I was headed up the hill on one of my loops around the neighborhood when I saw the dog sitting in his front yard. Kathryn’s dog is usually in her house, barking and tearing up window blinds when I pass by. I’m always glad there is glass between us.

A red flag waved in my mind when I saw him out, owner nowhere in sight, so I crossed to the other side of the road a couple houses before I reached his. No need to make him feel threatened by being too close. Sadly, I was not far enough away.

Just as I drew opposite his house, the dog charged me. I immediately yelled, “NO!” thinking I could scare him away or that Kathryn would hear and stop him. Her car was, after all, in the driveway.

No such luck. The dog took one vicious bite of my left leg, just behind the knee, and fled back to his yard.

I continued yelling in hopes Kathryn would hear and come restrain her dog as I grabbed my throbbing leg. Then I realized my hand was wet.

Did I pee myself? I wondered and pulled my hand away to discover it was red with blood.   My jeans were soaked with it.

Okay. I need to apply pressure and should sit down to do it. But if I sit right here, the dog might go for my throat. Oh, God.

I was worried about my injury but also concerned that the dog might attack me again or attack one of the many children in the neighborhood.

Who can help? I wondered. From lack of cars in driveways, I could tell Cyndi wasn’t at home, nor was Marta. Mary Anne’s garage doors were open, so I rang her bell. No answer. No answer at Kassia’s house, either, and no car at Nichole’s house.

I started limping towards home. When I got in front of Molly’s house, it occurred to me to try her door. She’s a CCU nurse, after all.

Molly was home and, with one look at my face and bloody jeans, quickly led me to a chair in her kitchen. As I related what had happened, she cut open the leg of my pants—my favorite jeans, of course, now ruined. Her immediate reaction:

“You’re going to the ER. This is bad, Karen.” And it was. I had a two-inch gash with a piece of muscle hanging out.

Time for a wet cloth on my face. I was on the verge of passing out.

Molly called my husband, then I used her phone to call the police.

George arrived along with a fire truck and an ambulance. Molly had already wrapped my injury, stopping the blood flow, so the medics didn’t do much more than check my blood pressure and pulse. Then they took me to the hospital on my very first ambulance ride. That’s a lot of excitement for this old woman.

They wheeled me through the Emergency entrance and into an exam room, asked questions and checked my vitals, then a doctor shot me full of lidocaine (ouch!), thoroughly washed my wound, and stitched me back together.

The police made their report and had the dog picked up by Animal Control.

The wound bled for a couple of days, but I was able to avoid infection with antibiotic help. The worst part was the swelling and bruising, the deep tissue injury.

I’m several weeks past the attack now, but my leg still hurts with every step I take and the bruising is something to behold. I’m frustrated with not being able to walk my usual five miles a day. I want my life back, but I suppose I said the same thing after my two surgeries for breast cancer and after having part of my nose removed due to skin cancer.

Life is hard and we all face struggles. The best we can do is to try to follow God’s instruction Book:

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:18 NIV

So I give thanks, thanks that I was attacked rather than a child, thanks for everyone who helped me, thanks that the injury wasn’t any worse than it was, and thanks that it seems to be healing.

But occasionally I also feel the need to yell what I yelled immediately after that dog bit me.



  1. Lynn
    Jul 31, 2017

    Good piece of writing, Karen; sad occurrence. Hope you’re doing better. The only question the story raises in my mind: what did the owner of the dog do, say? Perhaps, another story.

    • Karen Curran
      Jul 31, 2017

      Thanks, Lynn! I haven’t seen or heard from the dog’s owner.:(

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