Boy, do we have a special treat for you today. Author Susan Muller, a total hoot and all around sweetheart, weaves a true tale that is certain to make you flinch and laugh. Without further ado…
Payback is a dog named Lady
By Susan Muller
Two weeks before Christmas, my best friend/back-fence neighbor/walking buddy was having a hard time. Her husband was ill and, to make matters worse, no one could figure out what was wrong with him. After several trips to the hospital, she told the doctors to keep him until they knew what to do.
In an attempt to be a good friend, I suggested we go to Starbucks for coffee. She couldn’t leave the house because she was waiting to hear from a doctor so I went to her house for tea instead. Now, I’m not allowed to have caffeine, and being the good friend that I am, I didn’t want her to feel bad when she didn’t have anything to offer me, so I took my own decaf tea bag.
She and her dog met me at the door. The dog, a large mixed breed, barked when I rang the bell, but now wagged his tail. They’d had some trouble with the dog in the past, but had recently had him “snipped and clipped,” and she had bragged several time about how much calmer and less aggressive he was. HA!
I stepped inside, said “Hi, Rex,” let him smell my hand and turned to talk to my friend. With no warning growl, no raised hair, he lunged at me and grabbed my hand. I’m not talking a playful nip. It was a full-out chomp. It took all her strength to wrestle him outside while I ran into her kitchen and got some ice.
“Do you need to go to the doctor?” she asked.
“No, no. I’m fine. It’s not even bleeding.”
“Um, yes it is,” And with that, an arc of blood shot about a foot across her kitchen sink. It looked like a water fountain, only red.
Many things were going through my mind simultaneously. Oh look. I didn’t know it could do that. That’s not enough blood to bleed to death, is it? This can’t be good. And finally, I’ll bet she’s not thinking about her sick husband now.
We used paper towels, pressure, and an ice pack, but she thought I should go to the hospital. “Oh, no. I’ll be fine in a minute.” I was laughing, shaking, crying, shivering, all at the same time.
“We really need to check it,” she insisted.
Not on your life was I removing that pressure again. But she kept insisting and I lifted the paper towel wad. Yep, still shooting blood like a miniature geyser. Maybe I did need to do something about it. I started to reach for my keys, but to do that I’d have to release the pressure. Okay, she could drive me home in my car. Wait a minute. I have cream colored leather seats. We went in her car.
Four hours and three stitches later, I was home from the ER. In the state of Texas, you have to report a dog bite, it’s the law. I tried to fudge, but the police were at her house before the last stitch was in. I feel terrible about this, but they decided it would be best to put the dog down. They have a two-year-old granddaughter and it was too dangerous to have an untrustworthy dog. I’m so glad I could help out by being a test subject. (Actually, I am, but don’t tell her that.)
Today, my finger is fine. My horribly disfiguring scar is in the wrinkle of my knuckle and can only be seen if I bend my finger and hold it under the light while wearing my glasses. At the ER, it galled me, but I had to say zero when they asked my pain level. Still, I managed to milk my injury for all it was worth, so I don’t want you to feel sorry for me. Well, I do, but not for the reason you think.
My friend and her husband swore they’d never have a dog again. The next day, he brought home a black and white stray from the junk yard. They named her Lady. Unfortunately, the Lady was a Tramp: anemic, emaciated, flea ridden, and pregnant. My friend wrote a blog about the whole incident and called it “The $500.00 free dog.” I told her to give it time, the dog could make it to $1,000. I was wrong. They’re closing in on $2,000 by now.Now, my friend is a semi-well known writer–okay, she’s quite well-known, but this is my story and I’m demoting her—and she has many readers who follow her blog. She had forty-two comments when I quit looking. Not twenty-one with twenty-one replies. No. Forty-two separate people who said how sad about her dog, and wasn’t the new one sweet and hope you husband is feeling better.
Guess how many asked about her poor, injured neighbor? Not one. Zero, zilch. Not even, “It’s a shame she bled all over your nice clean kitchen.”
Next time I go over, I’m not taking my own tea. She can just feel bad when she has nothing to offer me.
Follow Susan at www.susancmuller.com