There was an accident over the weekend. At this point, I’m just saying that we were very lucky. It could have been a lot worse!! I’ll just jump right into the story.
Shawn and I were out doing some shopping. Caleb had stayed at home (as he was still in recovery mode from his knee surgery). The girls were out– either working or hanging out with their friends. Matthew had went over to his friend’s house. Now, each of our kids have a cell phone. We require them to check in every couple of hours (even the older ones at this point) unless they are at work. So, it’s not unusual to get several text messages throughout the day. But in our Wal-Mart… we don’t get a signal. We can get on wi-fi to get messages from the girls because they have iPhones as well. However, the boys haven’t graduated up to those just yet. Their text messages only come through in certain spots in the store or outside. Once we stepped outside, we got a text message (that’s the other requirement… group texting your check-ins, to both parents) from Matt. He sent a picture and said he was on his way home. I could tell it was his ankle but from what I was seeing it looked like maybe he had scraped his ankle either riding a bike or skateboarding. I wasn’t very worried but I did go ahead and ask what had happened.
Photo from prior to seeing the injury.
His reply was that he got “nipped”. I work medical… and I know kids. When they say “nipped” typically it is by an animal. So I called him and my only concern initially was if the dog was up to date on it’s shots. Over the phone the owners (who are Matt’s friend’s parents) said that they were. We still weren’t home yet but they were going to take him home. So they just took him back to their house until we got there (we were only 5-8 minutes away). They said they got it cleaned and such. I looked at it pretty quickly and then told Matt that he could go ahead and get in the car. He seemed dazed… scared… and unsure of what to say or do. He didn’t want his friends to think he was mad at them. But he also wasn’t hiding the fact that he was scared very well. The owners showed me their shot records and told me which vet the dog went to. They let me know she was typically a very good dog. But when there were quick movements, she reacts. I’m not sure what the complete story is within this. But it’s neither here nor there.
I took him home where I got a better look at it. Sometimes, in the heat of the moment it’s hard to do things because everyone’s emotions are high. Matthew’s was high. The friend’s were high. The owner’s were high. Mine was probably higher than my body ever let on until we got back home. It was much easier to calm Matt down and get a good look when he was away from the situation and it was easier for me because I could voice my concerns and had any of the things I needed right at hand. When I initially saw it again, I thought it wasn’t so bad. But when I got him into a better position, I could see that this was a deep puncture wound. It was open so far that I thought it needed to be looked at and possibly have stitches. I was calm and collected when I asked my friend from work if she thought it needed them. But then I saw the other side of his leg and saw it had scratches too. I asked how he had gotten those– maybe falling when he was bit? He told me it was the other side of the dogs mouth that had caused that. That is actually what he had felt in the first place was the small scrapes. It wasn’t until he saw those that he saw (and eventually felt) the wound on the other side.
When we had picked up Matt, they had told me that the dog was raised around chihuahuas. So, I was thinking it was a small dog. But I finally asked– what kind of dog was this? Now, I’ve been raised around dogs… I’m aware how dogs can be sweet and CAN (on occasion) bite anyways. I’m aware that you can raise a dog to be mean. The dog is a result of it’s owner (and sometimes it’s own temperament… sometimes older dogs get less tolerant). So, when I tell you that the dog was a pit bull I’m not meaning that in any bad fashion to the breed. Because it could have been ANY breed. It just so happened to be the breed it was. The concern I had was the size of this dog could mean that there could be further damage. But in that moment, I realized how very lucky we were in this situation. A dog that could stand almost as tall as my son… a dog that probably weighed more than my son. That dog could have bitten anywhere… and many other bites would have been fatal.
I felt that we needed to go ahead and take him to urgent care– just to make sure that it got stitches if it needed them. It turns out that it did need two stitches. It was pretty wide and even if we attempted to close it with glue, it wouldn’t hold. It is just his ankle but if we can minimize scaring and minimize healing time I wanted to do it. The open wounds tend to be at higher risk of complications when healing and take longer to heal. Where it’s closed and now it doesn’t run as much of a risk of something getting in and causing infection. He will get those stitches removed in 7-10 days. The other side just needed to be cleaned up (as was already done).
Like I said… I don’t know what really happened. Mostly because Matt swears he was standing still when the dog started sniffing him. Then bit him and she responded to the owner’s voice when they called her off. It was only after she had went back to the owner that he realized what had happened. But the owner said that is the response to quick movements. Which, he might have been doing he just didn’t realize it before he froze. But no matter how you look at it– we were very lucky. This could have been a lot worse! I’m thankful that we didn’t get a call that our child was mauled to death or facing months and months of surgeries to save his life.
The title of this post comes from when I returned to work and we were scanning in papers. It was brought to my attention that I put “bit bull” instead of “pit bull” on the breed of animal. I said– well in this case… it was a bit bull. Then we all just laughed it off.