Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Dog Attack and Sideways Blessings

First of all, I cannot get over this weather we are having. In AUGUST! I have lived in the Midwest most of my life and I don't ever, ever, ever, remember a summer that was too COLD to go swimming, in the middle of August. Not too mention sleeping with windows open? It is truly bizarre to me. But nevertheless, I am loving it!!!

So recently, our sweet little shihapoo dog, Kaiya, was attacked at a school playground. Fortunately, no kids were involved. Unfortunately she sustained at least three wounds. Basically it went down like this:

Van pulls up. Lady and four huge dogs get out. I ask my friend "will your son be able to hold Kaiya back from trying to bolt for the dogs?" we agreed that he could. We shouldn't have worried about that scenario. As soon as the big dogs heard and saw my little one, they bolted across the parking lot and attacked her. Biting, tackling, claws, etc. There was lots of yipping, screeching, barking, and growling.

Luckily, my friend and I were not too far away. We bolted over to the dogs as fast as possible. However, I felt very much in slow motion despite the fact I was running full speed. We were able to pull the dogs apart very quickly and I held them back until their owner made it over to us.

In that moment, all I could think about was "get my dog off the ground and to safety!" I didn't even think about the possibility of myself or my friend getting bit. When it was over, the owner asked if Kaiya was alright. Of course I had absolutely no idea, so I sort of nodded and said I thought so. She said her leash had broken and she was sorry. Then she left and we left.

My poor dog did not want to walk so I set her in the stroller. It took awhile for both my friend and I to stop shaking and calm down. We replayed the experience over several times as we walked around the track. Then we watched as the van left. Shortly later we realized we had not bothered to ask her name, phone number, license plate or anything. Dumb.

When I got home, I bathed my dog and checked her over the best I could. I found a small puncture wound on her chest and thought that was it. The rest of the day she barely moved and acted completely scared of everything. I kept thinking there was something else wrong, but we couldn't see anything. After our date that night, we found a small matted bit of hair on her back. When we cut it off and brushed through it, we realized there was a sizable gash wound that looked pretty yucky. I called the vet at 10:30 pm and was able to get a 6 am appointment the next morning. Luckily they just washed the wounds, gave her a shot for pain, and prescribed some medicine. Unluckily it cost over $100.

Then a small miracle occurred.

On Monday morning, my friend and I went back to the location to walk again. Despite my anger, frustration, and annoyance, I had decided to let the incident go and come to terms with the fact that we had to shell out some cash to help our pup. Just as we finished our walk, the van drove up. I was shocked. I knew I needed to talk to the lady, but I wasn't sure what to say. I ran up and mumble jumbled for a minute before I asked the backgrounds of her dogs and if they'd been vaccinated. She then asked how my dog was and I told her the injuries sustained and the trip to the vet. She asked how much it cost and then immediately offered to pay the bill. In fact, she was very direct in saying "here is my address, mail me the bill and I'll mail you a check." 

In our conversation she expressed her gratitude that my friend and I were able to pull the dogs apart so quickly. She had a knee replacement and was unable to run, much less walk quickly. She couldn't believe her dog had attacked as she had never shown that aggression before. She told me some more information about her dog and expressed her sadness that nobody would ever adopt her because she was difficult and had too much energy. She was very kind and very apologetic. Completely different than the person I had created in my mind for her to be.

As I drove home I became completely absorbed in the lessons I had just learned:

-I had harshly judged this lady for doing "nothing" when I had no idea she couldn't move because of her knee. Boy, was I humbled.
-There is a God watching over us who is very keenly aware of our needs.
-When approaching a confrontation calmly and without hostility, good things typically happen
-Sometimes God gives us what my mom calls "sideways blessings", or events that transpire to teach important lessons and lead to decisions that need to be adapted.

We had already decided to give up our dog so we could move, but I never felt settled about it. The Sunday before this event happened, a family met her and offered to adopt her. I asked some tough questions to be sure they were the right fit. That Friday the attack happened. Both my husband and I agreed that she was part of our family and that despite how necessary it looks on paper for her to leave, we would do everything in our power to keep her.

I believe that oftentimes God wants us to make decisions and move forward with those decisions before He decides to intervene if what we've decided is incorrect. I believe everything happens for a reason and that nothing is coincidental. I have certainly seen a great presence of God's hand in our lives these past few weeks. We are in the middle of making life changing decisions and I know, without a doubt, that He is helping us along, even if we might not notice until we look back in hindsight.

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