Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cocktail for Meltdown

Weekend before school starts? Check.

Multiple commitments/engagements for Robin during the weekend leaving me one-on-one with the Lyds for extended periods of time after a long week of work? Check.

Dog attack? Check.

Today was a rough one, and I am feeling it. This time of year is a major transition for me, and always has been. Factor in the transition from a beautiful, peaceful summer with Lydia to working full-time and you have one emotionally drained mama. Then factor in the transition that Robin is undergoing plus both of our efforts to maintain the things that keep us sane--biking for Robin and yoga for me--and today was a goat rodeo of sorts. We've been trying to work out systems and routines that keep us eating well, exercising regularly, and getting quality time with Lydia while fulfilling our professional requirements and today was a big fail.

And then the dog attack. To clarify, Stanley was attacked by our neighbors dog, and so far, he seems to be okay other than some soreness and a puncture wound on his shoulder. I had taken Lydia and Stanley on a long walk this morning in an effort to fill our schedules while Robin was biking. As we made our way up the driveway with the stroller and Stanley on his leash, I heard our neighbors' dogs barking. They are mid-size shepherds, about sixty pounds each, and they are quite easily excited. As our neighbor came out to talk to me, the dogs squeezed through the door also and out into the yard. Stanley started running to them and the wire loop on his collar came apart, and he broke free.

Within seconds, one of their dogs had grabbed him over his front shoulders and pinned him down to the ground and when he was scrambling to get away, the dog lifted him from the ground and started shaking Stanley back and forth. Stanley was whining and crying, I was screaming, and our neighbor had the dog by the collar trying to let him to let go. I'm not sure how long this went on--probably about ten seconds, and then the dog let him go and Stanley ran to the corner of the yard. I was quite shaken and so was my neighbor; she kept apologizing and saying that the dog had never done anything like that before. I kept saying it was okay, largely in an effort to convince myself that everything was alright. I had Stanley and could see some blood on his side, but not too much. We went inside, and I called the vet. She suggested I come in due to the risk of infection when a dog's skin is broken by another dog's bacteria-covered teeth. At first I thought we would wait until tomorrow, but when I went to clean Stanley, I got a better look at the wound and felt uncomfortable waiting.

Since Robin was biking, I called Jessica (in tears), and like the wonderful friend she is, she was at our house within minutes to take care of Lydia while I took Stanley to the vet. As a side note, I feel so thankful to have someone I can call and rely on to come over at the drop of a hat. I'm fortunate. I took Stanley to Austin Vet Care, our vet which happens to have weekend emergency hours. One hour and a significant chunk of change later, Stanley's wound was shaved and sealed with surgical glue, I had antibiotics and pain meeds in hand, and we were sent home with instructions to watch for any noticeable changes in his behavior that would signify neurological damage from the shaking. He's been quieter than usual and not quite as active, which the vet told us to expect since he's probably really hurting, both from the wound and being tossed around. There has been nothing to indicate any further injury.

We did cap the day off with our Sunday dinner tradition with the Luthers, which was wonderful. We are definitely parents of toddlers, but being parents of toddlers is so much more fun and easy to cope with when spending time with other parents of toddlers we enjoy. It was a bright spot in a day that we would otherwise chalk up as a loss.

Tomorrow is a new day--one that brings the official start of the 2010-2011 school year. Send me positive energy; I'm feeling a little low.

**Goat rodeo was a word that Robin found on a website that offered child-friendly alternatives to commonly used swear words. It replaces cluster f***.


  1. Poor Stanley! I hope he makes a quick recovery. That had to be absolutely terrifying. I'm not sure I would have handled it as calmly as you did. I'm so sorry that happened to y'all.

    Good luck tomorrow. I'll be sending you positive vibes from Tennessee and from Arkansas as we slowly wind our way back home.

  2. Oh dear lord that is awful. Sending positive vibes your way...

  3. I feel so terrible about what happened--I would have been an absolute WRECK. It sounds like you handled the situation perfectly and that Stanley is doing well. Also, Goat Rodeo is my new favorite phrase.