Tag Archives: blood

It’s Kind of a Funny Story . .

And also a mildly painful one. For me mostly.

You see, I fell. I fell hard. I fell in slow-motion. I felt my foot slide across a slick patch of mud, heard my knee hit the gravel walking path, and could only stare as the ground came into sudden and immediate view. Next thing I knew I was face-planted in mud, less than an inch from a puddle of dirty rainwater, with both of my hands stretched outward clutching the leash as tightly as possible.

Oh, that’s right.

I was holding a leash. A leash that was connected to Rosee.

What was the girl doing while her person took a trip downhill? She was walking a few steps ahead, sniffing out all of the intriguing smells at the park we hadn’t visited in a whole week. She was just minding her own business, blissfully unaware of the pain that was about to befall one of her favorite treat dispensers.

It’s true. I was not pulled, yanked, or dragged down. I simply slipped. Good ol’ human ingenuity at work!

Fall Picture

The only thought in my ahead as the ground got closer and closer was “This is really happening. I can’t believe this is really happening. I hope it doesn’t hurt too much.” Of course, after the shock wore off that last thought proved to be pretty useless. Everything hurt! Young, sturdy, strong, resilient, I don’t care what you call yourself if you fall like I fell then you will hurt (and use it shamelessly to get other family members to buy you things like dinner and milkshakes, you know things that promote faster healing).

As I look back on the fall now, a week later, I often wonder why I didn’t put my hands out to brace myself. Why didn’t I scream as I went down? (I honestly feel like screaming would have somehow made the situation more climactic, right?) I have no other answer than at that moment in time there was nothing that could stop my inevitable fall. Afterwards, even Theresa mentioned that the fall seemed to take place in slow-motion and she wondered why she wasn’t faster (like she could have stopped my descent), but of course the whole episode probably only lasted about ten seconds between slip and full-body impact. There was no stopping this muddy-bloody-tumble train.

Fall Picture2

It was just my luck too that the day I took my tumble was the same day there were a lot of my mother’s friends at the park (along with my mother) keeping up with their weekly walking sessions. This was partly the reason why Theresa and I started taking Simon and Rosee to the park on that particular day, because there were more people, dogs, and ambient activity around for them to learn to get used to and ultimately ignore. With so much going on in the park it was the perfect place to keep up with training and make sure our pups weren’t getting complacent on their otherwise regular walking routes.

So, of course “everyone” paid witness to my epic downfall and immediately set to rush over. However, Rosee, who had been faithfully sniffing my face and standing by my fallen body until the shock had passed through my system and I regained enough control of my extremities to sit up, suddenly got protective. She started barking at the approaching helpers, getting very upset and stressed out. To help calm her down, and since I was still sitting on the ground in a puddle, Theresa took Rosee and started to pull her away a little. She needed to put some space between us so that Rosee could relax without being surrounded by strangers. This meant that I had to take Simon and do my best to hold him back. Fortunately, our mother, who was at the park walking with friends, rushed over to take him so that I could regain my wits further and stand.

Now, I get that everyone’s first instinct was to run to me and try to help. My face was bleeding, I was covered in mud, and I basically looked like roadkill. But someone with a dog you don’t know well is not someone you just run up to. As compassionate as your instincts are, coming at a dog and its person is how people get hurt. Even Simon, poor, confused Simon, was getting upset at all of the people trying to surround me and I was left trying to hold onto him until my mother could get to us. (It’s unfortunate, but when Rosee gets really agitated—and I mean really agitated—she can snap without looking and we couldn’t have Simon around her at that moment until she calmed down, so I had to hold him until I could pass him off to my mother.) However, I wasn’t one hundred percent in control of anything at the time and would not have been able to keep Simon calm by myself.

The fact is those nice people coming to help me would have been jumped on, and even perhaps pushed down, because Simon was in an excited and stressed out state and I was in no condition to worry about others. So, instead of running up it would have been safer and more helpful if people could have approached calmly and slowly, asking if I needed help, and then acting accordingly. I know it’s a lot to ask, but even at my lowest it’s important that my dog and other people are not put in unnecessary danger. It’s the same reason that as I fell I did everything I could to not let go of the leash. A loose Rosee in a park is a crazy Rosee in a park, not something anyone is too keen on witnessing I’m sure.

However, someone walking up to me with their dog just to stare at my misfortune and then in turn glare at my protective dogs is not someone (or something) I consider helpful–I’m Looking at You bystander! I kindly ask that in the future unless you find yourself with some sort of help to offer, please ignore me and walk around. I promise you won’t hurt my feelings. But staring at me like some sort of alien creature with an unruly dog will surely get you a poisonous glare and harsh words in return. (And honestly, I don’t need any more help reminding myself to laugh at my pain, I’m doing just fine thank you.)

Finally, after I was able to rouse myself to my feet, accepting tissues from friends to stem the flow of my bloody face, I trekked back to our car to clean myself up a little more and take stock of where exactly the blood was coming from. Oddly enough, I scrapped both my knees, got a small scratch on my right elbow, and ended up with one good gash on my upper lip, but that’s it. Nothing twisted, nothing broken. I didn’t even have scrapes on my hands (or my nose for that matter; I’m not really sure how I missed that, but hit my lip). The bleeding stopped quickly and the worst of “other fluids” I had to contend with was the mud plastered all over my front. And I mean all over. From cheek to shins, there was mud.

Fall Picture3

It’s been a week now and my scrapes have become itchy scabs and I walk without any lingering soreness. And if you’ve stuck through reading this story you’re probably wondering what the point I’m trying to make is? The moral of my story?

You will fall. At some point in your life your face will become intimately acquainted with some kind of floor. You may have a dog with you. You may not. Hopefully, you will end up like me with just scratches, instead of anything broken. You may scream. You may have better bracing instincts than me. But you will fall. Learn from it. Laugh at yourself. Make others buy you things. Move on.

This fall is not the first one. Simon has caused some memorable tumbles into the waves during trips to the beach and Rosee has dragged a stunned Theresa a few inches through wet grass in pursuit of those elusive garbage trucks. The two of us have been soaked with sea water, grass stained, and now covered in mud. This fall is not the first one, nor will it be the last and it is not because my dogs are completely unruly or out of control. My dogs are dogs. They get excited, they have memory lapses, and accidents happen. (Their humans also have bouts of terrible coordination and simply fall all by themselves.) Keep the Neosporin close at hand and move on. There’s nowhere to go but up, right?

Another Pit Bull Attack(ed)

It was ugly.

Hair flying everywhere. Snarls and growls emitting from all around. Sharp claws swinging wildly, trying to hit anything they could. And the blood. It was like a red river running down the sidewalks and across the street. It was warm and sticky, and free-flowing. I remember the screaming the most, the way its high-pitched sounds left little else to be heard. I remember feeling like I couldn’t breathe. Time stretched on forever, no beginning or ending, just a middle full of blood, sweat, and tears. Then, quiet.

No birds chirping. No dogs howling. No cars whizzing by. Just quiet.

The only color I could see was red. Red scratches running down my arms. Red marks marring my hands from the tight grip I had to maintain on the leash. The deepest red however, was littered all over the street, the sidewalks, and my own legs, leaving an ominous trail from where we had been to where we were.

Suddenly harsh panting broke through my fog and I could see. I could see Rosee sitting on the concrete, staring at me. Her eyes were wide, her breathing irregular, her throat emitting strange little strangled whines. On shaky legs I kneeled down in front of her, using trembling fingers to try to assess the damage done.

Eyes glassy, but unscathed.

Chest pink from exertion, but unscratched.

Front legs unsteady, but untouched.

Then. . .

Her ears had nail marks in them with blood dripping off the tips.

Her muzzle though. Her muzzle got the worst of it. Her nose and upper lip were smeared red, it just falling down her mouth like a torrent. At that moment all I could do for her was press the tissue from my pocket to her mouth to help stem the bleeding and continue my mantra of “It’s okay, Rosee, it’s okay.”

The day had started out deceptively normal. Wake up, eat breakfast, take dogs out for daily walk. See? Normal. The weather was warm, but not too hot. Both Rosee and Simon were behaving themselves nicely. All in all it was a good start to the day.

Working our way down a street lined with slightly older homes, made mysterious with their large front yards surrounded with shrubbery and short picket fences, we were suddenly put on the defensive. Our attacker came out of nowhere. Lithe and speedy it went immediately for Rosee’s face, not even giving her (or me) a chance to realize what was going on before it was too late. Going straight for the face, moving forward with wild abandon, all I could do was pull Rosee between my legs and plant my knees on the ground in an attempt to hold all of her 75 lbs. back from further attack. Once I gained a better grip on Rosee’s collar I successfully worked at pulling her across the street to safety with her attacker following. It wasn’t until we hit the middle of road that the attacker finally trailed off going back to hide like the little coward that it was.

What happened? Why was my dog’s muzzle spouting blood? How did I get covered in scrapes, bruises, and blood?

The answer: a cat.

Yeah, that’s right. We got attacked by an extremely forward cat. We were ambushed as we walked down the street by a cat stealthily hidden in nearby shrubs who thought we got a little too close to it. Jumping through the plants it had used as camouflage this huge cat (seriously, it must have been a Maine Coon or something) launched itself at Rosee. This cat screeched and screamed, digging its sharp claws into Rosee’s muzzle, at one point I was worried they were actually stuck! Rosee freaked out, unsure whether to go forward or backward, so she settled for just jumping up. Never once did she bark, whine, snarl, bare teeth, or snap at this cat. She just was. I pulled and pulled, and eventually got her away from the assault, but the damage was done. The cat had left her torn up and bloody.

A thirty minutes’ walk from home, I could barely contain myself to move let alone pull a stunned dog along with me. Theresa, who had been holding Simon back from the attack, quickly called our mother who was able to immediately come and pick us up. In an effort to right herself while we waited for our ride Rosee would shake her head and red droplets would just go flying. My hand, arms, and legs were covered in her blood and mine. Dabbing Rosee’s dripping face I could only tremble and stumble until we walked through our front door.

Once home Rosee’s face finally stopped bleeding, but she still had terrible scratches running across the length of her upper lip and nose. She was still breathing harshly and didn’t know whether to sit or stand. It’s like she was no longer comfortable in her own skin, and frankly, I knew the feeling. What should have been a comfortable morning routine was inexplicably boiled down to a terror-filled few minutes that would stay with all four of us for a long time. For weeks afterwards every time Rosee or Simon saw a stray cat wandering the street they would go crazy, pulling and whining after it. Every time we passed “The Spot” Rosee would dive for the fence where the cat had emerged. Suffice to say, the next few weeks of walks were spent trying to undo the damage this attack had taken on poor Rosee’s otherwise burgeoning relaxation she was finally starting to associate with walking.

As for me, I carried a paranoid air around me for a while. If this was what one wayward cat could do to Rosee, what would a dog do? Besides that, big or small or anything in between it is truly a terrible thing to see your beloved animal bleeding due to no fault of its own.

And so much for all those “Vicious Pit Bull Attack” storylines. This experience has certainly made me wonder how many of those “vicious pit bulls” were simply moved to defend themselves, because that is what normal dogs, animals, and even people do when they feel threatened—they get defensive. I feel as if I have been given a glimpse of clarity and understanding. How does that saying go again? Oh yeah, don’t judge a book by its cover. More aptly stated perhaps, don’t judge a dog by its breed.

Because seriously, a cat!