My son called Saturday afternoon and asked if I could come visit him in Jackson. I told him that I could see him Sunday. He knew my schedule at the blues club and with my full-time job, he understood and set his plans for Sunday. The following morning, after a long night at the club, I received a call from his mother to determine the time frame of my arrival. I had several chores to complete prior to leaving and my expected arrival pushed into the latter afternoon.
I pulled curbside at my ex’s home around 3:30 pm and was greeted by her fiance, Rod, and his friend… and a dog laying in the front yard. The dog appeared to be a pit bull mix. It was tied to a post near the front door. Not perceiving any danger, I got out of my car and acknowledged both Rod and his friend. The dog raised and growled. I said, “Oh, you finally got you one (referencing the dog).” He said, “No, that’s his.” The owner immediately corrected the dog’s behavior. Rod informed me that my son was inside. Again, with the owner on premise and the animal in his care, I didn’t perceive any further problem and entered the home through the front door.
My son had a few chores to complete himself (like father, like son). During that time, his mother showed me his report card. We talked about his grades and areas of improvement. At that moment, my mother made her routine Sunday call to my ex-wife to check on her grandson. I spoke to my mother briefly. She was delighted that I was there to take my son out for some father-and-son time. We were all in great spirit and looking forward to the remaining day…
My son, in a hurry as most children, exited through the front door. I followed quickly behind not knowing if he was aware of the dog out front. Still attached to the post, the dog lunged. Instantly, I pulled my son back towards the door and stepped between him and the dog. It quickly went for my left forearm. In its attempt to secure a full bite, I pulled back and punched it in the eye. It released… but the damage was done.
Anger and frustration fell upon me immediately as I glanced for the owner and Rod, but did not see them. Blood flowed fiercely. I opened the front door and fell back into the house. While laying on the floor, I thought to myself… “This is not how I wanted to spend my visit with my son.” My son informed his mother that I had been bit. She went in the back to search for her first-aid kit. The dog’s owner appeared as I raised to my feet as not to go into shock. He asked, “Did she bite you?” I think my response was a bit sarcastic. But with the amount of blood on my person and on the floor; He should have been more than aware. In my rage, I surely did not want to do anything to this gentleman or his pet. I exited the side door through the garage which was out of the dog’s reach. I got into my car and drove myself immediately to the hospital. My son and his mother followed.
3 hours, 7 stitches, and 2 shots later… everything was somewhat back to normal. My son remained with me through the entire emergency care. My ex-wife paid the insurance deductible and agreed to cover any additional expense, since the incident occurred on her property. A police officer was dispatched and interviewed us at the hospital. He informed us that the animal had to be quarantined. But when my ex called home, the owner and his dog were gone.
I have no malice towards this dog. I have raised what most may consider dangerous canine breeds. I will not put anyone in harm’s way by bringing my dogs to any other resident unless they are secured within my vehicle or inside a kennel. My ex-wife and her fiance have 5 children (with the youngest being 2). According to Dog Bite Law.com: “The vast majority of biting dogs (77%) belong to the victim’s family or a friend” with children being at the greatest risk of attack. I do not know their familiarity with this animal. However, my ex knows how I am and how I handle these breeds. If they have teeth, they will bite. If they bite once, they will bite again. My concern is for the owner and his departure from the scene. What may have been considered a civil matter may be now deemed as criminal assault.
More information on biting dogs can be found at the following: