Sunday, April 25, 2021


We had quite a scare yesterday.

It was my first outing since surgery, now nearly three weeks ago. That homebound feeling was getting to me, and I needed to get out of the house and into the world out there, so it was my idea to head over to Highland Park--a twenty minute drive--to visit our daughter and grandson and see the new balcony and French doors she has had installed at her house.

I put my new skills and mobility to work to climb into the car--in the passenger seat, of course, since I'm not yet allowed to drive--and we set off on this significant adventure. (I'm a terrible passenger. Even though Ellie is a seasoned driver of many years blameless experience, I had my foot on the brake for the entire journey!)

So we had a delightful visit. The new addition to Sarah's home brings light and space into her bedroom, and the balcony connects to an existing one outside the kitchen, significantly expanding the area overlooking her back yard. Sarah was in good form, and it was great to have news of Luka's first three days back at school in more than a year. He's thrilled to be back in the classroom, and proud to have been assigned a desk in the front row. Class time is restricted to three hours, to allow the teacher to spend the rest of the school day with the children whose parents have chosen to keep them home until they feel safer, with the pandemic not yet fully contained. 

It was when we left that the trouble started. I headed out to the car first, needing more time to climb in and make myself comfortable. Then Ellie came out with Jake, the dog, and all hell broke loose. I was first only dimly aware of the racket--the barks and snarls and yelps of fear and the sounds of a terrible scuffle round the other side of the car; but soon promptly forgot all the instructions I'd received to take care of my hip and, abandoning all precautions, hauled myself precipitously out of my seat with my cane and hobbled furiously around behind the car--where I found Ellie and another woman struggling to pull apart two dogs engaged in mortal combat.

Jake is not a big dog. He's strong, for his size, but King Charles Spaniels are pretty much gentle, inoffensive little creatures. He had been set upon by a powerful, mid-sized, grey pit bull, off leash, which had spotted Jake on the street and dashed out from its owner's house when she opened the door to take out the trash--with every apparent intent to kill the intruder on what it obviously deemed its territory.

I joined the fray. Wielding my metal cane--and bending far below the limit for one in my condition--I managed to grab on to Jake's collar while the two women pulled the dogs apart. I dragged him forcibly around the back of the car, yelling out for Sarah to come out and help get him in through the rear door. The pit bull's owner, meanwhile, was struggling mightily to restrain her dog and shouting at me to put ours in the car--without knowing, of course, that I was incapacitated by the surgery. 

Well, Sarah came rushing out and we got a visibly angry and shaken Jake shut in on the back seat of the car, while the neighbor led her dog back into her house. Later, that evening, Sarah called for a report on Jake, and told us that the pit bull's owner was accusing him, Jake, of having bitten her dog! Said she'd had to take it in for an emergency visit to the vet. If so, we thought, it was clear that Jake was acting only in self-defense. The encounter was not without repercussions for him, too, having caused a recurrence of a problem with his back. Last night he was unable to jump up on the couch unaided, and this morning he has had trouble climbing the stairs. 

Having heard so many reports recently of small dogs being attacked and mauled--and in some severe cases actually killed--by pit bulls. we consider ourselves lucky. This episode could have ended so much worse than a bad back. We have come to treasure our little Jake. He has been the best of pals throughout the period of this pandemic, and a great comfort for Ellie while I have been out of action. It would be terrible to see him badly injured or, unimaginably, worse...

I'm not one to approve of violence in any circumstance, but it's hard not to feel proud of him for having put up such a good fight!

1 comment:

Marie Smith said...

That was a close call for Jake and the rest of you by the sound of it.