Saturday, July 14, 2007

Plight Of The Big Black Dog

The surgeon who, after putting my child’s face painstakingly back together with over 100 tiny, tiny stitches, the previously absolutely perfect face having been shredded by a Big Black Dog (or BBD as they're fondly refered to by the Humane Society worker-type) a few hours before told me this:


Most of the dog bites I (a pediatric plastic surgeon) work on are caused by (black) lab-mixes, likely because they're just so ubiquitous. I’ve come to believe though, in my line of work, that dogs and children just do not mix.


Even in the state of fighting-off-shock I was in at the time, I remember feeling pity for the BBD. The BBDs can't help it; they're simply everywhere, due to humans failing to spay/neuter and carry out responsible dog ownership duties.

There's a BBD named Spud, long departed for the Happy Hunting Grounds, who I will never forget. Really, Spud was more of a M(medium)BD, and he belonged to a good-looking, gregarious, freewheelin' hippie couple who were friends of my own freewheelin', hermit-like, hippie parents in the early 70's.

The sweet-natured couple and their dog Spud had been dispatched, in their VW van of course, to pick me up from summer camp, since my folks, due to I suppose, the typically chaotic state of their own lifestyle at the time, couldn't be bothered to drive north and fetch me home after my 3-week stay at what, at the time, was simply Sheer Wide Heaven, an idyllic refuge from chaos and cultural confusion in the most picturesque mountain valley outside of Summer Camp Central, Brevard, N.C.

How my folks had even managed the elaborate dispatching of this lovely young couple was beyond me; the parentals didn't have a telephone in our house, having determined that telephones were evil devices that furthered communications with society-at-large. And God forbid, other people.

I was miserable and depressed at the idea of leaving my cocooning, privileged summer camp wonderland and being returned to my "real" family on the organic sand farm in the middle of nowhere, where I would mostly trudge back and forth on some ancient yellow school bus, forced to spend most of my precious time amongst the great unwashed, barely literate, welfare-dependent, rotten-teeth and stinking from no running water, shack-dwelling population of Kershaw County, S.C.

No, that was not a soothing thought, and when the couple picked me up from camp that day to drive me the five or so hours back to Nowhereville, USA, despite their cheerful loveliness, I just curled up in a ball in the way-back of the VW bus and tried to keep my aching heart inside my little body someway where no one would notice how much it was hurting.

About 5-minutes into the ride back home in the VW, the black mixed-lab Spud jumped over the seat and curled-up in a soft, warming ball right beside me. He didn't leave my miserable side until we were all the long way home.

All I knew, for all my life, up to the point where I heard my child's screams a mere 10 feet away from me just over a year ago, was that mix-breed black dogs were a heaven-sent source of the greatest comfort a girl could want in a time of need.

Now, I just don't know what I think.

2 comments:

Shelby said...

Wow, that IS confusing. I always thought labs were great family dogs, most of their pain being inflicted on children simply because of their mass and momentum in an overexcited desire to play. Walking around Piedmont Park on weekends has only reinforced my more favored dog prejudice, that there is no reason for anyone to continue to own or breed pits and staffordshires, and that anyone who brings one on a thick, spiky chain to the park where children are playing has a personality disorder.

Grayson said...

And oh how the most pathetic and weakest, all the way up to Arthur Blank, worship the greatest personality disorder of them all:
http://www.ajc.com/sports/content/sports/falcons/stories/2007/07/13/0714vick.html