This is not about Gabi. It’s about another dog. Our next door neighbour has two very Jack Russells. Both of them used to bark at us whenever we walk past. Over time the one has stopped and now only barks when I have Gabi. The other JR, the one I call Brown-face, has kept on barking. And she barks long after she can’t see you anymore.
Yesterday, around 5 pm, I left our house to return a DVD I had rented. As soon as I closed our garden gate behind me to head for my garage, the two Jack Russells storm out through their gate, which wasn’t closed properly, barking all the way. I remained calm and firmly said: “No. Go home!” I headed toward their gate to get them inside and close the gate behind me.
The next thing I knew I felt something sharp on my bare calve. Brown-face had bitten me. I said “No”. The dogs ran off. At least one into the courtyard.
With trepidation I went to the neighbours’ house, not sure which dog might be in the yard. Our neighbours’ son came out on the porch. I told him what had happened. He apologized and then ran out to go get the dog/dogs.
I went back inside the house and told my mother what had happened Gabi was such a good little girl throughout the commotion, just lying on the couch and watching with concern. Poor Gabi, she was supposed to be going to a walk at that time. My mother went to see our other negihbour, the caretaker. I soon followed. The caretaker told us that their had been several complaints about the noisy dogs. Brown-face had also bitten her pant legs as well as someone else. Our neighbours had never gotten permission from the board to keep the two dogs at their unit. The also were violating the 2 Pets Only rule, as they have two cats. Our neighbour’s wife had also told her (the caretaker) that the dogs would soon go to live with their daughter (their actual owner) who lives on a farm.
The son then came to see us. He told us they’d be paying for my Tetanus shot etc, and he was waiting to talk to his parents so they could take me to the hospital. I made myself some coffee and while I was still drinking it the neighbour came over and said I could just go to the hospital and bring him the bill.
At the hospital I was asked some questions to make sure there wasn’t a Rabies risk (have had some cases in Kwa-Zulu Natal and Johannesburg). I didn’t think there was much risk, since both dogs had their shots a few months ago and Brown-face seems obnoxious and aggressive normally anyway. I was given a Tetanus shot (to prevent Lock Jaw) as well as pain med (although haven’t really needed it yet) and antibiotics. My medical aid (insurance) covered most of it (except for a quite large co-payment) and will send me a bill on Monday. If you do get into a bite situation, go see a Doctor asap, because you have only 48 hours after Rabies exposure to get the medicine. It is also not readily available in South Africa, so make sure you go in time.
All though I wasn’t in shock or anything, I am still gobsmacked that I got bitten by a dog! The whole thing just feels so surreal. I’m just glad Gabi wasn’t there and that she didn’t get bitten.
If you have pets, please please make sure your gate is closed.