Gus tries to grab Blossom but she panics and bolts to the end of her leash. Gus slips as he grabs for her and lands on his butt. I interject my body between Gus, who now has Blossom, and this large 85 pound dog. I have no weapon to use of any kind. I tell the dog “NO” loud and firm and it crouches slightly and looks at me out of the corner of its eye, then it darts around me and clamps onto Blossom’s rump with a vice-like grip. I turn to see the dark muzzle wrapped around Blossom’s butt. All the upper teeth are exposed as they dig into her flesh. Gus is holding onto Blossom for all he is worth. If Gus lets go I am sure the dog will run away with Blossom in his jaws, shaking her until she is dead. The owner comes running and grabs his dog by the rump and sits down. Me? I am screaming for all I am worth. I am screaming like I have never screamed before in my life!
Meanwhile, Gus has his right arm wrapped around Blossom keeping her from being carried off by the much larger dog. At only 15 pounds, the other dog grossly outweighs her. Gus is punching the dog with all his might with his left hand, the hand that he just had surgery on. He is punching and punching and punching. Blow after blow falls unheeded on the gray monster. Still the dog grips tight. My mind is racing wilding now. When will this nightmare end? Why won’t someone come to help us? Why won’t this dog let go. I am afraid that Blossom is dying as her eyes bulge out of her head. I am afraid Gus is going to die in his attempts to rescue her. And all I can do is stand there and scream.
Suddenly Gus switches from pounding on the dog’s ribs to punching it in the face. The new attack works and the dog finally releases Blossom. The male owner of the dog scurries to his feet and takes his dogs home. The little girl goes with him and we are left with the woman owner. She immediately volunteers to pay the vet bill for our dog. Amazingly, Blossom appears to be unscathed in that we can see no blood and she is walking. The woman gives us her phone number and address and we walk home shaking and near tears. Already Gus’s hand is starting to swell. It isn’t until we are home that we discover the full extent of his injuries. As he washes his hands he wisely removes his wedding ring. His hand is bleeding and swelling and turning black and blue. Both his elbows are scraped, as are both his knees. Meanwhile Blossom is hiding under the bed.
We try to coax her out with food but she is not interested. Gus just wants her to act normal again, but she cannot. She is not normal. I decide to give her a bath to wash off the fecal matter from when the dog first attacked her and she evacuated her bowels. But it hurts her too much and I quickly give that up as a bad idea. It takes us all quite awhile to unwind and go to bed. It is after 1:00 a.m. when we finally fall asleep. Gus sleeps through the night, but I can hear Blossom's pitiful whimpers from underneath the bed. I get up at 3:30 to try to comfort her but she crawls back up onto her pillow. I fall asleep and dream of mutant humans with partial metallic faces and silverware growing out of their upper jaw pointing straight out. At 5:30 Blossom starts whimpering again and scratching on the bed. It is her way of communicating with us. I think she wants to go out. Gus and I both get up and I have to drag her from beneath the bed. We carry her outside to the garden and set her down. It is now that we discover that she can’t raise her tail to relieve herself. I come inside and find the vet’s phone number and soon discover his office does not open until 8:30. It is a long wait. It becomes an even longer wait when I find out the doctor is in surgery all morning and the soonest he can see Blossom is 2:30 PM. Later on I get a call that someone has cancelled and we bring her in at 1:00. After x-rays and an exam, we have our verdict.
Apparently the dog did puncture Blossom’s muscles as I can see the teeth marks on the x-rays. In an area above her colon a golf-sized pocket of blood and interstitial fluid has collected. But worst of all is that 3 vertebra in her tail are broken and 1 is fractured. These are not the vertebrae that hang down off her butt, but rather they are the vertebrae that connect the tail to the pelvis area. One of the dog’s teeth pierced in this area right near the artery that supplies blood to the tail. If that artery is severed, her tail will die. If it dies, she will need surgery to remove it and any dead tissue surrounding it in her lower back.
For now the doc has given her a shot of doggie morphine along with steroids for the inflammation and an antibiotic. He also gave her a rabies shot, which she was due for. Then he sent me home with more drugs for the dog and a hefty bill which we will be taking to the other dog’s owner this evening. Yes, we did call the police and animal control and we are waiting to hear from them still.
Meanwhile, all we can do is wait and see if the tail will live or die. It’s going to be a long two weeks.
Update 8-7-09: This incident happened on Monday, August 3. Animal control was called and they are involved in the situation. The owners of the other dog felt just awful and they have stepped up to pay Blossom’s vet bills. Today Blossom went back to the vet for a recheck and some laser therapy. She is eating well and starting to act more like herself, but her fever is still up and she still can’t raise her tail over her back. However, she did attempt to wag it for the first time today. The vet says her tail still feels soft, so that is a good sign. We go back for more laser treatments next week.