It turned out to be an eventful day. Just into the start of the fourth quarter of the Vikings game my doorbell rang frantically. As I rose from my chair and started towards the door I saw three heads through the door's glass. Two were obviously adults and I noticed the third was my eldest granddaughter. Even through the very, distorted glass I saw the twisted, pained, and teary eyed expression of my granddaughter's face. Something was very wrong and my heart sank to my feet. My wife and daughter (her mother) assessed the situation the same as I, for we were all in a footrace for the door.
One of us, I can't recall who, whipped the door open and I remember both of my neighbors trying to talk to me or us, as I pushed through them to gain access to my granddaughter. There was a rag about her neck and it was covered in blood. It was truly a blur to me at this time and we were calming her down as the neighbors were relaying something about their dog biting her. Someone, I don't know who, pulled the cloth away and said she had to get to the hospital right away. I snatched her up and headed for my truck while the neighbors were still muttering about the incident and I remember a dozen or more apologies directed at us. I did not acknowledge them in any way whatsoever. I am sure, looking back, that this made then even more uncomfortable, but their comfort was not my priority. I had all the information I needed, for the time being, and any further explanations and apologies could come after my granddaughter received the proper medical treatment.
When I got to the truck it was locked and I didn't have my keys. I handed my granddaughter off to her mother and ran back to the house. My wife met me with her keys. I ran back to the truck, with my neighbors clacking the whole time, and got everyone in. My daughter, granddaughter, and I sped off for the emergency room leaving my wife behind to watch my grandson. I remember cursing a driver at an intersection who was pulled way to far forward at his stop sign. As I made the corner and whizzed by him I noticed it was my cousin smiling broadly. He must have wondered why I flew by at such a high rate of speed.
She was a trooper when she found out she would need five stitches. The gash was not overly long but it was very deep and it was quite surprising, to me, to find it so smooth. It seemed more like the cut from a sharp knife than from the tooth of a dog. I remember trying not to show her a negative expression when I looked at it. Anyone that knows me would know that this would be quite a feat for me. My brave little, soldier was taking things better than I. She wanted to know all about her wound and was demanding to have a mirror brought to her so she could examine it herself. The doctor insisted that a mirror could not be brought and proceeded to extract information about the accident from her while she examined the wound.
My granddaughter relayed the information of the incident with painstaking detail and precision. At some point, the nurse entered the area with her clipboard and asked my brave granddaughter her personal details. They could have asked my daughter or myself for this information but, I assume they engaged her in this way so as to keep her calm. My brilliant seven-year-old granddaughter responded like an adult, answering some questions I couldn't even answer. Only occasionally would my daughter chide in with an embellishment to my granddaughter's oration. In the middle of this question and answer session she kept asking if a needle would have to be used on her.
When they relayed that a needle would indeed have to be used she became demanding once again. She insisted she must see it and OK it's size. No needle larger than necessary was to be used and she wanted a visual. The doctor was not about to grant this request and instructed my daughter and I to hold her arms down so the shot could be given. I held her hand tightly and turned my head away as the screams began. My daughter promised her a wonderful treat when the trauma was all over. The ever cunning child asked tearfully if a toy could , also, be bought. When this request was immediately granted my granddaughter reminded her mother that the deal was for a toy and a treat not a toy instead of the treat. After this clarification her father arrived. At this point, the actual stitching began and I took one more glassy-eyed look before exiting for the waiting room. I felt that with her doctor, her nurse, and now both her parents here I was no longer necessary.
Her aunt had also arrived and helped calm her down. She had left the area just moments before to punch in. She happens to work at the hospital, so I went to talk with her. She seemed to be busy starting her shift so I went back and paced in the waiting room. I could not believe how long it was taking. About an hour and twenty minutes of arriving there I heard another yell from my granddaughter. I later learned it was near the end of the stitching and the Novocaine (or whatever they use) was wearing off. Ten minutes later we were in my truck heading home and my granddaughter was inquiring about the details of getting her treat and her toy. I love that girl.