Tell us about a time when you had to choose between two options, and you picked the unpopular choice.
It was a sunny day in August, a year and a half ago. I was petsitting for my daughter and her family while they were on a cruise through the Caribbean to Cozumel. There were quite a number of pets to care for–two dogs, two cats, two fish–and my dog. Their two dogs were as different as day and night. Nyx was a laid-back Schiperke, all black, a sweet, adorable dog. Pako, was a hyper, barky, nippy, jumpy Chihuahua. The cats stayed in the garage since my daughter’s husband is terribly allergic to them.
I came over on a Saturday morning after the family had left for Galveston and the ship to take them on their cruise. Everything went well. They have a fenced in back yard where I let the dogs out to “do their business.” Pako was supposed to wear his leash in the house because, supposedly, he behaved better when he had it on.
It was a Sunday afternoon and I had just let the dogs outside for a break and they had just come in. I went after Pako to put his leash back on. He was sitting between a lounge chair and the sofa and I guess he felt hemmed in because when I went to put his leash on him, he attacked my hand–hard. He bit my left hand and left several deep puncture wounds. I was able to get the leash on him and then realized i was bleeding and my hand was throbbing. I figured I’d better wash it and try to find some antiseptic cream, but I couldn’t find any. I should have gone down to the pharmacy and bought some. Hindsight is always best. I washed my wounds and tried to make them bleed a little more to clean out the germs. I found some bandaids and put them on the worst wounds and thought I had done the best I could do.
On Wednesday, I had to take my dog to the vet and my hand was really hurting and sore. While I was at the vet, I told her what had happened. She looked at my wounds, which were now red and swollen. She told me they looked infected and that I needed to see my doctor, whom I was seeing the next day anyway. She also told me what was going to happen with Animal Control when I told my doctor that I had gotten bitten by a dog. And she was right.
The next day, Thursday, I went to my doctor for a check-up and showed her my wounds. She had to fill out paperwork that told I had been bitten by a dog. It told who owned the dog and was sent to Animal Control. I had to get a tetanus shot and a penicillin shot and take oral antibiotics (this was during Ramadan and I was taking them on an empty stomach which made me sick to my stomach).
I went home and called my daughter’s vet to find out if Pako was current on his rabies shots. Of course he wasn’t. I asked if he could be boarded there for the period that Animal Control required the dog to be observed if he was not current on his shots and they said, yes. I made arrangements to take him over the next afternoon to get his rabies shots and to be quarantined for the five days that were required (ten days from the day of the bite). And sure enough, Friday morning, Animal Control Services showed up on our doorstep with an order that the dog either be quarantined at a vet’s and a form faxed to them or he be surrendered to ACS to be quarantined for shots and observation (more expensive). I took Pako to the vet that afternoon and paid for his quarantine and shots.
When the family returned on Sunday, I had to tell them that Pako was at the vet’s for quaratine and had had his rabies shots. They were all very upset, and my daughter screamed at me and wanted to know why I hadn’t made up a story that I had been bitten by an unknown dog when I was walking the dogs. Nevermind that would have meant that i would have to undergo a series of painful rabies shots to protect me against rabies when they couldn’t find the “unknown dog.” I had made the decision to tell the truth. My daughter asked me to leave her house because her husband was so angry he was ready to throw me out of the house (he found dog hair in the living room). So I was basically thrown out of my daughter’s house for telling the truth about my wounds and for caring for their pets. I was punished for doing the right thing. We didn’t speak or text for nearly three weeks after this incident. Even all this time after the incident, I doubt they have kept Pako current on his shots. At least we are speaking again. But things will never be the same again between my daughter and me.