A Slice of Life

I Was Bitten By a Dog

My Own Slice of Life about The Dog Bite

When I was young, I spent a lot of time at my Grandma’s house. My mom would help my Grandma take care of my Great Grandma and my sister and I would play. When it was nice outside, my sister and I would take full advantage of Grandma’s enormous yard.

My Grandma’s neighbor had a huge, black dog, from what I remember. There wasn’t a gate or a fence to stop that dog from entering her yard. I recall several occasions when my sister and I would run into the house if the dog was out in the yard next door.

On one particular day, my sister was inside or not there. I was kneeling on the ground bent over the stoop coloring alone…when it happened. I vividly remember feeling the dog’s presence and hearing the dog breathing. I knew he was close to me and I was immediately scared. I turned to look over my shoulder and there he was. He was so close that I could have reached out and touched him. And then it happened. For no reason at all, that dog bit my arm.

At least that is what I told my Mom and Grandma when I arrived safely in the kitchen. They greeted my screams with looks of panic and fear. They both began examining my arms and legs and asking questions that I was then forced to make up answers for. Through my tears, I told the story of how the dog bit my arm while I was coloring. I was pointing to part of my arm that was neither bitten nor marked in any way. They were looking closely at my said wound and exchanging confused glances. I just kept going. I went on and on about how he was staring at me when I turned around, growled, bit me, and then ran off back to his yard.

I don’t remember why I made up that story. The dog was really standing there behind me when I turned around. Honest, he was. But he never bit me. He never had a chance. I got up so fast and ran through the back door screaming and yelling that I probably scared him worse than he scared me.

One night, a few years ago, I told my husband-to-be that story after being slightly over served. I thought I was confessing my deepest, darkest secret that night. His expression told me otherwise. He looked at me like I was crazy and then asked why I would lie about a dog biting me especially when there wasn’t even a bite mark left on my arm. Then I just felt like maybe that secret was safer inside of my head. I don’t think I ever even told my mom that I made it up, even though she probably knows! It wasn’t the best told lie story.

I don’t know why I remember this story so well. I must have some residual guilt about lying to my Mom and my Grandma. How dare I scare them like that!

Well now my secret is out…again! And I haven’t had a single drink this time! Honest, I haven’t.

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Comments on: "I Was Bitten By a Dog" (4)

  1. Oh my goodness, I was cracking up when I read this. It’s always fun to look back and wonder about the things we do as kids and I feel like you did that perfectly here.

  2. I think it’s something with children that they make up stories to be comforted. This could be what happened to you. You wanted your Mom and Grandma to comfort you even if it wasn’t true. I think about my kids at school and they tell me stories about little things that hurt them or whatever it may be and I think it is because they want me to comfort them. Of course I always ask them if they are ok and give them the comfort that they want.
    P.S. I also like how you ended it! Haha!

  3. Oh, Jill.
    Jill, Jill, Jill.
    I agree with Erin – I think you wanted comfort, but you didn’t want to just say you were scared so you lied and said the dog bit you.
    My favorite thing is Billy’s reaction. No, my favorite thing is that you even told him this story. No, wait, my favorite thing is that you’re not drunk right now.
    Miss you.

  4. I like the moment where the dog is breathing on you–the story came to life for me then. I could feel the anxiety relived and the flurry of little kid exaggerations slipping from you.

    Wouldn’t it be interesting to find out the truth about that dog–to see a photo of it? How would it look to you today? Was it really just a sweet old dog…or was it really a bit grouchy?

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