I try to keep this blog lighthearted and typically geared towards film. However, a couple weeks ago I had the most frightening experience of my life. It’s still a little hard for me to talk about it now, but I thought I’d share this unbelievable experience with you guys.
As most of you know, I’m a crazy dog lady. I love dogs almost to a fault. I've become my mother, the woman who can spot a dog a mile away and tell you exactly what breed it is, but can maybe read 2-3 lines on an eye exam chart. That's exactly me! I get along with dogs more than people and I obsess over my own more than some doting parents. I don’t have children nor do I plan on having children because my dogs are my kids. My nine-year old dog Spike is my entire world. We have been together through hell and back. In August I added Zira the pug to our family and it’s been a crazy ride ever since. I don’t care what any human parent says; I love my kiddos just as much as any human can love a baby.
Two weeks ago Ross was outside hanging up some Halloween decorations on our front porch. It was getting closer to bedtime so I decided to take the pooches out on one last stroll for the night. Usually I walk the dogs by myself since Ross is often at work or school. On this particular night, Ross offered to help me out. Ross took out Spike on his leash and I took Zira on hers. Spike and Ross went off to a patch of grass near our place just a few yards away. I started walking Zira in the other direction since she often gets distracted by what Spike is doing and forgets to potty. A few seconds later, I heard a growl and turned around to see a big black dog charging Ross & Spike.
Ross immediately started kicking at the dog to get away, but it was no use. The black dog (approx. 50-60 lbs) had Spike (20lb Chihuahua mix) by the neck and was violently shaking him like a chew toy. I started screaming and running towards them with Zira in tow. I took a couple swipes at the dog while Ross basically wrestled the beast. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Ross was able to get Spike loose. He promptly handed Spike to me and I ran as fast as I could carry two squirming, scared 20lb dogs. Who knew I was capable of He-Man strength? I was absolutely hysterical and never felt more scared in my life.
I checked Spike to assess the damage as he was in complete shock. My poor little guy had puncture holes in the back of his neck and a gaping hole in his neck/chest area the size of a silver dollar. You could see the muscle in his chest. Ross and the neighbors were able to call the police. As it turns out, a young woman who had recently moved into our complex was fostering a dog from a local shelter. She only had the dog for ten days and it just darted out of her apartment and ran straight for Spike.
We took Spike to the Emergency Animal Hospital of Northwest Austin. I cannot thank the entire staff enough. Ross and I were absolutely panic-stricken and everyone from the front desk to the technicians were incredibly patient & kind. They gave Spike some morphine, flushed out his wounds, and stapled him shut. Let me tell you that the emergency vet hospital is literally the saddest place on Earth and I hope I never have to go back. However, the whole trip was a lot smoother than any human ER visit I have experienced. In the event that an emergency occurs again, I will definitely go back to this hospital.
Ross had to go to the doctor as well since his hands were tore up from literally prying the dog’s mouth off Spike. Both Ross and Spike were put on antibiotics. The dog that attacked Spike was taken to quarantine. After that, who knows? I’d rather not know. We were lucky enough to have the rescue pay for Spike’s vet bill and the foster owner paid for Ross’ doctor visit.
Throughout the whole ordeal all I could think about was how I have not had enough time with Spike. I thought about the day I brought him home, his first Christmas, his 5th birthday party, and the time he ate an entire bag of Andy Capp Hot Fries. I just need more time with him! We were especially lucky this attack was not worse. I’ve read so many horror stories about violent dog attacks including Shawn Smith’s Remmy. Most of the time there is months/years of rehabilitation and mounting vet bills. In this situation it’s so easy to be angry and seek out blame, but I cannot do that. My little guy is ok and we are all going to be just fine. It’s really no ones fault this happened. I don’t blame the rescue; they’re just trying to save dogs. I don’t blame the dog; we don’t know his/her past. It’s really hard for me to have sympathy for the foster mom. I know she has experienced a lot of anguish over this too and I appreciate her taking responsibility. I just don’t want to have anything to do with her. I yelled several obscenities at her that night which is the least I could do. My initial instinct was to beat the holy shit out of her, to pound on her face and make her feel the pain I was feeling. Fortunately for everyone I used better judgment.
My dogs participate in a lot of pet events around Austin. They have a more active social life than some people I know. We love to go to charity events, meet-ups, walks, and occasional hikes at Turkey Creek. Now I feel like I will always be looking over my shoulder and bracing myself for something to happen. I can’t punish them for a freak accident, but it has definitely made me more cautious while outside. What am I supposed to do? Carry mace around with me? In my early 20s party girl phase, I carried a knife with me at all times in the event I got mugged while downtown or riding the bus. I don’t want to do that again, but I will if I have to. We know most of the dogs in our neighborhood and have never felt unsafe until now. Spike can be very weary around new people and he is a bit of a barker, but he really loves other dogs. He has never been aggressive or dominating with other dogs. He just wants to play and chase his ball. Hopefully this event does not change his pleasant disposition towards other dogs.
The only thing I can take away from this experience is that life can change in the blink of an eye. I urge all of you to hug your loved ones (furry & non-furry) a little tighter and tell them you love them. We often forget to do this and it takes a tragedy to remind us. Anything can happen when you do not expect it. I’d like to thank my amazing friends, family, and neighbors who offered a tremendous amount of support. Knowing I have so many people who care about us really helped me through this nightmare. Thanks again to the wonderful staff at the emergency hospital. Most importantly, thanks to Ross for literally risking his life to save Spike’s. We joke all the time that they are in constant competition with each other and that Ross begrudgingly accepted Spike into his world, but he really came through for us. Deep down I know they both love each other. I am forever indebted to Ross for what he did.
This week FrankenSpike got his staples removed and it’s like he’s a brand new dog. He’s back to barking at everything and chasing Zira around the house. We are all ready for Dogtober Fest on Saturday morning! We’ll be doing the DogtoberTrot to benefit local dog rescues. See you there!