This is not the most flattering pic of Justus, but you all know how beautiful our boy is right?
So, we had a traumatic Friday night. Rusty took the kids down to our neighborhood park to play. It was about 5pm. The kids encountered a woman walking her dog on a leash. Emma, being the all-time biggest animal lover, asked her if she could pet the dog. (We have had to teach our children to do this, because their instinct is to touch every animal they see.) The woman didn't hesitate to say yes, and told Emma she wanted to teach her how to approach the dog correctly. She told her to stick out her hand for the dog to smell, and then pet the dog on the head. Emma followed directions, and the dog was fine. Then Justus' turn. (For those who are faint in stomach, read cautiously.) He did just as she said, and when he went to pet the dog on the head, he lunged at Justus' face and clamped down.
We rushed him to the ER, where they stitched him up, 6 in the lip, one on the nose. His lip was lacerated in several spots, but one of them went clean through to the inside of the lip, leaving a gaping hole. This freaked me out, obviously, when I arrived at the park. Rusty had called me immediately, and told me to get there ASAP with lots of rags. Justus' clothes were completely saturated with blood when I got there. I kind of lost it, despite Rusty telling me not to. We jumped in the van, and sped to St. Joseph's ER. (Luckily, Lisa had just gotten here, so we were able to leave the kids and run!) Rusty called ahead, spoke directly to the ER doctors, which probably sped us along in the ER process. (I know, it's not fair, but if you had seen my child, you would have begged for someone to attend to this boy!)
We got a great ER doctor, and she was very compassionate towards Justus. But holding a two-year-old down to stitch him up for 30+ minutes is never fun. Justus was a stud!!! He is incredibly stoic with pain, which we already knew from previous stitches experience, although very minor compared to this. (No, I will not be receiving Mother of the Year anytime soon.)
My brother was attacked by a dog, very seriously, when he was three, and this has always been one of the most traumatic events in the life of my family. My Mom has always said that she can still see it in her mind at any given time. I'm afraid Rusty feels that way now, and my kids might as well. This was a very bloody, ugly scene, and I feel grateful that I can't see it in my mind, because imagining it, and having to watch him cry while they stitched his face, is more than enough. We took a jog this morning, and every time we pass the park, my stomach tightens into a knot. We will never forget this as long as we live.
What can we gain from this? Well, for one, I want to make it known to all of you with children that even when an owner confidently instructs your child they may pet their dog, it is not always safe. I will for sure only be allowing my kids to pet Disney, and maybe only Golden Retrievers for the rest of their lives, because I'm pretty sure this has never happenned with a Golden Retriever ever in the history of dogs. But the direct quote from my friend Heather is "Down with Dogs!" BE CAREFUL with dogs and your children. Unless they are tried and true kids' dogs, avoid them! I would never wish this on your child. We couldn't identify what kind of dog this was, probably a mixed breed of some sort. But it was definitely NOT a scary looking dog. My kids are not even allowed within sight of the scary killer type dogs. This was totally unexpected, according to the owner as well.
Thank you, all of you who have called or have come by to visit. It means so much to us! Family and church family, as always, we love you.