Friday, December 31st, New Year’s Eve Day 2010, started like any other typical vacation day. I slept in a bit and then got up to get my day started. The weather was warm but really breezy and I debated with myself for a while whether I was going to go for a run or not. I finally decided that I didn’t want to let this slide, I wanted a final run for 2010.
I headed out with the notion that I would play things by ear and see how I felt and let that determine how much mileage I would put in. I originally thought it would be a short run, 3.5-4miles but then I realized I wanted to finish the year strong and pushed on through to get in 6 miles.
As I was on the last section of my run, in a neighborhood across the street from mine, I heard shouting. Like serious shouting. To be honest I didn’t pay much attention to it because I couldn’t understand what the person was shouting. I could only make out sounds and not actual words.
Then it got a little more intense and I thought, “Holy crap it’s like 9:30 in the morning when most people are on vacation and still asleep. Cut it out!”
It was at this point I heard a different sound. It wasn’t shouting but jingling. I looked over my shoulder and quickly realized that I was not in a very good situation at all.
Out of nowhere, two dogs had me in their sights and were barreling down on me quickly. I could tell by their body language that this was not going to be a good encounter and that I was not viewed as a friend but as an intruder.
I stopped running, put my hands up in the air surrender style, and started walking as slowly as I possibly could. I was on the street and had a car to my left. The dogs sort of had me cornered. One on my right back and the other one on the left in the back.
Being next to the car kept that side safe and kept the dogs from being able to completely surround me.
I kept my arms up, my head down, and just tried to walk slowly out of the situation. It occurred to me that whoever I heard yelling earlier was probably yelling for the dogs and I was hoping they would come up on the scene quickly.
They did not.
One of the dogs jumped up and bit me on the back of my right thigh and then the dogs ran away back from where they came. I took this as my chance to escape and get out of there right quick. I ran home.
Aside from, “This is your chance, get out of here!” My first reaction was, “Seriously? Did this dog just bite me? I can’t flipping believe I just got bit by a dog!”
Oh the things we say to ourselves in times of stress.
As soon as I got home I checked the bite. It was mostly swollen and bruised with a very slight puncture mark. I’m grateful that it wasn’t anything more serious. The fact that someone was yelling for the dogs kept them from being entirely focused on me. With two out of control aggressive dogs, things could have turned extremely ugly very quickly.
I looked up information about dog bites online and then I called a friend who works in the medical field, (Thanks Dan!) to ask what is probably a really dumb question but one that I could not find the answer to.
Could I shower first before going to Urgent Care?
The answer was yes! And that it was best to clean the wound first.
I showered and got dressed to head to Urgent Care since my doctor’s office was closed. I didn’t have an open gaping or bleeding wound so I didn’t think a trip to the ER was necessary.
I waited to be seen by a doctor who barely even looked at my wound. She didn’t bother to clean it or bandage it for me either, instead informing me to do that once I got home. I was given a tetanus shot and two prescriptions, one for antibiotics and one for a topical ointment.
I had to fill out an animal bite report and the doctor basically told me that unless I find out who the owners were, then I most likely will get sick and die.
Not that bluntly, mind you, but that’s basically what she was getting at. As if I didn’t feel bad enough.
As I was leaving Urgent Care she said, “I hope you feel better!” Um, me too? Doctors really should take a course in bedside manner.
We left and got my prescriptions filled and headed back towards home. Scott said we were going to drive around where the incident happened to see if we could find the owners. I was doubtful this was going to work but agreed it needed to be done.
We drove up and down the street and I got out to chat with a neighbor who lived on that street. She had no information but was very nice. Then farther down the street I chatted with a couple and the wife told me that she’s seen the dogs before and showed me about where they were located. She didn’t know exactly which house but knew the area of where they lived. We headed down there and I talked with another neighbor who told me who the owners were and also said that she has had some run-ins with the dogs before as well. She confirmed that they were mean and have actually come after her and her son before. As I was talking with her one of the owners pulled up in his truck. She pointed him out and down the street I went to get his information.
He told me the dogs belonged to the woman he lived with and went inside to get her. She came out and I told her what happened. She confirmed that the dogs got out that morning and was very apologetic. She gave me her name and their vet information willingly.
I called my friend back after that to give him an update of the situation and then Scott said he was taking me out to breakfast. Keep in mind that this happened at 9:30ish am and I was just now eating something at 1:30pm.
After we ate, we ran to the vet’s to double check that I was given the right information and that the animals were up to date on their rabies. They were. Then it was off to the police department to make an official report.
By the time I got home, I was exhausted and wanted nothing more than my couch. This wasn’t how I planned on spending the last day of 2010.
That night I went to bed and proceeded to sleep for about 12 hours. Adrenaline, fear, and stress, the trifecta of energy zappers.
2010 was a really great year and I have a lot to be thankful for. However, I’m the most thankful for the fact that I:
1. Escaped this encounter.
2. Did so with minimal damage.
Given the situation that there were two dogs, both highly agitated and aggressive, I could be telling a different story right now.
A dog bite is one running injury that I never thought I would have to deal with.
More to come on how to recognize when a dog isn’t friendly and how to handle that situation.