A friend and I were walking along the Mary St. foot bridge in Hamilton on our way down to the waterfront last Friday evening. It was a gorgeous, summery kind of night that begged to be enjoyed after such a rainy spring. We stopped on the bridge for a little photo op to try to catch those last few rays of the day. Little did we know that the evening was about to take a departure from the expected.
I was waiting at the side of the bridge along the railing when a couple walked by with a large dog on a lead. I later learned that it was a Fila (a kind of Mastiff.) As they passed by, the dog suddenly and without warning or provocation lunged at my right leg and bit me just above the knee. I hit the dog on the snout and it released and the owner pulled the dog off me. There was nothing that could have startled it – I made no movement, noise or anything that could be perceived as a threat. There was no growling or any sign that the dog would be aggressive towards me. It happened so fast and I didn’t see it coming. It wasn’t until it had actually latched on that I registered its movement towards me.
What started as a lovely evening out, turned into a lovely evening at the General ER waiting room where I made lots of interesting friends. A few needles, some antiseptic and a couple of stitches later, I was all patched up and limping along. Public Health was notified so they can follow up with the dog owner and make sure everything is up to date with the dog health wise. This has proven to be very difficult as the owners gave false information – here’s hoping the dog had its rabies shots!
While scary and somewhat painful, ‘the dog incident’ didn’t actually ruin the night- just altered it a bit as new adventures and stories were created to ensure that I will not forget that walk on May 20, 2011. What could have been a predictable walk which could fade into blurry memory, instead became one that I will always remember. The contrast of the pain against the beauty of the night created a foil that allowed me to more fully experience the moment so it is seared into my memory. As my favourite movie says:
“You’ll have bad times, but they’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to.”- Robin Williams, Good Will Hunting
Also, I get to have a scar. And we all know scars are cool. Sorry if these pics gross you out, but no post would be complete without some.