THE LIVING SCAR
As a little girl, I was so compassionate on helpless little babies, insects and little animals especially when no one cares about them. But as I grew older, I began to learn a lot about animals. Within the environment I was raised, dogs, cats and goats were mostly found living with people in their homes as pets and friends. I was told how interesting a dog could be, but no one taught me it could also be dangerous.
So one evening, I was out with my mum to see a friend of hers who had a female dog known as Brandy. She usually comes into the living room to play with people. But this time, she was nowhere around the house. So I thought; maybe she’s gone out to play.
When it was time to leave, my mum’s friend, Aunt Beatrice handed me a paper bag to dispose in the trash-can outside the house. So seeing the huge can a far off, I ran towards it just as most kids would do. Suddenly, I heard what sounded like a howl than a bark from an angry dog. As I turned, it came right behind me. All I could remember was the paralyzing feeling I got from my waist down to my feet; the pain and then the blood after I had opened my eyes. I was too terrified to scream or cry out loud for help. I started to cry while standing at the spot of the attack. Aunt Beatrice raced towards me and found out I was seriously attacked by her dog. My mum came out looking really confused. They were not sure the scare was her claws or teeth. So we headed to the hospital.
Only then did I turn to see that the angry dog was Brandy who was only trying to protect her six little puppies. I guess I scared her too and she did what she thought any mother would do to keep her babies safe.
After few weeks of treatment, I was fit again. The wound was healed but the scare of that scene, I still have with me. I guess no antidotes or prescription can bring back the love and compassion I once had for pets or heal the fact that for over fifteen years, I still replay that scene whenever I see a dog bark or howl at me.
IJEOMA KOLAWOLE (2012)