|This is Akira's Story
awoke to the sound of barking and a woman’s screaming. It was
six twelve in the morning and the darkness of night still lingered, but
I was now fully awake for I recognized both the screaming of my wife
Noelle and the barking of my dog.
of bed, scrambled for some clothes and ran out of my bedroom conjuring
up dreadful visions in my head of what could have caused my wife to
scream like that. Was our girl Akira hit by a car during their morning
walk? Was Noelle hit by the car? Was it something much worse? I did not
have to wait long for an answer.
Halfway across the living room the front door burst open and there was
my distraught wife leading a blood stained Akira into the room. My eyes
focused on the blood pouring out of her neck, down her chest and the
front of her legs.
“.. attacked!” was all I heard. I then saw blood on
Noelle’s hands and quickly came out of my shock.
“What happened?!” I asked frantically.
Noelle was very shaken, her voice cracking, “a dog ran into
the street and attacked Akira. It came out of nowhere and grabbed onto
our girl’s throat. Oh my God!” she uttered, as if
just now the moment sank in. But quickly she continued, “Make
sure she is okay, the police are coming and I need to wait for them
“Wait a minute, “I said, “Are
you okay?” I motioned to her hands and the blood.
“Yes, I am fine, it’s not my blood.” And
with that she was out the door to wait the police. I turned to Akira
who had blood pumping profusely out of three large holes in her neck
and got some towels and called the vet.
On the way to the vet Noelle gave me the full details of the attack.
She had been returning home for her morning walk with Akira, the same
walk she has taken for two years, when only two houses away from us a
small terrier bolted down a driveway, across the street and went right
for Akira’s throat without a bark of warning. It
latched onto Akira’s throat and had a fatal grip for Akira
did not even try to fight but stood her ground. Noelle screamed and
tried to remove the terrier but could not. The dog’s owner, a
thirteen year old boy, stood motionless in fear and did not so much as
call out the dog’s name.
Noelle was screaming at the dog and the boy and for help when the
boy’s father came out of the house and ran down the driveway.
He too, however, failed to make any effort to help Noelle.
Just then a minivan drove by and slowed down but before it stopped a
teenage boy jumped from the passenger seat and ran to Akira’s
rescue. The boy grabbed both jaws of the terrier and was able to open
its mouth enough for Akira to back away and out of its bite.
The terrier’s owner then stepped in and took the dog and as
Noelle checked Akira over the woman driving the minivan used her cell
phone to call the police. Had it not been for the bravery of the
teenage boy, who knows what might have happened?
The vet found three large puncture holes in Akira’s neck and
chest. She also noted that much of the Akira’s skin had been
torn away from the muscles. The vet said because of this she could not
simply stitch up the holes, but had to surgically insert two drainage
tubes in her neck to allow fluids to drain out to prevent infection.
Thankfully, Akira did not seem
to be in any pain, but she would have to
be left at the animal hospital overnight and go under anesthesia for
Upon our arrival back home without Akira, we were anticipating a visit
or at least a call from our neighbor, the owner of the terrier, to
offer their apologies. Their house was across the street and a single
house down from us. Although we did not know them, we assumed they
would wish to express their concern and offer their apologies for what
had happened. There was nothing. In fact, even after the police came to
our house and theirs to fill out their report and after the Animal
Control Agent attempted on three different times to contact them, there
was never any call, letter or visit from them. Nothing at all.
We picked up a very groggy Akira from the vet the next day. Even more
alarming and heartbreaking than seeing our girl’s shaved
chest and two tubes sticking out if them, was the fact our girl could
barely stand nor keep her eyes open. This is such a disconcerting
experience to see our typically a very aware and active dog in such a
Again, she did not seem in any pain or discomfort which was a good
thing for it would have made our tasks of draining her for the next two
weeks that much more awful.
her skin was torn from her muscles, a large cavity opened up that could
not be allowed to gather fluids, hence the drainage tubes. So although
these tubes constantly allowed blood and puss to drip out in a near
steady stream – forcing Noelle and I to follow her around the
house to mop up tiny puddles of bodily fluid off floors, stairs and
rugs – even more fluid was being trapped in this cavity. We
were thus forced to ‘milk’ our girl several times a
Milking Akira entailed using a moist washcloth and pressing it against
her neck and chest. You could easily feel the sack of liquid just under
her skin and the task was to squeeze this fluid out of the tubes. It
was a disgusting endeavor. Sometimes the fluid poured out the tube,
other times it squirted out from between the stitches that attached to
tube to her flesh.
days later, even after the tubes were removed we had to continue the
milking, only now before starting we had to remove the scabs that
formed over the puncture holes. Akira did not seem to mind too
terribly, she only reacted with a start – we did as well
– when the act of pressing the liquid sack caused a farting
noise as air and fluid squirted out of her.
week of this and the fluid was not draining properly. She had to have
yet another surgical procedure to once again have drainage tubes
inserted which began the process all over again.
Akira’s healing, Noelle and I were becoming outraged at our
neighbor’s lack of compassion and communication. All our
other neighbors stopped by to check on Akira, as did the Animal Control
Agent, but there was no word from the owners of the terrier. This
angered us and led us to believe that maybe this was not the first time
this had happened? The Animal Control Agent was unable to contact the
owners, thus never actually saw the dog. Maybe they got rid of it?
Maybe they were hiding it? Maybe they were hiding something else?
neighbor across the street came over one day to ask about Akira and it
was then she told us what her son had learned from the boy who owned
the dog, the one who stood there frozen in fear the day of the attack.
Apparently, after Noelle and I leave to go to the vet, the school bus
came and the boy and our neighbor’s son wound up sitting next
to one another. As the bus pulled away, the boy who owned the terrier
sadly uttered in a low tone, “I cannot believe it happened
hearing this, we figured this may be the very reason why the Animal
Control Agent was unable to make contact or why they never once reached
out to us in any way to see if we or our dog were okay; they have a
past history. We needed and wanted to know, so we wrote them a letter
to give them the benefit of the doubt and give them a chance to respond
directly to why they have been so allusive. They responded a week after
receiving our letter to inform us they were animal lovers like
ourselves and they fell terrible about what happened to our dog and
they would pay for any/all medical expenses that was the result of the
attack (a promise they kept when we submitted them the bills), but
nothing about the past or why they were not available to meet with the
Animal Control Agent.
the end, Akira healed nicely and is back to normal and only now and
again casts an expectant look across the street and up the driveway
where the terrier attacked. Noelle and I did all we could to legally
report the incident in the hopes if another attacked occurs there is a
precedent and preventative measures could be taken. But, we feel this
is not enough.
it is true there was a history of violence with this dog, I feel
strongly that as neighbors we should have been made aware of this and
that at least the Animal Control Agent should have known. I also find
it unacceptable that after three unsuccessful attempts to meet with
dog, the Agent simply gave up. Maybe if there was a prior history
giving up would not be an option for the Agent?
should be done to protect our neighborhoods from potentially violent
dogs. In this case, our dog was serious hurt but recovered fully but
there are many such cases where attacks such as these results in more
serious harm and death to not only our pets, but our friends and family
technology exists and the precedent set (see Megan’s
enforce an awareness of the presence of violent dogs or other animals
in our neighborhoods and towns, it is just up to us concerned citizens
everywhere to demand our voices to be heard.
Join the Petition!