Don’t worry, I haven’t gone all new age, motivational blogger on you (although I hear there’s a lot of money in it, so maybe watch this space…), but as of now I am a firm believer in the power of positive thinking.
On Thursday evening, the last evening before our first guests arrived to test out the house, we finished working at about 10pm, I grabbed Otto’s lead and we headed out for our usual evening stroll. The rest is a bit of a blur, but what I can tell you is that Otto was attacked by a dog. A big, powerful dog. I dived in and on about the third attempt managed to wrestle him free. I grabbed him in my arms, unaware what damage might have been done, and sprinted up the hill to our house.
Without going into too much detail, it was immediately clear that his injuries were pretty severe. We jumped straight in the car and hotfooted it to the vet in Alba. I imagine some speeding tickets might be coming my way, but honestly, I couldn’t care less. Sometimes you have no choice, and this was definitely one of those times.
They operated on him immediately, but had to stop after a couple of hours as he couldn’t handle anymore anaesthetic. We were sent home. We cried, we were both sick, we questioned whether it was actually real or were we just imagining it, and we asked ourselves over and over why it had happened.
The next morning, to our great relief, he was still alive, and Allegra posted a short message on facebook to ask her friends to send positive thoughts and to pray for him. The messages flooded in in their hundreds from around the world. One of his doggy friends, who is remarkably good at typing, has a twitter account. He shared Otto’s story and got even more good wishes. A whole church in Essex prayed for him. Even cats were wishing him well!
That day, they operated again, and then we had to play a waiting game. The first 48 hours after that second operation were apparently key. There was a distinct lack of sleep in our househould over the weekend. But he just kept on improving. By Sunday morning we were able to take him out for a walk, by the evening we were feeding him cheese and ham, and this morning, Monday, we brought him home.
He has 50 metres of surgical thread and hundreds of staples holding him together, but he’s remarkably alert and chirpy. Obviously, it’s going to be a long road to recovery for him, but at least he’s in a position to be on that road, which four days ago was looking very unlikely. He’s already going up to people wagging his tail, showing an interest in other dogs and getting annoyed by birds.
You know, I think there’s a decent chance he might be the toughest little dog in the world. He’s certainly tougher than me. I’m still bursting into tears every few minutes and feel utterly haunted by what happened. A dog was barking outside the vet’s and I found myself pulling Otto close to me like some sort of paranoid, over-protective loon.
We’re so grateful to the incredible vets who saved his life, but also to every single person who prayed for him, wished him well, called us, messaged us and sent us positive thoughts. It really worked! You’re all amazing, and so is this little guy!