Wednesday, August 05, 2009
#4 - Dog Bites Heal
She was ready, but her mom sure wasn’t.
It had only been two days removed from having her family dog bite her in the lip and mouth area. The doctors called it the worst dog bite that they had ever seen. There was a note on the door that told me to wait for Ann, the Child Life Specialist. Good thing that she saw us first. Ann told me that Sally was ready to meet Sadie because all of the kids on the floor had been talking up the visit, and many of the kids couldn’t wait for Sadie’s visit. The problem wasn’t Sally’s, it was her mom.
She had seen Sadie’s picture on the door and was afraid of her size and her color. I’ve been amazed that folks were afraid because she was so big and dark. I just always thought of her as my black beauty.
Ann had really worked hard with the mom, but she wouldn’t budge. Yet here we were and she was now facing her greatest fear. I stayed outside the playroom, and the door was shut. One of the kids saw Sadie and started screaming for her to come in and play. The mom came to the window and almost fainted. She said that Sadie was even bigger in person. She said that Sally could NOT be near or pet Sadie.
By this time, all of the kids in the playroom were at the door and pleading for Sadie to come in. Sadie of course was crying to get at the kids. My friend Jan tells me that Sadie thinks that the children are “kid-sickles” because she likes to lick them so much.
Ann asked the mom if it would be all right if Sadie came into the room if she took Sally to the corner and behind the little roped off play area and just watched how Sadie interacted with the other kids. That way she could see how really gently she is with the children. Ann told her that I would come in and put Sadie in a “down” and the kids play with her that way. The mom agreed and we waited until Ann got her and Sally in the corner. Ann came out and told us, and we agreed.
It was hard to put her in a “down” as the kids rushed her as soon as we walked in the door. The hugging and kissing was amazing. Ann finally got all of the kids to calm down and I was finally able to get Sadie to sit and then lie down. Ann was talking with the mom and explaining how things worked with the kids and Sadie and it all of the excitement didn’t realize that Sally was on the floor and petting Sadie at her tail.
The mom got a little scared but didn’t want to rush at Sally or Sadie so she quietly came over and put herself between Sadie’s head and Sally. She was on the floor and next to Sadie but looking back to the corner in order to talk with Ann. When she turned back to talk to me Sadie was ready for her. As the mom turned toward me Sadie turned her head too. She timed it so that she could give the mom the biggest wet lick on the side of her face that she had ever gotten in her life. The mom was stunned. She just stared at me then back at Sadie and then back at me. I looked the mom right in the eye and said, I guess Sadie really likes you.
The room went silent; moments went by like eternity as we waited for the mom to say something. Then all of a sudden one huge tear ran down her face as she managed to stutter, “Sadie is so gentle.”
While all of this was happening, Sally slid over to her mom’s side and she looked up at her mom, and said, “See, Sadie does really like you!” The mom melted and soon all of the kids and the mom were petting, hugging and loving on Sadie.
Ann would often tell parents that perhaps Sadie’s best work was with the children who had been attacked by dogs.