Last Sunday my (15 y/o) son was attacked by a dog. He was talking to a lady (I'll call her Sally) who lives around the block from us, and petting her great dane, in her yard. Her neighbors dog (a 50 lb bull terrier) got out of it's yard and started attacking Sallys great dane. When she tried to pull her dog away, the neighbors dog attacked her and bit her on the leg. Then my son grabbed the dog to pull it off of her, and it bit his arm. It wouldn't let go, and my son fell to the ground. He was punching the dog with his free arm, and Sally was trying to pull the dog off, and finally, my son got his fingers wedged into it's mouth and dug his nails into the area under it's tongue, and it let go. Then, apparently, the owner came out and saw what was going on, and called the dog, and it ran home.
I was actually walking my dog past Sallys house right after it happened and they called me inside. There was blod all over the kitchen from my sons arm and Sallys leg. We went to the ER, and luckily my son and Sally are both doing ok now. But it was upsetting, because the dog had ripped open a scar where my son had stitches just six weeks ago, but the doctor didn't want to stitch it closed because of the risk of infection. It has to heal from the inside out now, and it just looks a mess. He also has two deep puncture wounds. They did put him on Bactrim and Clindamycin to prevent infection.
Anyway, the owners of the dog went to the ER with us to see how everything went. They were very nice, and apologetic, and i actually felt kind of bad for them because I can imagine how it must feel to know that your dog hurt someone. But before they left, the woman made a comment to my son that he should never jump into a dogfight again. I just looked at her, and said "I'm proud of him. He was trying to help *Sally* when she was getting attacked by your dog." She just kind of ignored what I said and told me that her husband would come by in a few days to give me a $50 check for our co-pay. (I had mentioned that I had insurance, and the last visit for his stitches was a $50 co-pay). I told her to just wait on writing a check, and I would give her a copy of the bill since he also had to have x-rays and antibiotics.
Apparently, this is the first time her dog has bitten anyone, but she told me that she knew her dog was vicious when it came to other animals. She said she always keeps it locked up, but she was doing yard work, and left the gate open by accident.
I know someone who works with the lady who owns the dog, and I was told today that she is telling everyone that her dog was provoked, and that Sally and my son should have never gotten into the middle of the dog fight. She also said that my son probably didn't even need to go to the hospital, because he acted like he was fine the next day when she called him. She didn't even bother to speak with me when she called the day after. His arm was so swollen that it looked deformed, like when someone has a broken bone. He woke up in a lot of pain, but felt better after taking motrin, which is when she called. He is also in that bravado stage where he doesn't want to admit if he hurts, so he told her he was fine. I am just so mad that she is acting as if it was not her fault.
I'm just venting here, because I have been stewing since I heard what she is saying. But I just keep thinking, what if it was a small child in the yard instead of the dog? Or what if Sally (or whoever the dog went after) was alone when it happened? It could have been much more serious. And this woman doesn't seem to be taking it seriously.
Sorry this is so long, but it has been somewhat therapeutic.
I could use some encouraging thoughts right now, since I will have to deal with her when the hospital bill comes in. Thanks everyone!
Aug 2, '02
Thank you everyone! I feel better knowing that so many agree with my thoughts!
There was a report made to animal control the night it happened. The dog is up to date on its shots, and it is in quarantine for 10 days. But from what I hear, the owners "might" get a $25 fine for allowing their dog to get out, but that is it. Since this was considered one incident, even though two people were attacked, they won't put the dog down.
I am an animal lover myself, and would never wish anything bad to happen to anyones pet. But I don't know why anyone would have a dog that could do so much damage and is so mean. I truly hope that it does not happen to anyone else.
Thanks for the idea about a police report. I didn't think about doing that. I did take pictures of my son's arm the day after. I don't plan on suing, but just in case anything comes up, I want to be prepared. (And my nursing school instructors drill us with "Document, document, document!")
Also, thanks for the advice about the insurance and accepting a check from them. I have not heard from them since we were at the ER, but I won't accept any money until I know what the full extent of the bill will be, and I make sure there are no complications.
Last edit by CountrifiedRN on Aug 2, '02