Second Chances ~ Same Situation – Different Response

A rather large yellow dog, with a serious face, was minding his own business as a young couple led him past my daughter’s house last summer.

As I peacefully enjoyed the warm breeze from the porch swing, Ecco, my daughter’s black border collie/Australian shepherd mix, was lying at my feet. Such a well-behaved dog, she usually stayed close to her own yard.

When Ecco nonchalantly started walking down the driveway to checkout the dog passing by, I called to her to stay. Ecco did not listen and instead poked her nose where it was not welcome. What happened next shocked me.

Big Yellow opened his massive jaws and clamped down on the side of Ecco’s neck. I screamed and kept screaming as the male owner tried frantically to unlock his dog’s jaws. It seemed to go on forever. I thought Ecco was going to be killed right then and there.

When finally free, Ecco and I bee-lined for the house. My hands shook while I was cleaning the wound and my heart pounded wildly. Then came the knock at the door.

The man and I both started apologizing profusely. I noticed his hand was bleeding as he cupped both my hands in his. “You’re shaking,” he said, “I am so sorry this happened.”

“My daughter told me that it’s a law here that dogs must be on a leash, so I’m the one to blame.” I told him. And on and on we both went trying to bring comfort to one another. He said his wife was also beside herself and he left to try, no doubt, to help calm another hysterical woman. For that I will be forever grateful.

But the drama of the situation wouldn’t leave me alone. Yes, I needed to work through the guilt for not honoring my daughter’s request to put her dog on a leash, but it went deeper than that.

When I was a nurse, I trained my mind to be unruffled during emergencies. An appropriate course of helpful action comes to a clear mind. Plus, calling upon Spirit for help, lends the type of energy that may bring peace to all. If I had been less fearful, would the dogs have been so too? Was I that out of practice?

Learning the practical lesson in this was easy ~ keep-dog-on-leash! But, I also know that when I don’t handle things in the best way, another opportunity to do better, usually presents itself.

Sure enough. On my latest trip to visit my daughter and her family the challenge arose. Ecco and I went for a walk.

I heard a snarl and a black pit-bull came flying across the street. His jaws landed on the same spot on Ecco’s neck. I kid you not!

I had a startle response and let out a scream that alerted the owners. Then I took a deep breath while internally calling to Spirit for help. My arm shot out and I commanded the dog to “go home.” Before the owners even had a chance to cross the street, the dog let go and ran home. Both owners then started to run inside their house with the dog.

Surprisingly, in a calm, authoritative voice, I found myself shouting to the owners the following words, “Do I need to call the police here?”

While I was checking the injuries to Ecco’s neck the woman and her son eventually came out to talk with me. I retained a peaceful manner as I inquired as to whether their dog was a threat to other dogs and children in the neighborhood. We had an informative conversation and eventually she ended up apologizing and offering to pay any vet bills. I told her Ecco was fine, and we left on good terms.

Similar situation, same good outcome ~ but the way I handled it came from a very different place. The extended drama and its aftermath didn’t occur.

No matter the circumstances, always try to come from a calm, clear place within. Call to whatever Higher Power you trust in, and do your best to respond appropriately to help all. Hopefully, I’ll remember to adhere to this always! If not, I know other opportunities to do better will come. Ugh.

Ecco the dog with a flower. She helped me learn a better way.

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