I don’t think I ever really went into detail about Affie’s attack four years ago. Saachi tore Affie’s lower mandible off her face. It was possibly the most dramatic event to ever happen to me.
It was Saturday morning. I was warming up the dogs’ AM meal in the microwave (they eat home cooked food). My aunt was at the sink washing dishes. Suddenly, we heard Affie cry and we turned to see Saachi shaking her like a rag doll.
My aunt shrieked bloody murder and grabbed Saachi by her neck. I grabbed whatever part of Affie I could and pulled in the other direction.
Our yelling woke the entire household and they came running from every direction. I was still in complete shock. There were pools of blood all over the floor.
We rushed her to our clinic. My dad drove while I kept Affie conscious. We were almost at the hospital when she went into shock. The light left her eyes…I tried to stay calm and said “Come on Affie, wake up…wake up”. Dad freaked and almost crashed into the car ahead of us. I didn’t know what to do except grab Affie’s tongue and yank and pull almost hard enough to pull it off. She woke up (thankfully, because that would have been the end) just as we pulled into the parking lot.
Our vets called the closest emergency clinic and made calls to friends (dental surgeons) to get her into surgery as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the earliest appointment was Monday so we took her to emergency. I don’t know why we didn’t initially go there first. We probably should have but we were on autopilot and went to my work instead.
The veterinarian-on-call told me Affie’s lower mandible was separated from the top. I did not understand her words. I couldn’t fathom that my dog’s head was in two pieces and she was still alive.
Affie stayed in emergency, with her jaw taped closed, through the weekend. She, being the stubborn brat that she was, kept tearing off the tape. Her doctor worried she was very anxious to which I laughed and said she just didn’t like it and she wasn’t going to wear it!
Monday came and we took her to the surgeon. He took x-rays and showed
us (read: me) the breaks (Dad can’t stomach this kind of thing). The right break was while the left was shattered pieces of jaw. He wired her mouth closed but left enough space for her tongue to grab food. He knew the right side would heal while it was a waiting game for the left. If the bone did not repair itself properly Affie faced paralysis for the rest of her life.
Affie wore the wires for six months and it took just as long for her broken leg to heal. Thankfully, given her diet, she had no trouble eating (the food is mostly ground). She was on house arrest and cranky but her bones healed perfectly.
Affie felt better within 10 days of the attack and immediately forgave Saachi. She wanted to run and play with her. She wanted to jump up on her face and lick her (which is how we ended up in this debacle). It was a full time job separating the dogs and keeping Affie from injuring herself more.
Affie was a stubborn dog. An obstinate and hard-headed dog. She was resilient and refused to die. I frequently called her my Nalgene bottle because no matter what happened she never broke.
It’s weird to think Affie might not be here today. She should have died. It’s unnerving to think about that sometimes. What is even more amazing it’s like nothing happened! She is as strong as ever and has the exact same temperament (even around Saachi). She has frequently has nightmares but hey, if that’s the only trauma that came from this then I consider her extremely lucky!
Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.
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