The end of June marked one year since Kaya was bitten by our dog, Jax.
I try not to dwell on unfortunate events, but this was our first major emergency with one of our children, and it wasn’t just an accident- it was a traumatic, vicious situation. Naturally, as we approached the anniversary of the day, I’ve been silently evaluating how we’re all doing one year later.
My biggest concerns afterward were Kaya’s physical and emotional healing.
Honestly, for a time, I feared that her face would never look the same. We were originally most concerned that she would develop an infection behind her eye, which would have had permanent implications. The plastic surgeon also warned us that because the muscle in her forehead was split open, it could leave a large gap there as she grows.
(2.5 months after the bite)
The gap was evident for a few months, but now it appears to be almost completely healed. Her plastic surgeon was the best we could have hoped for, and we were diligent about following his care instructions. We kept silicone sheeting on the scar for months afterward, per his recommendation. We also used some frankincense essential oil that Michael’s cousin, Nicole, sent to us, for almost the entire year.
The scar on her head has now faded to a whitish-gray, and if you didn’t know what happened, you might not even notice it. She has healed better than I could have ever imagined.
Kaya’s emotional healing has also been nothing short of miraculous.
She loves animals of all sorts- especially dogs. That’s not to say that she doesn’t remember what happened to her- in fact, she still frequently mentions how we don’t have Jax anymore because “he bit Peeky”.
For a few months after her bite, she would describe to me in detail how there was a lot of “red” (blood) on her face afterward, and she sometimes would inspect her scar in the mirror. I know she’s young and most likely will forget the specifics of the situation, but she has overcome what could have been a lifelong fear. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for that, and take pride in my baby for being so resilient.
Following the incident, fear gripped me.
I had some intense thoughts. These were things I never would have imagined thinking before.
Why would anyone allow an animal, with a mouth full of what could be considered weapons, live in their home? How crazy is all of mankind to think that sharing our habitations with dogs is a good idea? But people do allow dogs into their lives and their living spaces, because they are so much more than fur and teeth and bones.
They are a soft place to lay your head when you’re tired.
Velvety ears to listen to your worries and sorrows when no one else is there.
A comforting furry body to bury your face into when you need just need a hug.
Instant and pure happiness over the simplest things.
Forever loyalty and devoted love.
I miss all of those things. I crave all of those things, and when I’m around other good dogs, my heart gets a bout of puppy-fever. When I see how much my children love dogs, I want to give them that special relationship that can only form with a furry four-legged friend.
It’s been an emotional, tearful year when reflecting on this event, but I’m a little less afraid now. I’m grateful for all the positive interactions my children have had with friends’ and family members’ dogs recently. I will forever be extra vigilant and cautious when exposing my children to animals, but I still feel like the benefits of having a dog outweigh the potential risks.
I’m sure that one day, we will try again. We’ll be the safest and most educated we can be before we welcome another dog into our family, but the reality is, any dog could do what Jax did in any instant. No animal should be blindly trusted.
I’m grateful for all the tender mercies and blessings we received during the incident and in the months following. Kaya surely had some angels looking out for her.