Monday, April 25, 2011

Close Encounters

The best thing to come out of 6 months of therapy last year, was my firm and unapologetic stance on the need for an expert security escort when I travel into Detroit for work. More than once I've felt silly for having one of those guys accompany me, but if I don't take them, and something bad happens, I can't take it back. In my mind, I'm better off safe, than sorry. I've long since stopped feeling guilt about the added expense to my employer. This is the cost of providing service to the poor and unfortunately goes with the territory.

Tonight I had just such an encounter that made me thankful my driver was with me. We pulled up to the house that's in a high crime area of town and shares an alley with an apartment building with multiple residences. As I was about to enter the dwelling, my driver pushed the door shut and said, "look down." There was a large, and recently mauled Pitbull in the house. The dog hadn't barked when we knocked. She just was. There. We had the family lock her up and then went indoors.

About half way through my visit, the family let the dog back indoors. While her presence made me nervous, she pretty much ignored us, and I felt sorry for her. Her teats were hanging low and her back was swayed as though she'd had to endure one too many litters at way too young an age. She had suspicious lacerations all over her body and I think I know why. I've no doubt in my mind that not only is this dog expected to breed, she's expected to fight. Annoyed, I couldn't wait to leave this house of canine torture.

As we made our way out the door, down the stairs and were about half way to the car, four men standing across the street in the alley yelled at us, "watch the dog, watch the dog!" From the corner of my eye, I caught movement and stopped dead in my tracks. My driver, needing to free his hands, shoved my briefcase back into mine, and pushed me gently toward the car, one hand on his hip while the dog followed. He was going to shoot that dog if need be. At that moment, with us moving slowly toward the car, the group of men across the street decided to make a run for it, and the dog, sensing greater sport from them, gave chase. I've never seen grown men scale fences so fast and efficiently.

The dog, a massive Pitbull with no collar, was the largest dog of that breed that I've ever seen. Slightly shorter than my Leo, this dog had to weigh twice as much, a good 140 pounds, and he was incredibly aggressive. I was so thankful to have someone who had my back and grateful he didn't have to shoot that dog, though I wouldn't have faulted him if he had.

Now that I'm home, and my hands have stopped shaking, I'm even more resolved to take an escort with me at all times. This is the second such wild dog related incident this week for our little hospice agency and in pretty much the same area of town.

I have a feeling it's going to be a long week.

20 comments:

Silliyak said...

Glad you're ok, Kudos and cookies to your security detail.

SkippyMom said...

Rudee, sweetheart, we have been friends for a long time [via the net, but oh well] and you know me. I don't give advice, just support.

But....heavy but....

You need a new damn job.

Sorry. There I said it. That is ridiculous.

Please tell your "driver" I said thank you.

You are too precious.

Miss 376 said...

Who cares about the expense, he's worth every penny. So glad you're home safe

Lisa L said...

I am also a Hospice RN. I *have* been attacked and bitten by a dog. It was not long after that, that I sought another job...and I only do Hospice one weekend a month now. Still the risks. Why I keep doing Hospice? God only knows. I can tell you this.. the freaking antibiotics, the blood tests, the yadda yadda after that freaking bite... 0omg. We really are, as nurses...at huge physical/psychological risk.

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Emille said...

Hope that you at least carry pepper spray?? (I'm counting on it that it also works on dogs...) I am not in your shoes- so I cen't tell you what to do, but is this job worth it?

debra said...

Give yourself (and your driver) a hug from me.

Finding Pam said...

I am thankful that you and your driver are safe. I feel sorry for that dog. I wish someone would call SPCA about him and remove him.

For a moment I was afraid the men were armed. Stay safe and thank God for your driver.

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

oh honey that is terrible!

hugs, bee
xoxoxoxoxo

Alice said...

Our Agency does not DO "security" except for an inservice on personal security. Not tremendously helpful in such situations!

I have seen the results of a mauling . . . the Mother of one of my patients . . . at least what was left of her leg muscles. Made taking care of a post heart transplant baby very difficult for her.

Now you've got me humming . . . "Someone to Watch Over Me."

The Bug said...

I have mixed feelings here (about whether or not you need a new job). On the one hand, yow! Scary! On the other hand, who's there for these folks if you're gone? Although for some of them I'm sure they're creating the dangerous atmosphere, others are just there by default. It's a conundrum - & I'm SO GLAD you have security to help keep you safe!

Stephanie V said...

Your job scares me. I'm glad you have a guard with you...not sure that would be enough for me. He's worth every penny...you keep on asking for protection.

There's no good words to comment on the dog's life. Or the folks who have to live - and die - in these surroundings.

Brenda said...

I think I would request 2 security guards for these areas.

Denise said...

Yikes. I would need security and a depends for that work detail.

Glad you are home safe.

I was sitting with one the kids in the ER when I guy came in who had been mauled by his own Pitbull. Not a pretty sight.

Kathleen said...

Yikes, Rudee, how terrifying! I truly don't know how you summon so much courage!

Ruth said...

A hug for you and for your security guard.

bettyjf1 said...

Oh Rudee that's awful.. SO GLAD you insist on an escort. I hate you traveling into areas that make it necessary and admire that you continue to provide such an awe inspiring service. Hospice is such a needed and helpful career. I am inspired by you.. JUST KEEP INSISTING ON AN ESCORT.. and watch your back..

ari_1965 said...

Glad you and the driver are safe.

Gail said...

I can't imagine having to deal with that. Glad you had someone with you.

Kate B said...

I am glad you are okay. Unfortunately, not all dog owners are responsible. Pitties are very loyal, loving dogs when owned by responsible people. But if trained to fight, that's what they do because they are so loyal. As the owner of a pit mix who would rathe show you his belly than his teeth, it always makes me sad to hear about situations like this.