approach her when she was on a lease. As a dog owner I need to take care to keep my dog under control and out of harms way. Events like the Skijoring, at the Luminary loppet are fun but they offer challenges that not everyone and every dog is aware of. I hope your dog is OK and every one can overcome the trauma of this event. I am sure that if your family takes part in this event next year they will approach it with the wisdom they learned this year. Lets hope your readers will too.
    PS. Give Brock a treat from all your fans.

  • Tony Rozycki

    Sounds like using a bungee cord as a dog leasH may be a bit of a stretch.

  • sodapopp

    Blame the handler for using a bungee cord, not the other dog.

  • sleepingdreamer

    I was ready to pen a very entertaining topic. But then I dozed off. I really need a pick me up with more going for it than Red Bull. Does someone know where I could buy modafinil?


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