This afternoon I was sitting in an undisclosed location, working on a project I do my best not to mention, and my phone rang. It was the younger boy. He was upset, which caused my heart to instantly double its speed. Just the tone was enough to do it, before I even knew what was going on.
He told me his brother got bitten by a dog, and it was bad. Then I heard the older boy make some kind of anguished noise in the background, and my heart went from 100 mph to zero, then back to 100 again.
“I’ll be right there,” I said.
It was a five minute drive, but it seemed like a half-hour. I had visions of a horrible mauling. I was flipping out.
But the older boy was standing at the kitchen sink when I came in, washing great amounts of blood down the drain. The bite was on his left hand, and it looked nasty. I got him a towel, told him to wrap his hand, and Toney happened to call from work.
I told her what was going on, and she called his doctor. They wanted me to call in, and describe the wound. I did, and they said to go straight to the emergency room.
While I was on the phone the boy went outside for some reason, and ended up lying on his back in the middle of the porch. His brother came in and told me he was acting weird. I wished Toney was there; I don’t do well with medical-type shit. But, it was my turn at bat.
The boy got to his feet, was acting fairly normal again, and all three of us headed toward the hospital. While we drove I asked what happened. They said they were going to take Andy for a walk, and that high-stepping maniac of a giant poodle came hard-charging out of the garage next door, and attacked our dog. They told me the thing had Andy by the throat, and our beloved Blacklips Houlihan was howling in pain and fear. They thought the crazed poodle was going to kill him.
So, the older boy tried to separate the two dogs, and got a deep gash on the hand for his efforts. Grrr… This was at least the third time that horrible animal jumped on Andy. And what the hell, man? That poofter poodle is one of the meanest and most aggressive dogs I’ve ever encountered. It attacked Andy one night a couple of months ago, and I booted it like a kickball, without spilling a drop of my beer.
After I heard the story today, I began spinning scenarios where that piece of shit would be sent up the cremation smokestacks. “Poodle ash will be settling on the cars of this town, 24 hours from today!!” I vowed. Panic was now starting to segue into anger.
And what was the emergency room going to be like? I don’t think I’d ever been to one, at least not since 1968 or thereabouts, when I busted my head open like a melon. I’ve heard nightmares of long waits, and all sorts of Fark-style injuries coming through the door. I set my inner-sensors for ten hours, and predicted aloud that we’d see at least one person who was injured by a garage door. “Mark my words!” I said.
The guy at the counter asked our last name, I told him, and he said, “Dog bite?” Wow. He already knew? I guess the regular doctor alerted them? The guy told us to have a seat, and somebody would be with us shortly. Yeah, right. Shortly. I was extremely skeptical.
There was a guy holding his forearm, across from us. And a middle-aged couple was down the way. The woman looked like she was sick, and the man was taking care of her. Nobody else. It was nothing like the ERs I saw on TV, or imagined in my head.
About five minutes later a woman called my son’s name, and he was taken to an exam room. About ten minutes after that, they asked if I’d like to sit with him. So, I went back there, and heard someone on the other side of a curtain describe having “terrible bouts of diarrhea.” I wished I had a surgical mask, and became convinced I was breathing in poop spores.
The doctor arrived not too much later, and said (inexplicably), “Don’t worry, I’m not a male nurse.” Huh? What was he talking about? Why would I worry if he was a male nurse?
But he turned out to be a nice guy, and took care of things in short order. The boy got a tetanus shot, a few stitches, and a couple of prescriptions. We were out of there in 45 minutes, and everybody was extremely nice and helpful.
They all had a problem with the poodle part, though. About five people asked us what kind of dog bit him, and they all said, “Really? A poodle?” I don’t think people understand what a mean bastard that thing is. I believe they were mentally downgrading what happened, based solely on the breed.
But they were all very nice, and it couldn’t have gone better. I was amazed. I’d prepared myself for hours and hours of aggravation and chaos.
Toney called again while we were driving, and she wanted to know if I was planning to talk to the neighbors. I joked that I’d wrap a comforter around my forearm, and go over there when we got home. If that thing came hard-charging again, I wanted to be prepared.
But, only their teenage girl was home. I told her what happened, and she was apologetic, and seemed sincere about it. She told me the dog is a “rescue,” and has lots of problems. It’s super-aggressive (no shit), and HATES other dogs. Plus, it’s gone after a few people. I asked her to have her mother or father come over when they got home, and she said she would.
Toney talked to the mother, and everything’s cool, I guess. They’ve always been sensible; we’ve had no problems with them. She said they’d pay the medical bills, and would take immediate action on that awful dog. I don’t know what they plan to do, but she promised it wouldn’t bother anyone anymore. Sounds ominous, and that’s cool with me. I love dogs, but there are exceptions. And that thing can go fuck itself.
Have you ever had any altercations with dogs? Please tell us about it. Also, I’d like to read your ER stories. Thankfully I only have this one, and it turned out to be pretty low-key. What about you? Use the comments link below.
And I’ll see you guys again soon.
Have a great day!