Thursday evening, June 26, 2008 I was on the computer in the office room in our house. I was getting ready for the last day of Vacation bible school (I will post more on that later). I was also getting ready to pack because Tim, Marissa, Kathy, Trever and myself were leaving the next day for Florida around 6pm. Marissa wanted to go play at her friend Emma's house. I thought that would give me a chance to pack and prepare for the last day of VBS. Well Emma lives on the other side of our subdivision. In order to get to Emma's house Marissa has walk to the culdesac (which is about 5 houses up from ours) and walk through some one's back yard and then she will be in Emma's back yard. The yard of the person she cuts through is not fenced and neither is Emma's. The homeowners is aware that Marissa cuts through their yard and they have no problem with it. Well once Marissa gets to Emma's she can either call me and ask when she has to be home (after asking Emma's mom) or her and Emma can walk to our house together and play. If Marissa has not called in about 3 minutes I go outside to see where she is (usually playing with someone else who was outside already).
Well, a few minutes had gone by and she hadn't called yet. I stood up to go outside when I heard loud crying coming from the front of the house. I wasn't alarmed at first because my daughter has actually come home crying over something as simple as the other girls not being home or not playing with her. My first thought was that Emma wasn't home and she was throwing a fit about it. Before I could get to the front door Marissa came into the computer room and screamed "it bit me! the dog bit me!" Now I was panicked! She turned around and right above her knee on the back of her leg was a large bite! there four teeth marks at the top and a little blood coming from them. Under the teeth marks was a bruise that had already formed that was a little larger than a golf ball. Well I started crying and screaming. "what happened?? Oh my gosh, what dog?????" I figured it had to be a stray because she had been walking to Emma's for almost a year and had never been bitten by any dog. Well I called Tim and he said to take her to urgent care. Then I called my mom and she said find the dog first and then take her to urgent care. Then Kathy called and she said the same thing as my mom because we had to see if the dog was stray or if someone owned the dog and see if it was up to date on the raby shots. Marissa was more scared then hurt. I told her to take off her clothes so I could put her in the bath tub. For some reason I thought if I washed it then it would not get infected??? (Obviously I was not thinking rationally at this point). Then I ran out front looking for any signs of a dog so I could see if it had tags so I could see if it had rabies shots. I ran all the way up to Emma's and there was no sign of a dog any where. Strangely there was no one outside either when usually half the neighborhood is out. I ran back home and told Marissa to put her clothes back on. She thought I was crazy at this point but since I couldn't find a dog any where I wanted to take her to Urgent Care. Well once I was in the car I drove over to the other side of the subdivision to see if there was a dog out. I started asking Marissa questions since my head was clearing and she wasn't crying any more. I asked where the dog came from and she told me the neighbor's yard. I said, "oh, well then did it run off after it bit you?" That would make since because I couldn't find a dog any where in the whole neighborhood. She said "no mommy, the girl called it in." WHAT!
Now the story was coming clear. By then I was on the other side of the neighborhood. Marissa pointed out which house the dog was called back into and I turned around to drive her to Urgent Care. I called Tim to meet me there and then called my mom and asked her to find out if the dog had it's shots. I told her what the house looked like so she could talk to the owner. '
While I was driving I couldn't help thinking how the heck could someone call a dog in and not hear my kid screaming and crying and check to see if she was ok. I felt sorry for Marissa that she had to walk all the way home by herself after getting bit by the dog. Like I said earlier, it is rare that no one was outside. My parents called while i was on my way to the urgent care center. They contacted the police who had told them to let them get in touch with the owner. When the police first went to the door the lady asked how my mom new it was her dog. Well, my daughter pointed out their house, it's right next door to Emma's, and they have two dogs. hmmmmm. Then the lady's daughter told her that she saw Marissa leaving Emma's yard and running home while she was calling the dogs in but she didn't realize the dog had bitten her. Then they said they had an electric fence so Marissa had to have been in her yard but they are still responsible either way. Well I asked Marissa whose yard she was in and she said the dog bit her when she was running up Emma's deck to get away from it. I found out later the dog is so hyper it runs through the electric fence so fast it doesn't feel it. The owners had papers saying the shots were up to date so I started feeling better. I just didn't want to have to have Marissa go through the whole raby thing.
Well we went to the Urgent care and the doctor cleaned her leg and then another doctor looked at her leg and told us as long as the raby shots were up to date she would be totally fine. What a relief! I did not want to postpone our Florida trip. Most importantly Marissa was fine.
I went home and my mom said the owner of the dog wanted to talk to me. Well by then it was about 8pm, I still had to get ready for VBS and I hadn't started packing for our 8 day trip. So obviously now that I knew Marissa was fine I just wanted to deal with everything when I returned from vacation. The next day after VBS someone from animal control came to look at her leg and confirmed it was a dog bit and then the police came to talk to me about it. They tried to convince me to go to their house and talk to them. I tried to convince them I needed to pack. I would have gone there any other time but I was already running behind. I told the police she could call me at home and i gave them my number.
Well, now that the whole thing is over and Marissa is ok we only have one new rule:
No walking to Emma's without mommy or daddy!