This morning I was trying to think of what to write about and couldn’t. Life was looking pretty boring. Nothing ever happens around here, I thought.
Then someone knocked on the door. Our old dog, Logan, yodeled (as usual) and headed for it, barking and snarling. I was close behind him.
“Logan, IN,” I ordered, indicating the laundry room. He always goes in, I shut him in securely, and then greet the visitor. But Logan ignored me this time. So I said it again, louder, and this time I grabbed for his collar.
The moment he felt my hand on his neck, he whipped around and bit me. Hard. Blood flew. Then he headed for the laundry room; he knew he’d blown it. I got the door closed and yelled for Cary to get the door while I took my spurting right hand to the kitchen sink.
Blood everywhere. Who knew so much could come out of a hand? I finally got the bleeding stopped with a handful of paper towels and pressure, then looked at the damage. A deep, ripped puncture on top of my hand above the knuckles and another one, also mangled, in the palm. Cary found some gauze and tape, put my shoes and socks on for me (now that’s a cool-headed daughter!) and drove me down the mountain to the VA Med Center ER.
This was all just around noon. Now it’s after 7 p.m. and we’re finally home. Xrays showed no bones broken (I didn’t think there were), and after soaking my hand in Betadine solution for an hour or so, and a toradol shot in the butt to take the pain down a few degrees, the doc looked at it and decided no stitches, but had the nurse put on a pressure bandage and sent me home with instructions to return on Monday so he can look at it again. He’s referring me to orthopedics, concerned about the tendons, but I guess we’ll see what happens on Monday.
My hand hurts. Doesn’t work real well at the moment. And I’m heartbroken,because this is likely the end for Logan. He’s been a tricky dog since he was a puppy, and started showing fear aggression when we took him for puppy kindergarten. He was fine with us, but simply couldn’t tolerate other people. And so, for 13 years now we’ve kept him close, never allowed him around visitors, and wondered if we’d ever get to take a vacation (he can’t be boarded).
Three years ago, he was outside with me in the daytime, a snow day. No one around, and Logan loves bouncing around in the snow. I went up the drive to get the mail, and as I did, our neighbor pulled up in his pickup and got out to check his box. We were laughing about the foot of snow – and Logan came out of nowhere and bit him on the leg. He was already headed back down the driveway by the time I – and Marc – realized what had happened.
Marc wasn’t badly hurt – just a tiny puncture – but it ended up causing a blood infection. Logan was quarantined at home for 10 days by the county, and eventually we were sued. Our homeowners insurance covered the settlement, but I felt awful about Marc (he’s just fine now, thank goodness). That was the end of Logan being outside without leash or fence, even on snowy afternoons in the middle of the work-week.
Mr Wren and I talked about having him put to sleep then. But we were too soft hearted. This dog has always been just fine around us; we just had to be far more careful. And we were.
And then this happened today.
I know that Logan’s eyes aren’t so good anymore. And there’ve been a few times, lately, when he’s growled at me or one of the other members of the family in an inappropriate moment. I’m not sure why he bit me today – perhaps I startled him when I touched him – but I just can’t see how we can ignore this. We’ll probably be hearing from the county again, as all dog bites that are seen by doctors are reported as a matter of public safety. The old guy has had all his shots, so that’s not a worry.
But this time … Aw, my poor old dog.