What would RTH do?

That is the question.

If I were in a highschool yearbook, they would vote me most likely to die of a lynch mob. That does not prevent me from opening my mouth and serving a warm hearty cup of STFU to people who deserve it. My dark scathing humor will leave no matter of existence untouched. My innocence will touch your soul.

Welcome to a warped world turned inside out and upside down. All sorts of discretion advised.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Lessons in tragedy

Sometimes I begin to wonder if I am a terrible mommy. It seems that every few months my baby girl Aria needs to be rushed to emergency veterinary care. Try as hard as I might to keep her healthy and safe, trouble always comes brewing our way. So it was so on Friday evening, during our daily walk.

After talking an extensive stroll around our neighborhood, we were headed our way back home. All of a sudden I heard a child's scream. I turned my head and saw a mighty large Labrador tearing from way across the road in our direction like a bull on parade. The child was screaming calling the dog back, but the dog bounded on relentlessly. I braced myself to prepare Aria. Aria suffers nervous anxiety, and I was preparing her not to react negatively.

Unfortunately, I did not prepare for the worst - from the other dog. When the dog reached us he literally clamped her hind area in his jaws. My heart was beating in a frenzy, my mind blacked out. My baby girl was getting attacked by a giant dog and I had to do something. So against all good sense that they teach about dog handling, I grabbed the lab by its collar and pulled it back. It kept going at her, while I mustered all my strength in my already wobbly knee to try to hold it back by the collar. Instead of the calm assertive energy they advice all the time, I was screaming frantically like a two year old who just broke their favorite toy. Screaming with the fools hope of a lonely woman being mugged, that someone actually might help.

Eventually, the owner came out to take his dog away. The funny thing is, his kids had seen their dog try to maul my dog and now they wanted to pet Aria. Despite what she had been through, Aria waited patiently tail between the legs for the kids to pat her head and rub her neck. I checked her for injuries but could not see any, so continued walking home. Another dog walker who had seen the incident came up to see how we were. She offered treats and petted Aria. It was very kind of her, because it made my whimpering, shivering, shaken baby a happy little puppy again.

When I got home, I decided it was good measure to recheck Aria for injuries again. It was then I discovered a gaping hole by her thigh. My dad immediately gave us a ride to the veterinary emergency care while my mom went to the offending dogs owner's house to have them foot the bill. Its usually the code of conduct in dog ownership that you own up to damages caused by your dog or if you are a jerk you wait to be sued.

The diagnosis:

Aria suffered a puncture wound to the abdominal cavity. She was lucky that it was a surface wound, any deeper it would have been critical damage to the abdomen. She was sedated and operated on to clean the wound and stitch it up. She will have a drain attached to the hole to drain the would of fluids and prevent septic build up. Usually, this process is not excruciatingly painful - but Aria is an idiot who suffers nervous anxiety. Any human who has this fear anxiety knows that such nervousness manifests and increases hypothetical pains. So we have a dog who is thrashing, whimpering and howling in manifested pain. Its been an ordeal.

The family owning the attacking dog is not in financial position to pay us. The guy lost his job. They have an autistic child. The mom is just in training in her job. Their house is facing foreclosure. We can go to small claims court and recover damages. In fact many acquaintances are recommending that we sue. However, our family has decided that we will let them decide if they want to pay or not. We will not force them into this.

The lessons:

Our baby Aria is a strong girl. From injuries, to infections, from abscesses to reactions to vaccinations - she goes through it all. Yet immediately after she bounces back to her happy go lucky crazy bundle of joy please calm her down I cannot keep up with her lunacy kind of nature.

I'm obviously not as smart as I think I am or would like to be. I will never forget the citronella spray bottle. Its not just for Aria's barking but it prevents dog attacks. I need to remember calm assertiveness. I did not let go of Aria's leash, and did not manage to control the dog in an assertive manner.

My fight or flight mechanism is fight. I foolishly put myself in mortal peril for my dog. I was lucky the attacking dog did not go after me. Dogs can mangle human appendages in minutes. But the thing to remember is that when you love someone, danger to yourself does not matter. All you want to do is ensure that people you love are safe.

One thing I have always worried about is that can I stand up to my own principles of compassion and forgiveness. I preach compassion and forgiveness, to sometimes let things go and move on. I've always wondered if I can stand true to it. The fact that I have absolutely no anger or hard feelings, that I would want to cuddle the attacking lab sometime, and actually pray for the family to overcome their hardships has reassured me that I indeed am deep within a warm fuzzy person.

You do not look after the ones you love because you can afford to. You do so because you want to.

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