Scarred For Life

"AUSTIN!!!" I shrieked my little brother's name at the top of my ten-year-old lungs. I was running. I was speeding away from something that I knew was wanting to pin me down and tear me to bits. My lungs were tightening, my legs were aching, and my heart was thumping 1,000 times per second in my chest. I kept going. Then, as I was running down a small hill, the thing that I feared would happen did happen: I tripped. I landed face-first into the pokey summer grass; the little sun-fried needles scratched my entire body. I braced myself for the worst. I was surprised. I thought that the beast would use its razor-sharp teeth and claws top begin a quest to dig to my spine, but it did not. Instead, it just simply used my paralyzed body as a launch pad and leapt over me. When I was sure that the monster was gone, I got up and looked to my left only to find Austin there with an expression on his nine-year-old face that told me that he had just witnessed me nearly being attacked by a dog.

It was June 24, 2007. My parents were in Indianapolis and my siblings and I were staying with our grandparents (we call the Nana and Coach). My brother and I had been messing around and being innocent little kids at the park in the middle of our grandparents' gated cul-de-sac when I spotted the dogs. There were two of them wandering around. They seemed like some kind of Golden Retriever/German Sheppard mix with long, dark, matted fur. And they were BIG. I had traveled over to pet one of the dogs when it started chasing me. Now there I was with Austin, both of us panting. I was still trying to sort out in my mind what had just happened. My brother finally said, "We need to tell Aubrie." (Aubrie is my aunt who was going to babysit us while Nana and Coach went to a baseball game.)

My brother and I slowly made our way to the front door, being cautious to not encounter the dogs' rage like I had. Once we were safely inside, we raced to the kitchen to find Aubrie talking with my little sister, Anna (who had been seven at the time). As Austin and I gave Aubrie the details about my experience with the canines, I noticed her green eyes go from a look of worry to an expression of sheer panic. That was when we all realized that my youngest sister, Ellie, was not in the house.

Aubrie dashed outside as fast as her track-and-field legs would carry her. My siblings all waited in silence as we exchanged a few concerned glances for a few uneasy moments. When Amy aunt finally came into view, the first thing that I noticed was that she was holding Ellie. The sight that I witnessed with my own eyes will forever be permanently drilled into my mind like a nail in a piece of wood.

My sister was crying. No, she was screaming. She had salty tears running down her delicate little face. And there was blood. Blood was streaking down her right cheek and staining her thin, blonde hair. It hit me. My baby sister had been mauled.

Aubrie brought Ellie into the kitchen. I quickly went over and locked the doors that led out into that canine-infested death zone. I took one look at Ellie and ran out of the room. I ran into Nana and Coach's bedroom. Fortunately, they had not left for the baseball game. They seemed a bit agitated when I told them that they could not go to the game, but as I explained what had happened, their faces went grave and they sprinted into the kitchen. I hesitantly followed.

As I stepped closer to the kitchen, Ellie's screams rang in my ears. I fought all of the want, the need to run back. Gathering up all of my courage, I stepped into the kitchen. Aubrie was holding my still crying sister in her lap with a paper towel covering Ellie's wounds. It was soaked with blood. Nana was inspecting my sister and found that there was not one, not two, but three gashes that my sister had received from the attack. One was right on her eyebrow, another on top of her head, and one more tiny one on her ear. I just could not take it anymore. I ran away from the blood and my sister's shrieks. I dashed into to the living room, collapsed face-down on the couch and stared out the window.

"This is my sister!" I thought to myself, "This is the girl that I'm supposed to take to Sonic on her birthday after I receive my driver's license! Anna and I already had a fun time together and Ellie just can't miss out on the sisterly love Anna and I share for her!! Why? Why her? What did she do wrong? What did I do wrong?"

I was lost. Then I realized that it was June 24, 2007. It was two days before Ellie would turn two years old. My confusion turned into anger.

Unable to control myself any longer, I buried my face into the cushions and began to sob as the first police car came to a screeching halt into the cul-de-sac.



Epilogue:

Nana and Aubrie took Ellie to the Emergency Room where a plastic surgeon stitched up her eyebrow. She is five years old now and her scar can barely be seen. For a while, she called her scar her "Owie Doggie". Ellie stills loves dogs.

As for the dogs? It took FIVE police cars and a HELICOPTER to catch them. The police basically had to taser them and haul them off the vet. The dog that had attacked me and bitten Ellie was out-of-control. Along with me and Ellie, it attacked the boy next-door, one of the policemen, and even the vet. They had no choice but to put it down. The other dog was fairly tame and was kept alive.

Who is Ellie's hero? The boy next-door, Johnny. His brother had been attacked by the dog, so Johnny went outside with pepper-spray in search of the dogs. He saw my sister being attacked and immediately ran over, grabbed the dog's mouth, threw it off of my sister, and then pepper-sprayed the dog as Aubrie grabbed Ellie. His mom later told us that Johnny stayed up in his room all night crying because he felt guilty that he had not been able to get to Ellie sooner. I hope that he will realize that he literally saved my sister's life. If he had not gotten there sooner, the dog might have even killed her.

As for me? Well, I look back on this experience and I realize how much it has affected my life. I have a deeper love for my siblings and we all share such an unbreakable bond. As for dogs, I cannot be around a dog that I do not know or trust. When I share this story, I still get emotional. I even get teary-eyed when I see that little scar on my little sister's face. This experience left a visible scar on Ellie's face that will be there forever. Even though I may not have my own visible scar that reminds me of what happened on June 24, 2007, the event is still there, hammered into my brain, and it cannot be removed.





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camiley325 said...
Nov. 27, 2010 at 12:52 pm
This was absoulutely amazing!  I give it an A++ with a wand and a crown!  Cami you are a more than an excellent writer.  Keep up the good work
 
mace365 said...
Nov. 21, 2010 at 4:05 pm
Cami! This was AWESOME!!!!!! i knew u were a good writer, but not this good!!! it does bring back memories, few good,  but most of them bad... but anyway it was amazing and i totally wish that i could be a writer as you. before u know it, u will b writng an autobiography about u and your new singer/writer career!!! move over J.K. Rowling, cami is the new best-selling author!!!
 
missbet321 said...
Nov. 20, 2010 at 6:24 pm
Cami!! This was AMAZING! I loved it! I remeber that happening to your sister. It was soo sad. You put alot of discription in and it helps me remeber so vividly what had happened.
 
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