When I was 19 years old during the late summer I went for a walk after dinner. This was unusual for me as I am normally a ‘sit in front of the TV sort of after dinner’ person but for some reason this night I wanted to scout the neighbourhood. I was several blocks from my home when I saw three people walking towards me with a beautiful Rottweiler on a leash. I love dogs and as I walked past this huge beast I looked into its eyes and thought to myself, “What a beautiful dog!” The very next second it lunged at me and pushed me to the ground. There was a man attached to the other end of the leash and he was no match for the power of this pooch. He was dragged behind like a limp rag. I have heard people say that when in crisis that time slows down and this is what happened to me. Total slo-mo. The dog had pushed me down so hard that I was laying in the middle of the street with the dog standing on me. He went for my throat and I blocked him with my right forearm. I have heard that Rottweilers have incredible jaw power and I can tell you this is true. The dog ripped a chunk out of my arm right through my denim jean jacket. The two other dog walkers were screaming and trying to pull the dog off of me but couldn’t. The dog was huge and really pissed. I managed to get up and onto my feet and the dog lunged at me again and pushed me down again. This time I used my left forearm to block his jaws. He bit my arm but hardly broke the skin this time. It was so surreal and it literally took all my strength to keep those teeth away from me. I kicked the dog and this distracted him. He went for my foot and sunk his jaws into the top of my foot and the rubber sole of my shoe. I think his teeth got caught in the rubber and so I kicked and was free again. At this point I was covered with frothy slobber from the dog. It was so thick on my shoes I had to throw them out after. It wouldn’t wash off. The dog was insane.
At this point I ran into somebody’s front yard and hammered on the door. It seemed like I waited there for ages and there was no answer so I walked onto the street and looked around wondering what I could do to get help. I was bleeding pretty badly at this point and it turned out that a really nice lady was home after all. She followed my blood trail onto the sidewalk and got me to sit down on the stairs. She turned out to be a nurse and kept my arm up over my head while she called my dad. My dad didn’t think it was very bad. I guess she didn’t tell him much except that I had been bitten by a dog and needed a ride. So my dad showed up in his flashy convertible expecting me to be the drama queen I really was. When he saw the gaping hole in my arm he got really pale. We drove to the hospital emergency room and they stitched me up and disinfected everything. My mom held my hand the whole time. Apparently I was really calm and made silly jokes through the whole process. I do tend to get funny while under pressure. I don’t know why.
The dog’s name turned out to be Giant and he was an abused dog. Not socialised and kept in a small cage for long periods. Coincidentally a friend of a friend lived next door to these dog owners and they actually kept a baseball bat on their porch as the dog used to lunge at then over the backyard fence. They had complained but since the dog had never escaped from the yard nothing was done. Back when this happened there was no dangerous dog laws and as a result I couldn’t even charge them criminally as the dog was never technically off its leach. Now things would be different. The owners did the right thing and phoned the local emergency room to check on me and did end up euthanizing the dog per the insurance company’s instructions. They couldn’t get house insurance otherwise. I did sue them civilly and they settled out of court for a very small sum. I regret I didn’t get more money, as the scars are pretty bad. At the time I was just thankful it wasn’t my face that was chewed up as that was where the dog was aiming. I have a sizeable scar on my right arm with some skin puckering as the dog actually ate part of me and the remaining skin had to close the gap. I have fang marks in my foot. I had nightmares for a while too.
When I first moved into my apartment the downstairs neighbour owned a Rottweiler named Günter. He was the biggest marshmallow but every time that dog rushed down the stairs to greet me my heart would pound. What I would do is focus on his frantically wagging stumpy tail to reassure myself he was coming for the lovin’. I am still nervous around Rottweilers but ok around other dogs.
I have always wondered what the dog saw in me that caused such a response. I had played earlier in the day with a friend’s Lab that was in heat. Maybe I smelled like frisky dog. But wouldn’t you think Giant would have just humped my leg instead?