Friday, May 18, 2012

I just wanted to stop the pain...

(I only feel it is fair to warn you that there are some graphic photos. If you have a weak stomach, maybe you shouldn't read/see this)

A little more than two years ago, my heart raced more than I could ever tell you, and as a mommy all I wanted to do was to stop the pain and trauma that I knew my daughter was going through. 

We had gone to a barbecue with some of my husbands’ coworkers. Some people brought kids, some brought their dogs. It was looking to be a fun afternoon with lots of laughter. Victoria was happily playing a few feet away, so I had just cracked open my first beer. I was interrupted as I was about to take that first, nice cool swig by the sound of my daughter screaming. 

She had been sitting beside someone’s Boxer playing with him, but the dog was walking away. My Love commented that the dog must have knocked her over as he got up, so I went over to pick her up and comfort her. As I turned her over, I saw blood on her face…and a huge gash in her cheek. I don’t remember much besides frantically wanting to leave and get her to the hospital. I remember showing My Love and rushing into the house for paper towels. Once in there, I remember saying over and over “let’s just go, let’s just go”. I was shaking, my baby was screaming, her face was torn open. It was horrifying to see my baby like that. My beautiful baby girl…I could do nothing…

We went to the truck, I climbed in the backseat with her in my lap, trying so hard to comfort her, but freaking out the whole time…adrenaline was going strong. My Love was driving as fast as possible while being safe and he dropped us off at the front door of the children’s emergency room. I rushed in and they immediately ushered us to a room.
It was very difficult to even keep her calm. This next photo turns my can see the hurt and terror in her eyes and the cut is so deep you can see the nerves and the bone. EW.

The doctors and nurses were amazing there and made the whole process much better. A plastic surgeon came in and did the stitches (19 stitches. 5 internal stitches and 14 external) and today, it looks much better.

We are sooo incredibly lucky that he bit where he did…had the bite been a little higher, she could have lost her eye…a little lower and it would have been her neck…Thank God for small miracles.

So, why am I bringing this up?

Well, I just read an article about how dog bites account for over $479 million a year in insurance claims and I had recently read an article (though I can’t seem to find it now) about how there were law changes being made to become ‘stricter’ on dog owners with multiple bite charges. The owners would be charged up to a $10,000 fine for a 3rd offense...thirdthree times of a dog attacking a human or other animalthree victims…and the owner gets charged…I just don’t agree. 

The owners of the dog had a 5 month old child at the time. The dog was taken by the state for a mandatory 10 days to check for rabies and then released back to the family. They kept the dog.

I’m sorry. If MY dog had done to another child what that dog did to my baby…there would have been a bullet in her head before we drove to the hospital. We are talking a completely un-provoked, no warning, bite of a child’s face…to the bone…

I know it could have been worse…I understand that…but will the next child who gets bit by that same dog understand that? What about the owner’s child? If that baby starts crawling around and tugs on the dogs ears a bit too much or just gets in the way and gets bitten by their family pet and has to have a scar to remind her of it every day of her life…will that be ok?

At the very least, they should have given the dog away to someone who had no small children, for the safety of their own baby. 

Do I fault the dog, no, not necessarily...he was in an unfamiliar place with new people all around him. Do I fault the owners, no. They did nothing to provoke this. 

So, I bring this up as a reminder that ANY…and I repeat…ANY breed of dog can and will bite.  

Well, after 2 years, the scar is healing well. You would never know it used to be that gaping hole...
I will have to see if I can remember to get a photo of that side of her face...just realized today that I don't have any recent ones I can find!!


  1. Omygoodness, Ericka...I'm so so glad your daughter was alright. What a brave and beautiful girl you have. It is heartbreaking to see what you all had to go through. So happy she is okay. The photo of your husband and her is so sweet.
    Thank you for sharing.
    And thank you for your thoughtful words and kindness. It means a lot.
    Wishing you a nice week ahead.

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  3. Glad she is safe. Dogs can be wonderful pets, but some are bred to work by herding, collies, English shepards etc; some are bred to rely more on their eyes and to get a thrill from running, Saluki,Grey and Whippet hounds, Afghans, etc; some are bred to be kind of dopy and more nose reliant, Bassett hounds, Blood hounds, etc. some are bred to be loud and boisterous, Beagles; and some are designed to be aggressive, Fila Brasialero, Pit Bulls, etc.

    Why the need to lie? I don't understand why it is that people want to be under the impression that they can just like a dog and pretend that it ONLY has the qualities that they like. Not only that, but subject other people to those qualities when those qualities are a hazard. I love the size and disposition of Beagles. I will not have one because I live in a place where it can disturb neighbors. I won't have one because it can disturb a person's sleep, which is precious. I don't have a problem with people owning pit bulls, and I also do not have a problem with people owning alligators. Bring a pit bull or an alligator anywhere you want...anywhere. Just make sure it is safe. Muzzle them. Leash them. Get it out of your head that it is sad or "pitiful" to muzzle them. They do not conceive of dignity the way that we do. If so, then convince it to be a good parent, to have sex behind closed doors, and to carry their fair share of house hold chores.

    Most people who own pit bulls are too weak willed, lack free time and drive, and are ignorant of facts to take care of them. Most dogs can be provoked to bite, and but most people can be provoked to hit. Maiming and murder are a completely different set of issues.

  4. Also, who ever owned the dog should have socialized it enough to prepare it for children if the dog is to go to a picnic without a muzzle. Mistakes happen, and from the sound of it the dog did not launch a relentless attack on the child. We can say that the child should have been "better supervised", but a dog is easier to muzzle than a child....

  5. I want to say, that is the oddest looking dog bite ever. I've seen plenty of dog bites in my lifetime, did your daughter say that the dog bit her? Could she possibly have been knocked over by the dog and landed on a sharp rock or something like that? Most dog bites aren't so clean looking, but I'm not much of an expert either.

    1. The dog bit her. I realize that it seems to be an "odd" looking bite, but there were also other bite marks not pictured. One puncture went through the corner of her mouth, one under her eye, and one on her chin. One of the canine teeth sliced through her cheek like butter. We were very lucky that it was such a clean bite.