That’s right! You heard me! Yesterday, I was attacked by a sneak terriorist! And I have the bloody scars to prove it.
It was about as authentic a terriorist as you can find and it struck without warning. There I was, walking along the beach for a little exercise in the October sunshine…minding my own business, watching a small dog frolic in the waves… when WHOMP! There I was, landing on my hip, then rolling on my back, staring at the bloody stump of my hand! If a bomb had landed or a grenade had been thrown, it couldn’t have happened with less warning.
Today, I pieced together the events and realized that it could have been worse. Much worse!
Just as luck would have it, my left hand had inadvertently gotten in the way of the real target: my bare, upper back thigh, unprotected by my bathing suit or light gym shorts. One second before, I had been striding along, my arm swinging in its usual arc, and fortunately for me, the swing was such that the bony back of my hand took the hit. Of course, there were those great big veins there, and two of them gushed like firehoses, the minute I was struck. But, i would hate to think of the shape my sitting part would be in now without that hand to stave off the force of the sudden explosive assault.
No, our Gulf coastline is not under attack. No, Deepwater Horizon is not still slinging shrapnel from over by the Texas shore…and I don’t think it ever was. No, a shark didn’t leap out of the water, with no shore bird around to warn me. But, the terriorist was definitely connected to wild life, in that he, himself, was a little bit wild.
Wildly upset that I had encroached upon his territory! Wildly defending his right to bear arms! Wildly defending his right to attack arms! My arms!
I, somehow, even as I rolled away from him, instinctively knew his name. The words: Jack Russell came to me, clear as a bell! And he was very small for all the power he delivered… and was very ready to deliver again. Oh, he was a terriorist, all right!
A Jack Russell Terrier to be exact and I was lucky to be just out of leash length or he would have finished me off, alright! His horrified owners scooped him up and brought me a small towel, which I proceeded to fill with much blood. She explained that her ex was a policeman and had taught this feisty one to be a guard dog. She took him off to the car while her, (much-nicer-than-the-ex), boyfriend came with me into the surf to spill some shark-attractant into the water.
Then, he proficiently bound my hand with the bloody towel and began to apply pressure to the middle of my palm, holding it high in the air until the bleeding stopped as did all sensation. I commented: “You know just what you’re doing, don’t you?” He turned out to be a nurse on the open-heart surgery ward at the best hospital in town. Now, how’s that for landing in good hands?
He calmly explained that I could have all the details about the dog because when I went with a dog bite to the doctor’s, that it was the law that the dog be reported to the authorities. I imagined huge fines or maybe, euthanasia and said that I don’t mess much with medicine, in general, and that I could tell that this was only a flesh wound which happened over a very large exposed vein, so I knew that it would heal rapidly with no need for emergency care. Besides, the dog was defending his “terrioritory” and just doing what small dogs will sometimes do. He had never bitten anyone before and they were so horrified that I know he will be muzzled when they bring him into public again. His shots are up-to-date, as are mine. So, what’s the problem?
So, when the bleeding stopped, we packed some ice around my hand and bound it in the towel. I cut my walk short to return down the beach to my car and drive home. Hydrogen Peroxide and Ibuprophen were all the doctoring I needed and today things are rapidly on the mend.
They are a nice young couple. The dog is old and fat and cranky. They will do the right thing and keep that little terriorist under control without my having to get “Up In Arms” with fear, anger and road rage, and get into the middle of their business and tell them how to do it. We all acted like grownups yesterday.
Except little Jack Russell. But they never do, anyway.