the dog bite story

I wish I didn’t even have to share a blog post with that title.

But this blog is my family’s history, so here it is. Kaya is healing nicely, but my emotions are still raw from what happened last Tuesday. Looking at these pictures still completely breaks my heart.

I am including a picture of the open wound and details about the injury, so if you don’t handle that kind of thing very well, you might want to skip this post.

It was a pretty normal day. Both kids seemed a little extra tired and cranky, so instead of heading out for a walk or going to the pool like we do on most mornings, we stayed at home.

Kaya asked to eat lunch early that day. She sat up in the high chair, happily singing and eating while I did some dishes and the baby played with Tupperware containers at my feet. She finished her meal pretty quickly, so I helped her down and she kept singing and dancing in the kitchen while I continued to clean up.

She left my side for what had to have been less than a minute. I heard her singing in the living room, and then I heard it.

It wasn’t even a full growl. Just a soft noise that was definitely from the dog.

And then Kaya was screaming.


We ran to each other as blood started pouring down her face and onto the kitchen floor.

I couldn’t believe it. Jax bit Kaya.

I scooped her up and ran into the bathroom.

Do I call 911? There’s blood everywhere. My baby is bleeding. 911? No, it’s her head, she’ll be okay. We can drive her to the hospital ourselves. Call Michael.

I sat her up on the sink counter and attempted to call Daddy. My hands couldn’t do it. What were the right buttons? Blood was splattering everywhere… Her clothes. My shirt. The phone. The counter. The floor… We were covered.

I moved her to the tub and stripped her down. I think it was at this moment that I realized Jax was still loose, so I yelled at him to get in his kennel. I slammed the cage door and screamed louder than I ever have in my life.

Kaelyn was screaming and scooting herself down the hallway to get to us. She definitely sensed our fright.

I was washing the blood off her face and trying to get the laceration on her forehead to stop bleeding. I should have applied more pressure to it from the start, but in my panic I feel like my brain wasn’t really working. I put pressure on it then, cleaned it with some hydrogen peroxide, and somehow managed to get Michael on the phone. We couldn’t even hear each other because of all the screaming and crying, but I somehow managed to text him and he headed home right away. This happened right around noon, so he was able to get a ride with someone who was going out for lunch. He normally takes the bus, so it was a big tender mercy that he was able to get home quickly.

I wrapped her up in just a towel and held her in my arms until Michael came through the door. Every time she cried, more blood would rush out.

She was so relieved when Daddy was there to snuggle her.

Our friend Alayna was able to come over and stay with Kaelyn while we took care of Kaya. We called the urgent care clinic covered by our insurance, and they told us to bring her down to see if they could take care of it without us having to go to the emergency room. They cleaned her up a bit, but the verdict was that she would need to go to the hospital to get her stitches.

While we were there, I noticed a text message from a friend at church- her husband was working up in the ER that day, and she suggested that we ask to see him. He has a background with plastics and stitches, so we headed over there and did just that.

It was another tender mercy- our church friend was getting on his shift right as we were arriving at the hospital.

He took great care of Kaya, as if she were his own daughter, and referred us to the plastic surgeon. I am so grateful. We were put in the very best place we could be in the very bad situation we were in.

We packed our little girl up in the car one more time and headed over to the plastic surgeon to finally get those stitches. She was so utterly exhausted by this point.

The plastic surgeon took us in the back as soon as we walked in. He strongly suggested that we leave the room so that Kaya might not resist as much while they were trying to stitch her up. We did, and we heard her fighting tooth and nail the entire time she was gone. They wrapped her up like she was in a cocoon and one nurse held her in her lap for the stitches. All we could hear was screaming and crying and “Daddddddy” and “Mommmmmmmy”. My poor baby was such a trooper.

The doctor told us that the laceration on her forehead was down to the bone, and he was worried that the punctures around her eye could cause an internal infection. He prescribed an eye ointment and an antibiotic._MG_8114

We camped out in her room for a couple of nights so she wouldn’t have to be alone. Anything for this little girl.

I feel like I love her 100 times more than I already did since all this happened. I’m so grateful for all the tender mercies we received that day and in the days after. We have definitely seen the hand of God through all this.

She has been healing so well, with no sign of infection.dogbitehealingkaya

On Monday, she had her stitches removed. We celebrated with ice cream, and she was the happiest girl in the world. We do have to keep steri-strips, followed by tape, on it for another 5 weeks or so. I’m so happy to see both of her bright, beautiful eyes open again!Thank you to everyone who has offered prayers, love, and support. It’s meant the world to our little family.

  • My heart just absolutely breaks!! I honestly thought the dog was going to turn out to be a neighbor’s or a stray. So scary that it was your own. I’m so very sorry for this incident. I can’t even imagine how you felt. Poor mama & poor baby! So glad yall were provided with many graces during this difficult time! Hope she continues to heal beautifully.

    • Tara Irwin

      Thank you so much Amanda 🙂 Your kind words mean a lot! She’s continuing to heal better than I could have imagined, and for that I am so grateful.