SURVIVING A DOG ATTACK: The Aftermath (Part 2)

This is one post in the four-part ‘SURVIVING A DOG ATTACK’ series, including:

I was bleeding out of my stomach.

It wasn’t a large wound, but there was blood and a visible entry point where the dog bit into me. Today, a scar remains—and in the shape of a dog’s tooth (no less). Looking back, I probably should have had stitches, but the doctor/dentist never offered, and I wasn’t keen on sewing up my own flesh.

On the way to the doctor/dentist, I had to ask the SUV driver to stop by our house so we could pick up Jason (I’d left my phone at home, and didn’t want J to panic). Walking into the medical office on Jason’s arm, the SUV man trailed nervously behind, while doctor/dentist froze. I had to instruct him to check me for wounds. “Could you…do something?” I asked, gesturing to my abdomen.

Perhaps it had been a while since the doctor/dentist had seen any real trauma. Perhaps that’s why he only stood there, staring like he’d just watched a polar bear stroll down a Caribbean beach. There had to be a reason.

Puncture wound from my dog attack.
Puncture wound from my dog attack.

We’d had a different doctor in Fondo, but this was my first visit to the doctor or the dentist in Cavareno. Basically, I didn’t know the guy. Me, stumbling into his office at night, blood soaking through my shirt—that was our first encounter.

I was in shock, at the time. Unable to put it together, to realize: the doctor/dentist was also somewhat family (his sister, Ludovica, is married to Jason’s second cousin, Rinaldo).

Dr. Springhetti was his name (Springhetti is also the name of the husband of Rinaldo’s sister (who is Jason’s cousin…confusing, I know). The doctor/dentist’s office was the type designed sometime in the 1970s, and never updated. Wood-paneled walls, retro-green examining chairs.

The waiting area, however, had gotten an early-90s re-do: Trentino tourism promotional posters of people snow skiing in brightly-colored ski suits were hung up, the room scattered in red metal seating remnant of that era.

The whole place had the feel of a ski lodge goes to a Stevie Nicks concert.

Eventually, a pair of firemen came marching into the examination room. I was laid back in the dentist’s chair, the firemen leaning over and asking me questions about the attack. Dr. Springhetti tentatively dressing my wound as a few other random people peeked into the room.

Me and my wound were on display.

A few weeks later, the puncture wound starting to heal. You can still see yellow bruising and other scratching from the dog's teeth. But I'm lucky this was all the damage done.
A few weeks later, the puncture wound starting to heal. You can still see yellow bruising and other scratching from the dog’s teeth. But I’m lucky this was all the damage done.

Fifteen minutes in to my unplanned doctor/dentist visit, the dog owner showed up, with a friend, wearing a long coat she hadn’t bothered to button. Her hair was dyed an earthy, yellow-blonde, and she was distraught, pacing the room, wringing her hands. I ended up comforting her, giving her a hug and saying, “Non ti preoccupi.” Don’t worry…it’ll be alright.

She cried on my shoulder.

Later, the dog owner drove Jason and me back to our house, only a half dozen houses away from her place, where Attack Dog maintained his protective reign.

It reads: The sum of 440 Euros paid as reimbursement for damage to two jackets, on behalf the Pezzini family's dog.
It reads: The sum of 440 Euros paid as reimbursement for damage to two jackets, on behalf the Pezzini family’s dog.

The next day I noticed that both my jackets (fleece and windbreaker) had holes ripped in the back, and so the owner payed me to replace them—avoiding any further conflict (her written receipt of payment is above).

To this day, I think how lucky she was that I was an immigrant (with only a year of Italian under my belt). Lucky I lacked the language skills and the fortitude to figure out how to slap her with a lawsuit.

Because—looking back—I most definitely should have.

To learn about the less obvious scars endured, check out the next installment, SURVIVING A DOG ATTACK: The Invisible Wounds (Part 3).

For tips on how to protect yourself in the event of a dog attack, check out, SURVIVING A DOG ATTACK: What NOT To Do (Part 4).

Did you enjoy this post?
Sign up today and receive free updates straight to your inbox. We will never share or sell your email address.
Share This:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone