31 Days Not According to PlanContinued from May 11th post, Days That Don’t Go According to Plan.

The first day in our eight month Baltimore stint that stands out in my mind as similarly catastrophic was the day of the Justice Conference, which I wrote about in a previous blog post. What I didn’t tell you about was the phone message I received from my husband during the middle of that conference.

We’d started to make a practice of walking to the local butcher and breadery, often taking our friend’s dog, Abby, along for exercise. Most of the route lacks a sidewalk, which made me especially nervous for the meandering bundle of cocker spaniel curiosity who was nearly oblivious to passing cars. We kept her leash short and frequently steered onto snowy yards to keep her far from passing cars.

When Ben started his message by telling me he was okay but Abby was hurt, I imagined my fear of her getting hit by a car had come true. What would we do if Ben’s best friend’s dog were hit by a car while we were responsible for her? It felt like returning tragedy for generosity.

I slowed down my thoughts long enough to listen to the rest of the message, and it turned out what had actually happened was far from what I’d anticipated.

Abby had indeed been meandering with her leash a little longer than normal, but it wasn’t a car that caught her off guard. It was a neighbor’s pit bull.

She’d been excitedly leading the way into the parking lot of the Country Corner Store when the pit bull came tearing toward her, growling and snapping the thin steel cable to which it was attached. The pit bull sank its teeth into Abby’s side, letting go only when Ben came toward it yelling, “What are you doing?!”

Whimpering in pain and fear, Abby cowered behind Ben’s legs. The pit bull’s owner grabbed its collar and dragged it away while Ben called our friend to ask him to come quickly.


Sweet Abby before the pit bull attack.

Seeing Abby’s skin flapping, Ben and his friend rushed her to the vet where she received surgery and spent the night. When we saw her again, half her body was shaved and stitched up.

Every morning and evening, her wound had to be cleaned. During the day when no one was home, Abby had to stay in her crate so she wouldn’t pull the stitches out by greeting us at the door with excitement. She was as sweet and chipper as ever.

Thankfully, Abby had a smooth and full recovery. I got to cuddle up with her recently when I visited our friends in Baltimore.

Her attack was one of a series of calamities that led me to fear we’d brought curses on the friends with whom we lived though.

Continues on May 25 post, After the Fall.