Friday, November 25, 2011

dog bite to the head

Last Wednesday I woke up early and was lying in bed with my eyes closed, willing myself to go back to sleep.  For ages.  So I finally looked at my phone and it was only 3pm (I usually get up at 4).  I also had a text from my husband saying "Theo was bit by [the babysitter's dog] today just above the ear.  Broke the skin.  She washed it out with warm water and peroxide.  I called the nurse and the doctor wants to see him at 425.  Said they usually treat it with an antibiotic.  Theo is doing fine." 

Exsqueeze me?

Good thing I woke up early.  After I managed to get my heart out of my throat, I jumped out of bed and got ready in time to meet them at the doctor's office (with a few wtf-themed texts in between).  I don't really know how to describe how I was feeling.  So many thoughts were racing through my mind.  How much did he cry?  How did this happen?  Was he scared?  Will he hate dogs forever?  Where was the babysitter?  Will he have a scar?  More than anything, I was sad.  Sad that he had to experience that.  Sad that I wasn't there to comfort him.  Sad that the whole dumb thing happened. 

We got to the doctor and of course I scooped him up and hugged him - it was like any other day for my brave boy, he just smiled and acted like nothing was wrong.  Little ones are so resilient.  I had to search through his long hair above his right ear to find the marks, but there they were.  Three puncture wounds.  Really, really, really sad.  Later I found 2 more, so that made me wonder if the dog bit him more than once.  Anyway, the doctor actually came out to the waiting room and wanted to see us before he officially "saw" us.  He looked at the wounds and said that due to the nature of the wound, infection was very unlikely and rabies was virtually impossible.  He didn't even prescribe an antibiotic.  He said that because the wounds were flat and open, they would heal nicely on their own and we didn't need to be concerned with scarring due to the location.

The babysitter assured us that the dog couldn't possibly have rabies.  She apologized over and over and cried into the phone about the whole incident.  I felt bad for her, because I know if I had been in her shoes I would be devastated that this happened while someone else's kid was in my care.  She said that they had been outside playing and had just come in.  The dog was relaxing on the couch before going back in the crate or garage or bedroom or wherever he usually stays and the babysitter was changing diapers.  Theo went to give him a kiss (as he calls it - he lays his head down on the dog's side) and the dog snapped.  I don't know why.  It certainly doesn't sound like Theo did anything aggressive, but for whatever reason, he snapped.  I hate don't care for that dog, y'all.

And as much as I hope Theo isn't afraid of dogs because of this, I am kind of afraid of dogs for him.  If that dog snapped for no reason, why wouldn't any other dog?   Am I supposed to tell him not to love on my mom's dog or my friend's dog because of the possibility of them snapping?  What didn't sink in until after we left the doctor's office was how unbelievable lucky we were.  Centimeters and the dog would have taken a chunk of his ear.  An inch and he would have bitten his cheek.  It could have ended so, so much worse. 

So the big question is, what happened to the dog?  They still have it, I would never ask them to get rid of him on account of this.  He has been their family dog for 6 years.  But I did ask that he is not around my kids. At all.  Ever.  And of course the babysitter had already planned on that before I mentioned it.  She even said they are thinking about giving it to her mother.  So for now, the dog stays in the garage while the kiddos are up and running around.  I'm sad for the babysitter.  I'm kind of sad for the dog.  I'm most sad for my kid, that he had to experience such an awful thing.

I'm incredibly relieved that the whole thing ended as well as it did. 

P.S. Dexter's surgery consultation is next Thursday!



  1. Maybe the dog was asleep and he startled it awake, or maybe he accidentally poked it in the eye, or maybe tugged its ear and it's got an ear infection.

    I think it would be a good idea to bring him around a dog whose behavior is reliably good soon so he can understand it was just that one dog, that one time, and doesn't decide to be afraid of dogs his whole life.

  2. Good ideas, Sam. Thanks. Just in case you were wondering, the dog was awake and hasn't been aggressive towards Theo in the past. It is still unknown why he snapped and bit him. And I think he has already forgotten about the bite, except he hasn't been around another dog yet. My mom in TN has one, so next time we visit her, I guess we'll find out. Thanks again!