Saturday, September 22, 2012

Scariest. Morning. Ever.

Most of you know we have two labs, three year old Scooby and 7 month old Paris. They are best friends. Paris adores Scooby and follows him everywhere. They play constantly and Scooby is so patient with Paris's puppy antics. When they do play, it sounds like they are attacking each other. They absolutely sound ferocious, but they are so gentle and careful not to hurt each other and their tails are constantly wagging.

This morning was no different than any other lazy Saturday. James and I were lying in bed getting caught up on our emails and Facebook while the boys played with their DSIs and Jossilyn watched cartoons. We were all gathered in the master bedroom.

The dogs tend to get playful after they eat breakfast, and we were pretty much ignoring them as they wrestled loudly on the floor. Suddenly, Scooby yelped in pain. I continued ignoring him initially because occasionally they nip each other too hard. Then, Paris yelped. It sounded urgent. All of a sudden, John screams out that Scooby's mouth is caught on Paris' collar.

James and bolted upright and looked over the end of the bed. Within just those few seconds, the dogs had gone into full-fledged panic. The problem was obvious. Somehow, as they wrestled, Scooby's lower jaw had slid under Paris's collar and was wrapped tightly around his back teeth. His canine teeth were preventing him from being able to dislodge his jaw. The more they panicked and tried to separate, the tighter the collar became on Paris's neck and the more frantic they became.

James leaped out of bed and, in a single motion, he was on top of Paris trying to free her collar. This was no easy task as the dogs were flailing around the room, frantic and terrified. Scooby thought that Paris was attacking him on purpose and he began to growl and attack back the best he could, biting into her neck.

James had a hold of Paris, but she wriggled away and flipped. Now the collar was twisted, as well as trapped on Scooby's mandible, and Paris was now being strangled tightly.

Scooby weighs 85 lbs and Paris weighs 40. I realized that James was really struggling to control 125 lbs of terrified, panicking dogs and I jumped off the bed to help.

By this time, the dogs were yelping loudly, Paris was crying out in this mournful, childlike wail that terrified me. I had never heard a dog sound like that before. The boys were screaming in fear and Jossilyn was starting to get upset.

I grabbed on to Scooby and tried to throw my weight against him while simultaneously getting him in a headlock. My goal was to try and hold him still so James could get the collar off Paris. Unfortunately, with the collar pulled so tightly against her neck, and being twisted as well, he was unable to wedge his fingers in enough to release the clasp.

James started crying out, "I can't do it!! I can't do it!! My God, I can't do it!!" his voice was full of fear and near breaking with emotion. In our 14 years together, I have NEVER heard him sound so scared or helpless. I glanced at his hands. His fingers were shredded and bleeding from trying so hard to release the collar. He had bleeding gashes all over his upper torso from the dogs' claws as they fought for freedom. James was trying so hard. I kept putting all my weight on 85 lb Scooby. It was all I could do.

The boys were screaming and crying in terror. I was crying. The dogs were crying. Then Paris went silent. She had passed out and was very near death. We still couldn't free them. I screamed out, "She's dying! We're killing her!" I screamed for John to run and get scissors. Paris was so near death that her body simultaneously and involuntarily defecated, urinated and released her glands. We were out of time.

Fortunately, when Paris passed out, she went limp which gave James just enough millimeters of space to squeeze the release on her collar and get it free. He freed them just as John returned with the scissors.

James carried Paris's limp little body away from the kids' view while Scooby collapsed in my lap. His gums were swollen, shredded and bleeding where the collar had dug into them as he struggled, but thankfully, he had not lost any teeth.

I looked at James and cautiously asked if Paris was alive. Before he could answer, I heard her head shake. James had freed them in just the nick of time and she came to on her own. Her neck is bare of hair where the collar pulled so tightly against her and we can feel where her throat is swollen.

I kept an eye on her all day to make sure her throat didn't swell shut, but she seems fine.

If this had happened while either James or myself were not at home, Paris would have died. Neither one of us could have controlled 125 lbs of dog AND freed the collar at the same time.

I am SO thankful that we were both home and that James was able to free them before we lost Paris. I can't imagine the trauma my kids would have felt if they had to witness Paris die in such a freak accident. Thank you, Jesus, for your providence over my family - even the canine members!!

Here is a picture of Paris' neck after the incident...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

In Memory

Our lives have never been the same since that fateful day, eleven years ago. These days, we mostly go about our lives without dwelling on the tragedy that was September 11, 2001. But, like many of you, I choose to pause and reflect on the anniversary; to remember and recognize the thousands of innocent people that lost their lives that day, just going about their business.

It's the least I can do.

For the mothers and fathers who lost their babies, and the babies who lost their mothers and fathers, this day was a defining moment in their lives. It shaped who and what they are. For those of us who were lucky enough to go to bed that night with all our friends and loved ones accounted for and safe, it emphasized what our true priorities are, or at least what they should be.

Thank you to all those who fought at Ground Zero that day. And THANK YOU to those of you who have fought and continue to fight for my freedom since that day. You are true heroes and I am humbled by your sacrifice.

I made this video last year, but I thought I would repost it today. God bless.