Saturday, November 15, 2008

Always shave your legs: A cautionary tale

Its the middle of November in Utah - well past swimsuit and shorts weather. So, naturally, I've taken a break with the shaving of my legs. The only time my legs even get seen is when I'm in my running shorts - and I only wear the shorts in the privacy of my own basement. Except that today was almost 60 degrees. Anxious to take advantage of the "balmy" weather, I donned my running shorts and stepped outside for a nice long run.

The weather was perfect, and I was loving my run. I had the iPod on, and was totally in "my groove". My pace was perfect and I was feeling great. I'd gone about 1.5 when, out of no where, I realized that I was being chased down by a dog - a fast-moving border collie that resembled Doxie. Before I knew it, the snarling beast had latched its sharp teeth right into my left calf.

Immediately I stopped running and, luckily for me, the dog's owner had witnessed the whole incident. He called back the dog and asked me if I was alright. I actually didn't have any pain in my leg, but I looked down and the blood had already run down to my ankle. The entire family had been putting up Christmas lights, and they saw the entire incident. The 3 kids were crying, and mom was frantically trying to find a first-aid kit. They asked me to come inside the house to get cleaned up. Blood was running down my leg, and I was a freakin' mess.

I was actually pretty traumatized, and couldn't stop shaking. As I stood on the family's porch waiting for Mom and the first-aid kit, I kept thinking that I was so grateful we had gotten rid of Doxie a few weeks ago - I had feared she would do a similar thing. This dog even looked like Doxie.

Mom finally came with the first-aid kit, and insisted upon cleaning the wound for me. As I stood, she knelt on the ground and wiped up the blood. I was so embarrassed -my white leg was badly in need of a sharp razor and my dry skin needed some exfoliation and lotion. I think the lady was too mortified to notice the sad condition of my winter leg, but I couldn't focus on anything else. Having her touch my leg was more embarrassing than being attacked by the dog.

I finally got bandaged up and went on my way. I wasn't really thinking too clearly - I just wanted to get back to running. But I just couldn't. My heart was still racing, and I couldn't find my pace. I alternated slogging with walking back home, and decided to call it a day.

By the time I made it the 1.5 miles back home, I had completely bled through the bandage. In fact, 3 hours later the wound was still actively bleeding. I also couldn't remember the last time that I'd had a tetanus shot, so I decided to make a trip to InstaCare.

Thankfully there was no wait at InstaCare and they got me right in (that isn't always the case on a Saturday afternoon). The nurse and tech couldn't tell if I needed stitches or not, so the doctor had to come in and consult. All three of them were gathered around my leg (my sad, white, hairy leg), poking and prodding to determine if it needed stitches.

Ultimately, they decided that I had a deep puncture wound to one of the main blood vessels in my leg, but they didn't want to stitch. The doctor thought that the active bleeding was a good thing - that it would keep the wound from becoming infected as bite wounds have a tendency to do. They cleaned me up, gave me a tetanus shot, and sent me on my way with a 10 day course of antibiotics "just in case."

I went home and promptly shaved. I then put a healthy coat of sunless tanner on my leg. Although no one will probably see my legs for months, at least I feel better about myself.

And just in case anyone is wondering, my leg is ok. It is sore tonight, still bleeding a bit, and is terribly bruised, but I'm ok. It doesn't even hurt to run, so it shouldn't affect the Vegas 1/2 that I'm planning to run in a couple of weeks. I am feeling a bit conflicted though about calling animal control. I have the paperwork from the doctor that I'm supposed to send to animal control, but I haven't done it yet. I definitely don't want the dog to go after someone else, but I felt badly for the family. I also have to include the address on the form, and since I wasn't in my own neighborhood, I don't know the family's name or address - so I'd have to go by and get it. I know I should, and I plan to in the morning.

15 comments:

Kriss said...

That's AWFUL!!!!! I know it's nothing something you want to do but just think if that had been a small child running. I would turn in the paper. At least though it was a family dog and not a stray. The changes of rabies is slim I guess if he/she had all her shots. I am so sorry. That would have freaked me out because I scared of big dogs.

Stephanie F. said...

Wow Christie, that does sound pretty traumatizing. I don't think people really care about hairy legs though :) I do pedicures and toes and I know people are mortified when they forgot to shave, but no biggie!
Sucks that you have to call animal control. But you probably do have to. Good luck!

The Gatherum Family said...

That's HORRIBLE Christie! I am PETRIFIED of dogs. PETRIFIED of being chased by one and just so you know, everyday that I talk myself out of shaving when I am in the shower, I am now going to remember this story and just do it! Glad you are okay and for the safety of others, you should turn in the papers to animal control, just my opinion!

Ruhiyyih Rose said...

WHOA! What a story!! I am sorry that you got hurt...I promptly shaved my legs after reading this. I ran some 800's at the track near my house and it was warm here too! PHEW.

Rest up...and try to get back out there soon. I carry mace with me, strapped to my wrist, when I run. I will totally use it on a dog if there is one...

Mindi said...

i don't shave from about novemeber to march. except for special occasions.
which makes me sound like a troll, except for the fact that my hair grows really slowly.

and there is your "tmi" for the day.

devri said...

Oh you poor soul.. I get embarrest really easy and probaly I think I would die.

Good that you are ok, bad that dog bit you.. Bad dog...

Kristine said...

Wow Christie!!! That is awful! I'm glad you are ok. That would be so scary! That would be hard to decide whether to turn the dog in or not. Especially if it lived with a family and kids! I bet he's never done anything like that before - but like you said, you also don't want the same thing to happen to another person. :( Good luck tomorrow :(

carrie said...

Holy Crap!! That would have scared the hell out of me!! I can't believe that dog BIT you!! Oh my gosh.... I don't blame you for feeling bad for the family, but I would hope THEY would have done something about the dog after he bit you, too. I would have been mortified if it had been my dog. BUT...you should call animal control for sure, I think. Can you imagine if it would have been one of your daughters?? If it was that scary for an adult...I can't imagine what a child would have felt. Yikes.... Let me know what happens. Good luck...and I'm glad your leg is feeling better, thank goodness!!

Julia said...

Wow. I'm glad you are okay. I've never been chased down by a dog on my runs, but I've been nervous before.

Shaving legs sucks, but I just can't NOT do it, even in the winter. I just hate the feel too much. Yes they are still white and veiny, but I can't handle the hair.

I don't know what I'd do about the animal control. I mean I wonder if that dog has done that to other people? I know my Max likes to run up to people but so far no biting. I'm still nervous about it though...okay rambling. glad you are okay!

Lynita said...

I was just toying with the idea of shaving my legs this morning and the same thought crossed my mind,"Who is going to see my legs anyway?" Now I will definately be shaving my legs tonight! I am so sorry about that crazy dog, don't they have leash laws in Utah? Oh and lots of luck on your Vegas run! I am so out of shape, Owen is only a month old and I am looking forward to some good excercise.

Chelsea said...

I'm so glad you're OK! That is scary!

I would be thinking exactly the same thing about my legs. So funny.

Tiburon said...

OH CHRISTIE!! That is HORRIBLE!

I am glad you are okay.

I was attacked by a dog in the third grade and it was awful. I hate having the scars on my face.

Holly said...

Wow, so glad you are ok! Thats crazy!

Omgirl said...

How Traumatic! The dog AND the winter leg. It's a tough thing to call animal control. But it is the best move. Biting a jogger who has done nothing is a sign of an out of control dog with issues. Imagine if it were a child. Or someone's face. You'd feel terrible for having done nothing. I hope your leg heals OK.

pithydithy said...

OMG, I am just catching up and that is really scary! I'd be shaking too! What did you end up doing about animal control?