We were just hanging out last Sunday evening after a lovely afternoon barbeque at our best friends' house, enjoying the cool mountain air and the good company. They had asked us to stay on a while to talk and visit a bit longer. Eventually the time came to make our way back downhill to home, so in preparation for that, I got up to take my glass to the sink.
One of their three dogs was dozing on the tiled kitchen floor. I spoke to her as I approached and kept talking as I made my way around her - sure didn't want to startle a sleeping dog! But she stayed asleep, or so I thought.
In the few seconds it took to set my glass down, I heard some scrabbling on the floor behind me - oh, she decided to get up after all. And then, before I could comprehend what was happening, there was something biting at my heels and suddenly fangs sunk into my left foot!! Of course I screamed, everyone jumped up and hauled the damn dog off me and put her outside.
I was so shocked I didn't realize at first that I was bleeding or what had really happened.... all I knew was blinding pain. I couldn't move or breathe, so Mike helped me to the floor. Waves and waves of pain washed over me and pulled me down into a terrifying well I could not escape. I almost passed out a couple times, but I do remember saying to go ahead and wash out the wounds. Since it hurt so bad anyway, may as well take advantage and clean them now.
Lots of tears were shed and not all of them were mine. Our dear friends felt so bad about their stupid dog gone psycho. They promised she would never be out of the kennel if anyone else was visiting, ever again. They took good care of me, while I leaned on Mike for support, until I could finally make my way, half-carried, to the car. I fell asleep on the way home.
The next morning, we soaked my foot to keep the puncture wounds open and draining while I finally had a chance to look in my books for more info on dog bite treatments. Mike took me to the Pahoa Medical Center, our new clinic only 5 minutes from our house. I got a tetanus booster and we had the bites looked at.
The verdict was that they were well-cleaned and cared for, but the surrounding tissues were quite traumatized. Fortunately, no ligaments or tendons were damaged. And thank goodness there is no rabies in Hawaii! However, dog bites carry an assortment of bacteria, and 90% of them become badly infected with all sorts of nasties, so antibiotics are routinely prescribed. My foot was already swollen, hot and red, sure signs of infection and trauma, so I agreed with the antibiotics.
This was the first time I have been bitten by a dog, not counting little nips that don't draw blood. I will never forget that sensation of the dog biting at me, trying to get a hold of my heels, and then the fangs sinking in. That's the stuff of which nightmares are made.
I haven't slept well since this happened, and am still in pain. I cannot walk or put much weight on my left foot. My arm aches from that tetanus shot, too. And now my tummy is starting to feel the effects of the antibiotics.
But, besides being tired and cranky, I'm actually doing better today. The redness and swelling have subsided quite a lot. The wounds are still open and oozing - gross, yes, but a good thing with punctures. And I'm sure glad I have a whole week before the next guests arrive... it may take that long to prep the hale.
I'm happy to say I will live after all. ;-)