Sunday, February 21, 2010
The Attack (Part Two)
The next morning, while suffering through the wait of Lucy's surgery, I called Toronto Animal Services and told them about what had happened. They said they would send someone in a few days. I tried to describe the urgency of this situation, and they told me they were backed up and would get here as soon as they could. So the sit around and wait game began again. Luckily I work in film, so it's a game I've gotten to know very well.
A few hours later Dr. Miller, the vet at the VEC, called to say Lucy's surgery had been successful and explained that even though they had to put all her organs back into place, they were expecting her to make a full recovery. Except, as my mother was on the phone with the Dr., he suddenly had to go because Lucy went into cardiac arrest. My body froze with fear as I waited for him to call back. He finally did and told us that they had revived Lucy and she was now stable. I cried tears of relief and was told to wait another 24 hours before I came down to visit her. Every time we called to check in, she was still stable and doing ok.
I needed to find out why that dog had been outside without his owner. The woman who had witnessed the attack had thought that the dog jumped off the second story balcony because she had seen it jump before. My dad went to the building after work that night and spoke to the superintendent, who was already aware what had happened. She gave my dad the owner's name and apartment number. When he got to the owner's door there was a big "Beware of Dog" sign on it. No one was home when he knocked, but he could hear the dog on the inside, which was good, because I was nervous the guy would flee before we got to him.
"She's a really special dog," I said, mimicking the same words that Joanne the breeder, had uttered to me nearly fifteen years ago when I had gotten her.
On my way home from visiting Lucy, I happened to see the superintendent outside the building where we got attacked. She was standing with her small son as they loaded up the recycling bin. I got out of my car and went to go speak to her. She didn't speak English very well, but I explained to her who I was and wanted to know what had happened. I asked her if the dog had jumped off the balcony. She laughed that off and said, "No, no. He had taken the dog to the park and the dog wouldn't come when he called so he left it there and went home."
Those words knocked me down harder than the German Shepherd had. Was she kidding me? He left his German Shepherd in the park to find his way home himself? This woman would have been better off telling me the dog jumped off the balcony. What kind of negligent jerk was he? I asked her if she understood how serious this was. What if it had been her little boy? I asked, pointing to her son who was playing in the same grass where my dogs were attacked. "No, no. That dog likes people. He just doesn't like other dogs. I'm not afraid."
I went home furious. It then took Animal Services a week to show up at my house. Lucy was already home from the hospital by the time they finally did come by. When the woman saw her she freaked out at how awful the attack was.
"Yes," I said. "This is why I have been trying to stress that it was an emergency situation for the past week." The woman examined Lucy, looking for the puncture wounds. She said she couldn't see any.
"It's been a week," I said, completely agitated. "They have healed. you can see the scabs." She apologized for how long it had taken for them to get out to see me and assured us that they would take action. The first thing she would do is issue a muzzle order for the dog, then they would press charges and yadda, yadda, yadda.
It has now been four months since the attack and the dog is still running around Earl Bales Park without a muzzle on and any small dog he comes across he lunges at. Needless to say, I am not impressed with Animal Services, nor do I feel any safer. Thankfully, as far as I know, there have been no other attacks. Everyone on my street and in the area knows to keep a careful watch out for the dog and his owner, who is just as vicious.
Lucy is doing better than ever. She has even more energy and is more alert than she was before the attack. She races up and down the hall of my parents house and has a comparable energy and zest, that she had as a puppy. Her recovery was quick and her hair grew back within a month. She is a survivor. She is a miracle.
This week I will meet with my lawyer, and I will do all that I can to not only get the 10K that it cost for Lucy's surgery, but in hopes of preventing this from happening to anyone else. I will fight, just like Lucy did, and I will win, just like Lucy did.