It’s been what you’d call a pretty crappy weekend. With a sick kid and a broken vehicle, the week was already off to a bad start. But I’d taken Friday off to do my annual Dad’s Christmas Shopping Day. This is when I go shopping for my wife and find things for the kids that no mother would ever dream appropriate.
When I got home Thursday afteronoon, Kelly was out dealing with my son’s car. I was angry with the dog, Copper, because he’d kept us up half the night again whining in his kennel. I decided I would walk him, no matter the weather, to burn off some of that energy. Mind you, this was done not out of love but out of some form of martyr instinct, one of those male nuances that makes us want to suffer to show our families how much we’re willing to suffer.
So we walked. In the cold and snow. Ten minutes into our walk we’re passing a house on Coats Road where three German Shepherds live. They’re usually tied up or in a kennel. Tonight they happened to be loose. I’ve been able to stop one of them before by just yelling at it. This did not work on three. Before I could react, two of them had my dog by either end and commenced to shredding him. The third, miraculously, listened to me and just stood and watched for the most part. But two was enough.
Let me tell you, it’s a horrifying experience to have a hold of two big dogs as they tear up yours. There’s nothing you can do unless you happened to come with a sidearm (maybe next time). I don’t think I’ve ever yelled for help in my life, but I did this time. Somehow, at 5:20pm on a Thursday, Coats Road is deserted. A rarity, even for the semi-country dirt road.
It felt like minutes, but I’m sure it was 20 or 30 seconds before two grown boys came from behind the house and grabbed their shepherds. The retreated to the house, leaving me on my knees in the middle of a snow-covered dirt road, my dog, somehow, sitting up and snapping at his attackers long after they’d gone. A quick assessment revealed a lot of exposed flesh. I scooped him up and walked the half mile back to my house. Andrew and I drove him to the 24 hour emergency vet 15 miles away in Auburn Hills. $2000 later, Copper looks like the Frankenstein dog that failed.
Friday was spent picking up the dog, taking care of him all day, feeding him pain pills, and talking to Animal Control (very nice lady). Saturday involved a trip to our vet for a bandage change. This was for the gaping wound on the back of his neck. I managed to get my Christmas shopping in during the day. Surprisingly, the mall was not crowded. Could have been the snow. I love my 4WD. Then I was rewarded with another trip to the emergency vet Saturday night after Copper managed to pull out one of his drain tubes (yes, they’re as disgusting as they sound).
After crawling past the Palace of Auburn Hills, where us locals rarely go but must deal with the event traffic, I finally tooled my way home again. Oddly, I was no long angry. Not even annoyed. I kept thinking to myself that I don’t have a wife with cancer. She doesn’t have an unemployed husband. My kids are healthy and never in trouble of any kind. I have a dog who was attacked and I may be out a couple thousand dollars if the owner of the German Shepherds refuses to pay (it would go to Civil court).
But if that’s my “crappy” week, I think I’m doing pretty good. God has blessed my family richly and I am, as I write this, looking at one of those postcard snowfalls outside my window, listening to the Harry Connick, Jr. Christmas album. I’d say my suffering is pretty tolerable.
To all of you who really are having a crappy week, or year, my prayers go out to you. I know of no words that would comfort someone who is truly suffering. Only that I care. The little bad things like I’ve experienced this week will happen. We move on. It doesn’t take long to realize that we live truly blessed lives.
Have a great week. Hug someone you love. Even if it’s just your dog.