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The Day My Dad Saved My Family

It all started on the early wake of a new year in Oakley, California in Contra Costa County. Since our family likes to take night nature walks on the beautiful, clean trail, we went on the amazing Marsh Creek trail which runs behind our house. The trail is a paved path bordered by dairy farms with cows on one side and the creek itself on the other. The creek has fish, turtles, snowy egrets, ducks and even river otters. The creek runs to the Delta and contains all of the wildlife I mentioned because citizens and volunteers keep it very clean – all with the awesome view of Mt. Diablo in the background. This time, though, it was just me, my two brothers, Jacob and Noah, and my dad, Anthony. It was about 1:30 in the morning on January 1st, 2013 when we left to go on the trail. We were on the trail for about a half an hour. We saw a bunch of night wildlife such as skunks, owls, bats and even shooting stars out there. It was amazing to see everything so alive and active doing their nightly habits. All we usually do is walk to the bridge on the trail and come back home. But no one could have prepared us for our trip back home on that night.

We were at the bridge, and usually when we get there, we like to run across it individually without any flashlights to see how brave we are as we touch the fence on the opposite side and come back. After we all took our turns, we started our “trek” back home. We started to walk back from the bridge and come back home to our three little dogs. We were now blocks from our house on the flower-edged green belt and just about to turn the corner to go on the sidewalk that leads to our home. It was then, my older brother Jacob started running towards our house. I was wondering what he was doing because I had the key to our house. Then, it all went bad.

The next thing I saw was Jacob running in the middle of the street and two pit bulls were chasing him. It was all going so fast I didn’t know what to do. Then, he ran to the opposite sidewalk and the pit bulls aggressively tackled him to the cold, hard pavement. Then he started to scream out in sheer pain and agony. It was the scream heard around our neighborhood…the world. My dad was right by my side, but the next thing I know, he was by Jacob’s. He kicked one of the two pit bulls off of my brother. My dad then ran to the sidewalk and tried to make them leave. They wouldn’t leave and they just kept circling him and growling at him. My twin brother, Noah, and older brother, Jacob, stayed behind our neighbor’s cactus, which is quite pointy and sharp for protection. I stayed on our front lawn and didn’t move because I was afraid the pit bulls would see me and attack me. But, instead of attacking me, they attacked my father.
They brought him to the ground and they started to bite him, scratch him, and tear him apart. Then, the two pit bulls ripped off my dad’s glove and it distracted them. My dad told us to get inside, so I then unlocked the door and my brothers ran inside, and since the two pit bulls were distracted, my dad got up and ran inside. One pit bull was still following him, so we closed the door right on its muzzle. We were now safe and secure inside our house. I then went to the bathroom to see what happened to Jacob and my dad. It was horrible! Jacob’s whole left thigh and left buttock was bloody. He was in so much pain and shock that he thought it was all just a bad dream and wanted to wake up. Even worse were my dad’s injuries.

Those two pit bulls ripped off my dad’s right ear, cut open his chin, took chunks out of his left leg, put a big gash on the same left leg, and opened up the whole right side of his head. I was crying hysterically and never wanted this beautiful night of star gazing with my dad and my brothers to turn out like that. My dad then told Jacob to call 911, which he did and they came immediately. An ambulance, fire truck, police car, and animal control all came in what seemed like the same time. The ambulance took Jacob and my dad on gurneys and raced them to John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek. Noah and I then went inside and woke up my mom. We told her everything that happened and she knew that everything would be alright because my dad was there. She told us everything would be alright and she calmed us down and relaxed us until we fell asleep.

The following day, our helpful neighbors helped walk around the neighborhood to try to track down where the two dogs lived. We called animal control and they went to the address my neighbors had found and got them. The next week, those dogs were euthanized. At that point, we all were filled with relief because we knew that they could never come back and try to kill or injure anyone else again. Jacob and my dad have almost recovered physically and emotionally and it has made our family stronger. All thanks to our great neighbors, friendly community, helpful and fast responding police and firefighters, as well as the great doctors at John Muir, the great city of Oakley, and the vibrant county of Contra Costa. We definitely love living here and enjoy the fruits that our county has to offer.

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