Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2020 >Daily Dispatch #277

October 7, 2020: Dog Bites Human

My sister Eleanor called the other night. Pete answered the phone, I partially heard him reiterate what the person on the other end had said, which was they were in the hospital. Somehow, I just knew it was my sister. Pete talked to her for a while, then I lifted the phone receiver (we have a landline) and affirmed what I was thinking, it was Eleanor.

She sounded very upbeat as she said that she had been attacked by a dog of a friend and it had broken her tibia, just above the ankle. She also had some very mild lacerations on her wrists. She’d already had surgery – the doctors put in a plate and stitched up the wound. We agreed that she was lucky – the dog could have gone for her jugular vein. Or she

Eleanor composts

could have had tendon damage. The main concern now is infection, which was why the doctors had decided to keep her in the hospital for a few more days, so as to keep an eye on the wound and load her up on antibiotics.

The dog was humanely destroyed. My sister has what she calls “Cadillac insurance.” The friends who own the dog that bit her are watching her dog, a terrier named Sally. It later occurred to me that the canine that attacked El could have gone after her little dog. It would have been no match. Dog just might not give us more than we can bear – I don’t think that at this point in her life that El would be able to deal. In a short time she and Sally have become very close.

How much, though, can a person take? This summer my sister has had to deal with high temperatures and smoke from the fires. A respite from this was to do her a world of good.

I was shocked, saddened, and angry when I heard the news. I tried to tell El this and she said something that gave me reason to pause, which was “I am not responsible for your emotions.” I will at a later date, when she’s again ambulatory and getting ready for her next marathon, talk with her about this. I’m not sure what she meant, but of course I feel for her. It seems to me to be life’s greatest unfairness that this should happen to my sister, a kind and caring human being who always, in every instance, errs on the side of fairness. She claims that this was because she is a libra, born in the year of the dog (!).

She’s leaving the hospital tomorrow with a tentative plan. Her convalescent period, which is the amount of time it will take for her leg to heal and for her to become ambulatory, will be six weeks. She’ll stay for two weeks with a family friend and then another friend will come and stay with her at her place. I am then tentatively scheduled to go to Portland and spend time with her. I think my main job is going to be dog walker, which is something that I’m quite good at.

Pete will take care of things here, on the home front. This is a lot to think about because we are almost but not quite ready for winter. In my head, most likely like El, I’m now thinking – one step at a time.

Next: 278. 10/8/20: Bad to the Bone

Horse Care Home About Us Dispatches Trips Alys's Articles