A Dog Hurt My Child

Sunday, May 19, 2019

I've been pretty emotional the last 12 hours or so and I don't know how to cope with it. Naturally, I found myself writing because this outlet has always allowed me to bear my truth and work through so many difficult things. Today is no different. This situation is no different. Yesterday we attended a pool party for my little cousin out in Enumclaw. It was a blast! Justin and all three kids pretty much spent a full hour and a half in the water doing all things aquatic. Pool noodles, basketball shooting, diving, etc. you name it, they were doing it. I sat on the sidelines and watched - it was the best view in the house. After the party came to a close we decided to head back to my cousin's house to spend extra time together, hang out with my grandma, and enjoy dinner together. Less than five minutes after we arrived, chaos ensued. Ava ran in first. She kicked off her flip flops and headed to the backyard for the trampoline. I don't even remember Olivia walking into the house but honestly we weren't worried about it. As we waved see you in a minute to my cousin's husband and eldest daughter, Justin and I walked over to the trunk to get Liam's carrier. I grabbed the carrier, Justin had Liam in his arms and as I started to put the carrier on, I heard commotion and yelling. My heart dropped. Justin ran ahead of me, I arrived after. One of my cousin's was holding his dog by the collar. Olivia was on the floor, I don't even remember the look on her face, I just rushed to hold her. I saw blood on her ear and I immediately panicked and I began to cry alongside her. I carried her out of the house and back to my van.

I tried to put her down, but she held onto me for dear life. She was crying, I was crying, and the look of concern on Justin's face is one I seldom see. She had two little marks on the side of her ear and I wasn't sure if it was a bite mark or what. The inside of her ear was so red and even now it looks like her vein was nicked. Her forehead had a decent sized knot and two other little marks. She had scratches on her back, her legs, and arms. My heart just broke so badly for her. When I calmed down, I put Olivia on my passenger seat and immediately asked her if I could clean and tend to her "owwies' but she wasn't having it. Eventually, I was able to but she cried almost the entire time. This was tough, guys. It was so, so tough. Naturally, Olivia didn't want anything to do with Oreo (the dog) and each time she saw Oreo in the yard she immediately freaked out.

I appreciated that my cousin actually put her on the leash in the backyard and I think the whole "out of mind out of sight" mentality kicked in a little for Olivia. I let her watch a show for a few minutes while we were still in the car and I further discussed what happened with my cousin. To be clear, I'm not angry with Oreo. I know how excited and jumpy dogs can be. We had one just like that, Cooper. I know how easy it is to get scratched by an excited pup that just wants to say hello. We don't know what happened, as none of the adults or older kiddos actually witnessed what happened, but I'd like to believe that it was not malice. Oreo has never bitten someone before and I hope with that kind of demeanor a dog wouldn't just randomly bite my three year old. I take comfort in knowing that Oreo
has all her shots, so the injuries Olivia did sustain won't be plagued with the bacteria or germs from a non vacc'd dog.

When we left last night, Justin and I talked a little bit about where we go from here. We are going to take this week and tend to our girl even more attentively than normal. Sleeping in mama and daddy's bed will be her normal this week, whenever Olivia wants to discuss what happened and/or animals, we will openly talk about it, and basically just making sure this experience doesn't hinder her more than it needs to. I spent a good amount of my night reading articles about what happens after a physical experience like this and I'm a firm believer that tending to Olivia's mental health is just as important as tending to the physical one.

Another part of my heart broke because I wish it didn't happen to Olivia. In just three years of her life she's gone through the most trauma out of all three kids (last year she fractured her pinky finger, went under anesthesia, and had a cast) and I had just hoped that she wouldn't have to deal with something so heavy again in her younger years. I keep holding her, kissing her, and just being here.. I know this could have been a much worse situation and I'm thankful that's not our situation. Lots of healing will be taking place in our home this week and I ask that all my readers think the best of thoughts for our sweet girl. I don't know when I'll let my little out of my sight again. It seems like when I feel like I'm ready to give a little more, something like this happens. For that I blame myself.

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