My house smells like blood. That’s a weird thing to say but it’s true. Two and a half days ago my pup, my dear sweet amazing scrapper doo extraordinaire, got mistaken for a pig and attacked by a pack of four hunting dogs in the woods behind my house. So far he’s in good spirits and putting on a very tough face through the pain, which I am certain is excruciating.
The flesh of his shoulder was pulled away from the bone when one of the dogs grabbed hold and shook him. Fluid has filled the area from his neck down to his elbow. He is swollen and bruised. When I got to the scene all four dogs had their mouths on him holding him down. His little body is covered from head to toe with more scratches and bite marks than I can count including three deep punctures that have yet to stop bleeding.
They’re not really supposed to stop bleeding; his system needs to continually flush itself out to rid him of infectious bacteria. He spends most of his time lying down generating a pool of blood below his abdomen and anytime he gets up to stretch his legs he leaves a trail of bright red droplets. My carpet is suffering right alongside my heart and his ravaged body.
Of course I wish this didn’t happen, but it did so I’m searching for the life lessons as best I can between crying bouts, wound washing and loads of blood-soaked laundry.
Two things stand out the most:
#1 Trust your dog’s instincts even if you’re in a crappy mood and you don’t feel like it. If he doesn’t want to go into the woods and run around off leash like he always does it’s because he knows at this moment in time it’s a very bad idea. He can smell danger in a way you cannot so don’t force your will on him even though you’ve been in a bad state for weeks and have temporarily lost all signs of patience and/or faith.
#2 Take whatever steps are necessary to move towards creating a family. Open your heart, ask for and accept help, allow yourself to be needy, recognize that you can’t do it alone besides the fact that you shouldn’t even want to do it all alone, forgive, forget, move on.
I wish more than anything that my dog did not get attacked and was instead frolicking around the yard as his normal happy healthy self. But taking time off of work to stay with him, gently positioning him so his punctures can drain, spoon feeding him yogurt for his upset stomach, ice packing his shoulder to reduce the swelling and constantly washing the blood from his chest with wash cloth after wash cloth soaked in hydrogen peroxide… these things are making it abundantly clear to me that I can be good at family and caretaking. They are undoubtedly what’s on my horizon, undoubtedly what will fulfill my heart and soul.