When you’re fighting for your life pain isn’t the first thing your brain responds to. I heard him ask if I was okay and I said yeah I’m fine. He said are you sure and gestured towards my arm. That was the first time I could see all the muscle and cartilage inside my arm. Blood started to soak my shirt. When I saw my arm everything started to blur together. Time seemed to speed up and slow down as I was rushed home. I kept looking back at my dog, making sure she was still okay. She seemed to be doing the same for me although I wasn’t okay.
We had sold our house about a month or to ago and found a temporary apartment in Memphis while we looked for a new place in Ann Arbor. Across from our apartment complex was a small park with different walking trails my dad and I would explore. Some days we brought my dog Ellie, a small, underweight black and white Shih-Tzu. On the occasional days we took her with us on our walks in the hot southern summer heat she would come back panting with her tongue hanging from her mouth. She’d sprawl out on the tile floor like a rug to cool off. We never knew what we’d see on our walks. One day there’d be a deer or a turtle and on other days we’d see a fox with a snake in its mouth or a flying gorilla. Just kidding about the flying gorilla, we never saw that.
Anyway, one day on one of our walks with Ellie we took one of our most frequent paths. I choose it because it was shorter and I wanted to get back home to watch a show I had recorded the night before. Of course I didn’t tell my dad that, I used the excuse Ellie was hot and wanted to get some water. On our way back we were walking through the parking lot when we heard a man screaming. We looked over to see his dog bolting at us. My dad tells me to pick up Ellie and don’t try to interact with the unknown dog. When it got close enough I could see it was a pitbull showing its large k9 teeth at us. It kept eyeing Ellie who was secure in my arms. Then like lightning the dog bolts towards me and attempts to take a bite out of Ellie. Instinctively I turn sideways to shield her from the attacking dog. My dad then pulls Ellie out of my arms as the pitbull circles around for another pass. He runs towards my dad trying to take another go at Ellie. My dad lifts her above his head like she’s a royal queen. Finally the owner comes and controls his dog by the collar swearing as he does so. I remember so clearly at that moment looking at the dog with a mouthful of my dog’s hair. We quickly searched Ellie for any marks. When we concluded that the hair had just been ripped out of her tail the main looked at me and asked if I was okay.
I answered, “yeah, I’m fine.”
Then he pointed at my arm and said, “are you sure?”
That was the first time I saw the whole in my arm. Trickling blood down my hand and onto my shirt. I tried my hardest to keep my composure. My dad quickly got the man’s information after he locked the dog in the backseat and we rushed home. We grabbed a handful of paper towels and drove to the hospital where I was cleaned up and given a sucker.