This I Believe

James - Evansville, Indiana
Entered on August 13, 2008

When I was five years old a dog bit me.

We were at a friend’s house. They had a dog named Carmen. I was giving Carmen a treat before I told her to sit. I think Carmen thought I was going to take away her treat so she bit me in the arm and wouldn’t let go. I screamed until the adults came.

In the car on the way to the hospital emergency room, my mom sang songs to keep me distracted.

At the emergency room we went to the front desk. They had us wait for twenty minutes while my arm bled. My dad held me. I fell asleep. A nurse came and took us to a room with yellow flowers. She asked if my hurt felt like a needle or a knife. “Like teeth,” I said.

They put me in a bed and I asked my dad if air could go through glass which he thought was a strange and random question but he answered it. He said no. The doctor had to take a piece of fat out of my cut because it was sticking out and he taped it up with paper stitches and he put band-aids on the smaller bites. He gave me a blue gel ice pack to put on my arm twice a day. We still have the ice pack in our freezer.

When we got home I watched “Charlotte’s Webâ€? as a comfort movie. Carmen’s owners were really sorry. They came over with a lasagna dinner and gave me a magic kit. Carmen had some lessons in manners and lives to this day. I’m eleven now. I have four marks on my left arm. Our friends are still our friends.

I tell this story because I still believe in dogs. I believe in dogs because they can make excellent companions. Even though a dog attacked me, my parents got me a dog so I would get over my fears.

Now I have Sammy who is the nicest dog you’ll ever meet. I might not have her if a dog had not attacked me. She eats a lot but she likes to run and bark. She pants with her tongue hanging out of the right side of her mouth. She’s a golden retriever. She’s furry and she has a white belly and she’s from Nashville, Tennessee. We got her when she was four months old. She can sit, lie down, come, stay and shake paws. She snortles when you pet her on the head. My dad thinks it’s because she’s trying to say I’m right here with you. She gets very excited when people come over, but she wouldn’t bite anyone. When she sees someone, she rolls over to be petted. She likes to chase tennis balls and itch her back on the trees. She likes to put her chin in your hand. If you’re on a scooter and she’s on a leash and you say “Go Sammy,â€? she’ll pull you.