For some reason I just like the look of Oi! Call me crazy. It’s ok.
So, I just had the most horrible weekend. It was stolen from me. As was my peace of mind… I don’t know that my following words can express just how very angry this weekend makes me. This is what happened:
Cast O’ Characters
Here’s my dad. (He’s wonderful, BTW. And I am lucky to have him.)
Now what you can’t see from this picture of my lovely parents is that my dad is in a wheel chair. He was a fighter pilot who had a stroke. He learned to walk again. Despite the debilitating nature of his stroke, he worked until he retired. He’s a hero.
Here are my parents dogs:
This is Maddie. She’s sweet, obedient, loving, and I taught her to roll onto her back when I tap my foot on the ground, so she can have a belly rub with my toes. She’ll snuggle when you are sick, and every day Max cleans around her eyes.
This is Max. He and Maddie are best friends. He’s a crap. He’s also pretty kungfu when it comes to getting food despite his 2 inch legs. And we love him to pieces.
So, what happened was this:
First, Mum was out of town. Even when she’s here, Dad walks the dogs. This last sunny Sunday afternoon, dear ole’ Dad took the dogs for a walk. It just so happens I was walking my dogs at the same time. Since we live next door, I ran into them and Maddie jumped up on my leg, tail wagging to say a hello. She, Max, Jack and Sookie were fully enjoying the fresh sunshine, cool breezes, and leg stretching. All the dogs touched noses, and then Dad took off. As a former fighter pilot, he drives his wheel chair nearly at the speed of light, so we don’t walk the dogs together.
Now the lovely little walks we have by our apartments leads to a park and a rarely used road lined with empty fields and the back of a our apartments, a Safeway complex, and some townhouses. I went to the park, walked around the cement path, and found a home on a park bench to let Sook and Jack sniff stuff while I read. Dad took the longer route and let the dogs go all the way to the Safeway.
In this walk, you will often find other people walking their own dogs. Generally small dogs. There is an assisted living center, so a silver-haired grandma walks her pug attached to her walker; there’s a woman from a close-by neighborhood who walks her weiner dog. My dogs are only 15 pounds. In fact, our Maddie at 30 pounds is often one of the largest dogs trotting around these sidewalks.
Which is why its so tragic that an off-the-leash German Shepherd Mix rushed after the dogs. Dad didn’t see anything more than a flash of fur. Max had enough warning to leap for my Dad’s lap. Yet, Maddie–sweet Maddie was picked up “like a rag doll” (Dad’s description) and shook around. Dad tried to free her. He kicked at the dog only to lose his shoe. The owner of this hell-beast actually had to wrestle his dog off of Maddie. Then they left.
Here was poor, bloody, bitten Maddie about 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile from home. She was too damaged to jump into my Dad’s lap, and Dad couldn’t lift her because of the effects of the stroke. So Maddie had to limp home on her torn muscles.
Once home, Maddie went straight for her safe spot under the bed, and Dad came to knock on my door. I was still in the park, though. Thankfully, Emily (my sister) was there. She called me, and I came home. We coaxed Maddie out from under the bed, lifted her to Em’s lap while I tried to clean her up. It took me about 2 minutes to realize this was beyond me, so we spent the afternoon covered in blood in the vet office while we waited to hear the news. (This was incredibly gross and devastating.)
The end? Well its not over yet–but Maddie had to have surgery. Dad and Mom had to shell out money from their fixed income. Income they don’t really have to spare, so Maddie could get the help she needed.
Is it necessary for me to go off on my rage? To explain how preventable this is? I mean there are leash laws for a reason. To explain how we know that Max is a little aggressive around other dogs. Therefore, we keep him on a leash outside, we avoid meeting other dogs on our walks, we protect the other dogs and Max. I mean come on! If it had been any of the smaller dogs, they would have died in all likelihood.
Excuse me for raging, but I ended up taking a day off of work, spending another afternoon in a vet’s office, watching my mom’s face as she saw our precious Maddie too hurt to crawl out of her crate to greet my mom after a week of being gone. Maddie who never, ever goes in the house pottied in her crate rather than getting up and then laid in her own mess. Maddie who will crawl up on your lap when you are sad had diarrhea in the depths of her terror as she was being shook like a rag doll. Maddie, who is pretty much perfect for a dog, shakes when my dogs bark. My dogs whom she knows, sees nearly every day, and are half her size. Maddie, oh Maddie….
Now I’ve put a picture next of what the other dog did. It’s pretty bad, so if you don’t want to see don’t scroll down. The picture doesn’t actually show how bad the attack was. This was the night of the attack before the bruising fully showed up. The next day a full bruise outlining the hell-beasts jaw is now fully apparent.
Maddie also has a drain–which is just plain nasty. It’s leaking all out on your lap or over the bedding in her crate. If she doesn’t get an infection and if her liver recovers (her liver enzymes are up), she’ll be ok physically. Will she happy walking in the neighborhood on a sunny day again?
Well that’s a lot more unlikely isn’t it?
ps My writing this weekend was minimal. And that’s OK insofar as I was taking care of Maddie and not OK insofar as this should never have happened.