It is the shaking that still wakes me up at night. Not my own, but my son's. It is the memory of his face bloody beneath my fingertips, his words choking on his tears, and his shoulders convulsing as I held him and he told me about how the neighbor's pitbull-dog had lunged for his throat.
A little over a week ago, my 12 year old son was walking a neighbor girl home from school when he was attacked by our neighbor's dog. The dog clamped on the his chin first; digging its lower teeth up into Zack's Jaw. After escaping that first bite, he then tore his left arm out of the dogs mouth, as the dog was not satisfied with his first attempt. After breaking free the second time, with the help of his friend and one of our neighbors, Zack was grabbed on his hip and thigh before the animal could be dragged away.
The girl my son was walking home had needed the escort because she had been chased by this very dog and she was terrified to go home alone. When the dog attacked she climbed into the back of a pick-up truck and watched, screaming as the terrifying scene unfolded. She is only 9 years old.
The 13 year old boy who helped get the dog off of my son is a good friend of ours and the owner of the dog, and he too was terrorized by the events of this day.
If you are feeling the pain and horror of these children, than you can imagine the scene in my house when all three arrived home minutes later.Pure chaotic ferver, tears, and screaming.
I look back now and realize that this was one of the times in my life when I am stirred to gratitude for my blindness. Although not being able to assess wounds, gather information for our emergency room visit, or drive my son to get his stitches. I do not have pictures in my head of his bloody face. I do not have to see the size and color of the dog and fear every dog that looks like that one. I do not have to remember the looks of horror and grief on those children's faces as they recounted the story, cried, and then wanted to be held.
But...I will always remember the shaking. The voices as they shook with panic at the thought of having to go back outside and face the dog again. The shaking of shoulders as they sobbed for their parents to come bring them home. They shaking of my son's body as the nurse cleaned the two puncture wounds on his face, her finger slipping into the wound deep enough to cover the first knuckle on her pinky finger.
I know that we all have been traumatized by the events of that day. The boy who loved and lost his dog. The girl who prayed for God to protect Zack. Zack, who still sees the teeth of the animal coming for him, and only now realizes how close he came to having his throat torn out instead of his chin bleeding.
Even as I write the details a shiver runs through my body with the memories. A shiver that is quickly replaced with a flood of peace that stirs my sould to tears.
Those little girl prayers did protect Zack, and his friends. The strength and generosity of spirit those children showed in caring for each other in their crisis, and the loyal and deepened friendships that have resulted from the attack remind me.
Life will always hold fear and loss, trauma and terror but God and Love and Goodness are the buoy's of the human heart. Those three children are heroes, not for just what they did in the crisis, but for what they continue to do to heal, everyday. For Zack, Chance, and Jadan...You truly are the choicest of God's creations