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I was viscously attacked

John Bellamy

It is with a very heavy heart that I find myself writing this piece and although this started 8 weeks ago, I tried various things - put in place to avoid it happening again, but it just got worse until I found myself at A&E.

My new and everso loving German Short Haired Pointer ( dog ) , attacked me one evening in my studio above Hamilton Hall and bit me on the leg and butt - and I ran screaming from the room - it frightened the shit out of me - and minutes later she was as if nothing had happened. Absolutely nothing provoked her - she was sleeping on my bed and I walked past and it was the growl, that Devils Dog growl from the bowels of hell that got my attention and the teeth flashing just before she leapt for me it only lasted maybe fifteen seconds and I got out of there screaming in shock.

I was severely shaken up and had a complete ' white out ' - from shock and it took me several hours to recover. Woody was here and looked after me with towels and bowls and water and did his best nursing act and thank God he was here.

The bites were superficial but the damage as done.

WHITE OUT - or WHITIE - From shock, the body goes into overdrive and you feel VERY dizzy and where your whole body is shutting down as you feel yourself sinking into unconsciousness but where you fight it and try and stay conscious as you know you will - any second / minute now, throw up violently and you do not want to be unconscious as you could choke to death. It lasts a good 15 - 45 minutes with your body vibrating on a completely different level and where you absolutely loose control of bodily functions and if not careful, can really come to harm.

It then takes the rest of the night to recover.

Something spooked her. No idea what - as nothing was happening out of the ordinary.

I was apprehensive after that.

A week later, in the middle of the night, and where she was asleep as she always was on the bed next to me cuddling together, I got up to have a pee and lit a torch next to the bed so I could see where I was going and as I stirred to get up, I glanced round at her and her eyes were wide open and the teeth were snarled and that growl - that growl from hell - and as my face was barely a foot away from her, SHE LEAPT AT MY FACE, and in that microsecond I put my head down and she repeatedly attacked and chewed into my scalp 4 or 5 bad and deep bites while I quickly grabbed the quilt and shoved it on her and pushed her away and ran out with her chasing after me barking and growling.

This was at 3am and I woke Woody who again, cleaned me up bandaged the wounds which were bleeding and she was absolutely okay minutes later and he took her down to her bed in my Office / Utility Room area and locked her down there for the rest of the night.

Another complete white out and again, took me hours to recover.

The scabs healed and a couple of weeks passed and we changed the routine. She was now to sleep in the office / utility area and spend limited time with me in my studio in the evenings as - we thought maybe it was something to do with the darkness as she was absolutely loving and sweet as long as there was enough light. Perfect with guests and perfect all day, every day, absolutely no problem. When walking her, I ordered some muzzles just in case.

Then last week - Friday - - early - at 7.30pm again - in my studio, we were on the couch together and I got up to do something and I heard that growl behind me - and as I turned she lunged and bit me on my right wrist just missing important veins, and I was trapped in where I was in the room to get away from her repeated lunging at me with teeth flashing and that growl / bark from hell, and I kept her at bay each lunge with my right hand grabbing her throat and pushing her away while screaming her name at her to stop,- but she just went for it.

Woody heard me screaming and came running in just as I got around her to escape the room again, and I was real shook up and bleeding from the bite on my arm and really sore from other areas she tried to bite but just scraped / scratched the skin - and again, I had a really bad reaction and passed out from shock and threw up and it took the rest of the night to recover from the ordeal.

That was it.

I spent the next morning at A&E as the arm bite was severely infected and I needed various injections and have it properly inspected and bandaged - as from my wrist to my elbow was swollen and red and where my hand was weak and I couldn't bend my wrist or elbow ( so no wanking ..) and was put on a strong animal bite antibiotic and given a double dose at the hospital as the - so very sweet - nurse was worried about the way the infection was going so fast up my arm.

Once home - Woody and I knew exactly what was needed and as much as it broke my heart, she had in that last instance - destroyed any part of me that wanted to make it work and to put things in place to stop it happening again as now this was the final nail in - sadly - her coffin, and I phoned the vet and took her to be put to sleep.

The vet was in complete agreeance that there was no way she could be rehoused with someone else as whatever her story was as a rescue dog from Romania, there was something that triggered her and I was not about to have my face chewed off next time or have a guest put at risk, and she had to be sent to that doggy park in Heaven.

I stayed outside after speaking to the vet as I did not want to be there - as I had with my last dogs I had put to sleep as they were old and ill with cancers, but she was young and alive and loving and had a decade ahead of her and I didn't want to be there to witness her life being taken from her - and my last sight was her going into the vets building with her tail wagging.

It deeply upset me - but not to tears. I was too upset for tears and - actually - relieved not to worry about being attacked again. Once bitten - twice shy - how true, and I was nervous around her and even when being all lovey dovey with me, I was still conscious she had attacked before and could ( would ) again - and it will certainly take me some time to trust again.

I have had dogs since I was 16. Always Weimaraner's ( Pointers ) and they are very gentle dogs and the thought of being bitten / attacked by my own dog never even entered my head before, as it simply never happened and Ella was my third dog here at Hamilton Hall - and it saddens me to have had the experience. My arm is still infected and I am currently ( on writing 27/06/23 ) still on the antibiotics which have started to have an effect and the redness and size of the swelling is going down, as its now been 4 days since the attack and I am ' in recovery.'

So there you have it. Those of you who met Ella found her friendly and sweet and never any thought she was like this and while I told you a few weeks ago through this Blog that not a single person at the Coffee Morning mentioned all the bloodied scab wounds to my head and how I had knocked myself out on the garage door coming down at me, I lied. I didn't want to frighten guests as she was okay with guests, it was just an evening thing - in my studio every time, and to be honest, I have never been so scared.

My lover in the USA decades ago tried to kill me twice and both times - when I realised what he was trying to do, I just laughed and it broke the moment and stopped everything escalating out of control and I was never as scared as - that sound - that grown from hell - that accompanied the attacks, and that sound will haunt me for a long long time.

I won't let this ruin my relationship with dogs and I am sure I will get another, but not for a while and maybe another rescue dog - who knows, and I shall wait and see what the universe sends me.

John Bellamy



This is XXXX from Guernsey (but currently sat on Herm!).

Just passing on my condolences for Ella, I'm so sorry that you had to say good bye to her, as you say when I was there she was a beautiful girl.

But equally those attacks must have been terrifying! All credit to you for persevering with her after the first time!

All my best, hope to be visiting again soon!


John, I did not finish the article on the attack. My very close cousin had a dog that Hadid the same thing,, second time she put him down, I know you love animals. But some like that are just something and I would not chance having him do that again.

Be well and I'll finish the article, hugs sweetie, Mike from Grafton, ohio


Honest sweetheart, you did the right thing. My cousin I told you about would never ever think of putting an animal down , and I was shocked she did so. She said just like you did, sweet and kind and licking her face and what not and then chomped down on her hand the second time, and her arm the first but she was on the floor and said he could have chomped my whole face off! she was so sad but said she believes if an animal does that even once they have it in them and they will do it again if given the chance and she said nope not again. I have another cousin who's 2 yr old child was bitten on the cheek with another rescue dog. so. We choose to have a kitty...she is sweet and loves us and has only tried to bite us when we were brushing or combing out her hair, so its understandable for things like that but just a random never know when it is coming...and some cats can be like that too, but never from a baby if you treat um right.

Be well, heal fast and do without the little one for a while...

Love you Mike


Hi, John,

Hope you're doing okay after those horrendous incidents with your dog! There's so much to process and unpack for you there with the injuries, the dog herself, and the worry about your health. Dreadful. That was a tough read!

Thank you for the amazing work you're doing. It's just wonderful. Looking forward to staying at Hamilton Hall one day! Enjoy the rest of the summer, and wishing you a speedy recovery after this ordeal.

Healing vibes, Andrew x


Hi John, what a terrible time with your lovely dog. You tried hard with him but in the end was a risk too far to keep him. So sorry ,and hope you can recover soon.

Secondly, how we all enjoy your blogs! This week’s hard work gave us a wonderful cornucopia of beautiful men, old and young, enjoying themselves and each other. My short gay life started in mature years when I attended your Man-to-Man Sexuality Workshop Weekend in 2005 and I learned to enjoy all that a guys and gay life could bring.

So, thank you, again. Get well soon and see you in August. Can’t wait!



I know how hard you work putting things together in the hotel and through this Blog and when something upsets that, it hurts deeply. Your own dog as well, tragic, as I remember how well the two of you got on and how pleased you were she was so affectionate after your last ' cold fish' Honey. You will recover and rebuild your trust and will have another loving dog again. You have my respect. J.


Dearest John

I am so, so sorry to hear of your traumas and loss. I cannot imagine what was going through your mind whilst being attacked, or for the pain you felt having to take the action you ultimately had to. I had to have my wonderful Border Collie of 16 years put down, and it smashed my heart. But that was to end HIS suffering, not to protect me or others. So I admire your fortitude and strength in this awful time; it's one thing to "do the right thing", it's another to forgive yourself for it.

Take strength from the happy memories with her, and your other dogs, and know your multitude of friends are right behind you, and thinking of you. And forgive yourself completely.

Take care, and don't rush things.

Love John


Dear John.

I'm so sorry to hear about you and Ella. I hope you're recovering ok, but obviously the shock will take some time. Thank goodness Woody was there. I've always taught my animals early on who the boss is, but it seems like there may have been something in her history that acted as a trigger. You'll never know, but you do know that whatever her background had been, you gave her the best life she could've had at Hamilton Hall and the way she was for the majority of the time certainly reflected that.

With best wishes, N.


Dear John

I was shocked to read this about Ella I am so sorry for you what a beyond horrible experience, I hope you manage to have time to recover, and look after yourself. wishing you all the very best lots of love Martin


Hi John,

Shocked to read your story this morning. I hope that you are getting over the shock ok, and that the cuts and bruises heal up well. Physical injuries heal in time, but at the moment your emotional injuries will need plenty of TLC. Yes, so sad to have to say goodbye to Ella, but it was something you had to do, she could have attacked others as well. Take care my friend, hope you feel better again soon and hope to see you again soon.



Hi John - very sorry to hear about your experiences with your dog. She must have had mental health problems for her to turn from being a sweet loving dog into an attacking dog. Maybe previous owners abused her (you say she was a rescue dog). Be strong, and I hope your wounds - both physical and mental - recover soon. Kind regards, Rob


Oh my God John. You poor thing,. I feel for you as I saw how close you were with Ella and how loving she was with you. You were her world. The way she looked lovingly at you all the time was so sweet. I am shocked and sad for you. K.


John: I had a Doberman once bite me. I had just adopted him aged 5 and that first night he went for me and I screamed and chased that dog around my flat and I was the aggressive one defending myself to such a degree, the dog peed himself with fright and eventually cowed down in the corner and never - ever - attacked me again. He learned that evening that I was the top dog - the alpha - in my home and he was the new comer and to behave, and after that, he did and not a single problem until he died of old age at 12 years old. .



John: Sounds as if something scared Ella and you may never know what it was, but to turn on you like she did and yet offer you so much love and tenderness, sounds a bit schitzo to me. Not knowing how many litters she had in the past and why she came back on heat before you could even have her spayed is unusual and I assume her hormones were out of order to come back on heat within 3 months and not the usual 6. Something was messing with her head and I am so sorry you lost her as I know how fond you were and to have found a loving dog unlike your last Honey, who was so aloof. You will find another dog and next time, all will be well, I feel it.



Dear John.

Just read your blog and am horrified to hear how you were attacked several times by your dog. I don't understand why she attacked you. I can only think that it's the wild instinct in all animals, yes, including human beings. Most of them, and us, keep it in control, subconsciously, I guess. However there is always a risk even with people. It doesn't matter how careful we are, we can never control other's instincts and simply have to trust own.

Sincerely, Michael


Hi John, thanks for another excellent blog. They are the highlight of my Sunday morning. I was shocked to read of the problems you had with your dog, so violent and totally unexpected. Hopefully when the scars have healed you will be able to put it behind you. On a happier note, I am counting down the weeks to my next visit in October. Can't wait !

Cheers Graham


I was bitten when I was a child by a neighbours dog who then refused to take responsibility and have the dog put down. It went on to bite several other children on the school run - all in one afternoon, and despite the neighbour trying to blame the kids, the police prosecuted the man and euthanized the dog. It put me right off dogs ever since, hence I have 6 cats. They scratch the furniture and occasionally us, but nothing I cannot cope with.



John. I am shocked. She was always so gentle every time I came round. The way she cuddled into you, sat on you, laid across you, genuinely showed real love and affection towards you and the things you told me about how she would wake you in the morning - in bed - playing to wake you up for breakfast and how sweet she was in doing so. So sad to hear about the attacks as I would never have thought she had that side in her. Whatever her hidden past in Romania before being rescued was, it left its mark. I know you talked a lot about getting a rescue dog from Romania, and maybe next time, you will stay closer to home and get a dog with a known past track record.



Hello John, so sorry to hear about the problems you had and very sad too. I can’t begin to imagine how you felt about it all. Animals are family to us and upsetting when things don’t turn out OK. Thoughts with you, Michael


Hi John,

I just read your blog about Ella, sorry to hear about it and that again nobody noticed at breakfast… My goodness! I’m scared of dogs because of childhood experiences but for you who has always lived with dogs this just sounds heart-breaking. I’m sending you bright light and get well soon wishes. I loved your ‘There are some decent people in the world’ article.

Much Love, M. Xx --------------------

So sorry to hear about your dog John. I met Ella and she was so sweet. Never thought she had that in her and - obviously neither did you. Did the man you got her from know of this aggressiveness when he sold her to you ? How could he not have known and warned you or maybe he just wanted the money and rid of her. He had her for 18 months before you, how could he not have known.



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