It Could Have Been Worse

Mavis and I had a really horrible experience on Tuesday night. Our neighbor’s dog attacked her and bit me. I honestly thought Mavis was going to die. That was such an awful feeling.

Brown and white cocker spaniel puppy

Mavis and I were outside talking to our neighbor when her dog slipped under their fence and attacked Mavis. She pinned her to the ground and rolled her a few times and wouldn’t get off. I eventually had to pull the dog off of Mavis by its scruff because it didn’t have a collar on.

Once I pulled the dog off, Mavis ran to our house crying and whimpering. It broke my heart to see her so afraid, especially since she’s so young and impressionable. I walked onto the porch and she cowered away from me. She went inside and threw up and was even afraid of Malcolm and Lola.

I checked her over for bite marks and she was crying and sore, but walking okay. I didn’t find any wounds, thankfully. I called the vet and they listed some emergency signs to look for and told me to keep an eye on her. Then I realized my hand was bleeding. I literally hadn’t even felt the dog bite me.

Brown and white cocker spaniel puppy

Jimmy was in the shower when the attack happened and I just busted in afterwards bawling my eyes out. He checked to see that Mavis and I were okay and tried to calm me down but I couldn’t stop crying. I kept thinking about how innocent Mavis was and then she was just attacked out of nowhere and was so fearful of everything and in pain.

I was super worried about Mavis. I called my mom to let her know what happened and she and my dad left their house asap and came over to be with us. Hearing my mom say “I’ll be right there” without a moment of hesitation meant more to me than she’ll ever know. My dad must have given me a five minute hug when he walked in the door and I’ll never forget that. It was just what I needed in the moment.

Thankfully my bite isn’t bad at all, just a little painful. It’s a simple puncture wound that I’ve been cleaning out with hydrogen peroxide. Mavis cried (and continues to cry) every time I pick her up since she’s so sore. That night was rough. She cried a lot and hid under our bed because she was afraid. I hardly slept and just kept replaying the situation in my mind.

Brown and white cocker spaniel puppy

I brought Mavis to the vet on Wednesday and he checked her over and said she was bruised and sore, but nothing was broken or out of place. He gave her a shot of pain medicine and told me to call the health department to report my bite, go to the doctor to get a tetanus shot, and make sure to check that the other dog is up to date on its shots.

I hated calling the health department. I felt like I was tattling on our neighbor, but I knew that if Mavis was attacked again I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself for not preventing the situation from happening again. The police visited both of our houses and our neighbor’s dog is quarantined in their house for 10 days in case she has rabies.

Our neighbor apologized, checked on us, and offered to pay our vet bill. We didn’t want her to pay the bill, and we’re just happy everyone was okay. She reinforced her fence and we hugged. It was an accident, and it was scary. I knew she felt as awful as I did, just for different reasons.

I feel guilty because I knew that the neighbor’s dogs (she has two) are both aggressive. I feel like I shouldn’t have had Mavis near them, but I didn’t know the dog would slip under their chainlink fence.

Brown and white cocker spaniel puppy

Jimmy told me to remind myself that I saved Mavis. If I hadn’t pulled the dog off of her, she could have died. Easily. I wish I would have reacted faster. I wish Mavis wasn’t in pain and afraid. I wish the attack didn’t happen.

It just goes to show how we aren’t in control of life. Jimmy and I have been trying to do everything “right” with Mavis by socializing her, taking her to training classes, etc., and then a freak accident happens. That’s life. But the amazing thing is that God is in control. And He holds everything in His hands. Nothing we go through in life is without a purpose.

Today, Mavis is doing a bit better. She isn’t afraid of Lola and Malcolm anymore, thankfully, and doesn’t seem to be afraid of humans unless they pick her up. I’m hoping that fear is just from the soreness she’s experiencing and that it will go away with time. Jimmy and I are determined to help Mavis become confident again, and we’ll do whatever it takes to help her get there.

Brown and white cocker spaniel puppy kissing girl

I  know it’s important for me to have a calm, confident energy. If I’m walking Mavis and she senses me feeling on edge or fearful, she’ll react to that. I can’t fawn over her when she’s feeling fear, or else I’m rewarding the behavior. She needs to feel confident and that begins with Jimmy and I being strong leaders to her.

As hard as it feels, I know I need to put the attack behind us and move forward right now. Dogs live in the moment, and they don’t dwell on the past. Mavis will be okay if the attack isn’t made into a big deal and we don’t keep reliving the emotions and pushing them onto her.

Physically, I’m doing okay. I just found out that the neighbor’s dog isn’t up to date on its shots, so that’s kind of scary and I’m not sure what is going to happen. Emotionally, I just need some time to process and heal. I know it will all be okay, even if it doesn’t feel like it right now. I’m so thankful that everyone in the situation was safe and keep reminding myself that it could have been worse.

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28 comments

  1. Hi Allie I can’t imagine how horrible it would have been to experience that incident. But remember everything is in GOD’S hands.

  2. Oh my gosh that’s awful! I’m so sorry this happened. I hope your bite doesn’t get infected or anything and shame on your neighbor for having their dogs behind on shots. I think it’s great you realize that there wasn’t anything you could do to prevent the dog from getting under the fence. I’m sure Mavis will stop feeling sore and then come back strong and be her normal self. So glad you and her are okay!

    1. Thank you, Maureen! It was such an awful experience, and I was pretty disappointed in our neighbor for not keeping the dogs UTD on shots. It has really helped to remember that there wasn’t anything I could do to prevent the dog from escaping. Mavis is doing so much better, thankfully!!

  3. Oh my goodness! I’m so sorry! What a traumatic thing to happen — your poor, sweet little baby must have been so scared. 😦 You sound like you’re dealing with this in a very calm way, and you’re right: we aren’t in control of life and it can change in an instant. But I understand how scary and shocking it must be. I hope your hand heals quickly too.

  4. I will never forget your phone call to me saying you and Mavie were attacked — ever. What went through my mind is indescribable, and it made me really think we live too far apart (35 mins is wayyy too far). Having a child so distraught and hurt is the worst thing a parent can experience, and as a Mom, you just want to comfort and fix everything. The drive to your house seemed like forever, but amazingly, God was in control of the traffic that day too!! There was none — and there was a Pirates home game — Thank you GOD – He truly does love and care for us.

    Seeing your beautiful face so full of tears and fear just broke my heart to pieces. Little Mavis will be fine, and so will you — it will take some time, but you — WE– will all get through this. Granted, I wanted to grab my Smith and Wesson and scare the crap outta the dog and owner – I opted to refrain. Don’t want to end up on America’s Most Wanted Crazy Mom’s List”.

    ANYWAY… I love you with all my heart, and I will always be there for you — without hesitation.
    I love you baby doll,
    Madre ❤

  5. First of all, I’m so glad that – overall – you and Mavis are okay. You did save her. My heart hurts that she was scared and hurt and didn’t understand what just happened in her little world. And that’s horrible that you were bit and are having to deal with that and the fear. I hope the wound clears up soon and that there’s no infections or anything. I’m super annoyed with that neighbor. Everyone should have their pet vaccinations up to date, but for a pet owner who has aggressive dogs to not prioritize a proper vaccination schedule?? That’s negligence. Grrr…

    Prayers for you and for Mavis as you both continue to move forward. This will be a small blip in the grand scheme of her long and happy life, but I totally get that it is super sad and scary and overwhelming right now.

    1. Thank you so much, Amy! It really was just an awful experience, and I’m so glad it’s over. I was disappointed in our neighbor for not having the dogs UTD on shots. Ugh. Hopefully it helped her realize how important it is.

      Mavis and I are doing so much better, thankfully! I really, really appreciate your comment and prayers! It means so much to me ❤

  6. How scary for both of you. I’ve always been told never to get in between two dogs when they are fighting or playing, but I would have saved Mavis too. I’m so glad you’re both alright ❤

  7. That is terrifying!!! I’m sooooo glad that you and your precious puppy are okay!
    And I’m actually writing a blog post that has a similar theme. Lately, Brady has been bravely venturing out into things that could potentially hurt him, and I want to show my fear and to say, “Noooo, run away! Don’t play in the ocean. Don’t go in the grass where there might be ticks.” etc. And I have to stay calm so he doesn’t sense my fear. It’s the balance of letting him be cautious without being fearful.
    I know it’s kind of different, because I’m talking about my child in these instances. But really rather similar!
    I hope you and Mavis fully recover, physically and emotionally, very soon!

    1. It really was terrifying!! I know exactly what you mean about wanting to protect your little one, but also wanting them to learn from their surroundings and explore! It’s such a balance!! Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Nicole! ❤

  8. Oh no, Allie! I’m so sorry that you had to go through that!

    Something similar happened to Popcorn a few years ago, although not nearly as terrible (there was no blood and he didn’t get bitten, but he was attacked). I was walking him around the apartment complex that we used to live in and some guy had his large dog out without a leash on! Of course the dog SPRINTED at Popcorn and knocked him over, and I’m there screaming and pushing the dog away. Finally, I was able to pick up Popcorn and walk away with him in my arms, but when I put him back down to walk home he literally fell to the ground and started having a seizure. It was SO terrifying. Years later he is now fine and I’m so much more on guard when we’re out, but I know the feeling that you are describing– when our pups are so helpless and reliant on us for protection and something happens, it’s hard not to take it personally. Just know you are an AMAZING owner, and thank God you were there to push the dog off! ❤

    1. Thanks, Brittany! I am so sorry to hear something similar happened to you and poor Popcorn, but I’m glad you were able to save him from the other dog! It really is such a scary feeling!

  9. Oh girl, I’m in tears here. I am so sorry this happened to you guys, but SO glad to hear that you are both okay! What a traumatizing experience for both of you. I hate thinking about how scared she must have been. But it’s so great that you were able to react so quickly to save her. Well done, Allie! How are you guys doing now??

  10. This makes me sick to my stomach and makes my heart hurt. I am SO glad you two are okay. ❤ I witnessed an attack a few years ago in my neighborhood.. it's crazy how quick they happen.

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