The Power of Positivity

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.

Otto sunset walk

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!

Otto snow tongue

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!

Back home, where he belongs!
Otto, back home where he belongs!

31 thoughts on “The Power of Positivity

  1. I know how it feels when you love a dog so fiercely that you think that by sheer will, you can pull him through. Thank God, in your case, it worked!

    Dogs are amazing creatures. Otto is a clear example of that fact!

    Vicki Verego

    1. Thanks Vicki, they really are incredible. I can’t imagine a human with similar injuries would be able to walk around again so soon! I think our will and the will of everyone who has ever met him was enough to do it. I don’t normally buy in to that kind of stuff but I genuinely believe it made a difference in this instance, it’s the only way to explain it!

  2. What a nightmare this has been! I agree that Otto’s recovery is nothing short of a miracle. We were certainly with you, sending lots of prayers. We will continue to pray that all heals well. We have been through surgeries with our furry children, and unfortunately, an almost identical attack on a precious doggy many years ago. He didn’t even make it to the vet. I’m with you, I would now be very protective of sweet Otto. We are all so happy that he is back home. Hugs to all, Linda

    1. Thanks Linda, we really appreciate all your prayers and good wishes, every single one helped, I’m sure of it. I’m so sorry that you went through something similar, it’s just awful isn’t it. You feel like it’s your job to protect them. Please keep the prayers coming for Otto’s continued recovery and thank you so much!

  3. I’m so happy for you, it must have been a horrifying experience. Well done yourselves for wrestling the dog and setting him free, some people would just freeze in panic.

    1. Thank you Graziella. It was indeed dreadful. Something that I guess will stay with me forever. As for diving in, I think most people would probably do the same, you just can’t help it. You can’t stand back and watch something like that.

  4. “Otto” will be my motto when I feel like giving up from now on. Sending you lots of healing hugs – it must have been hell to go through. Have you sussed out who the dog belonged to and asked them to 1) walk it elsewhere and 2) pay the vet’s bill? It’s not nice to say, but would it know the difference between a dog and a small child? Scary stuff.

    1. Otto is indeed a very good motto! Without going into too much detail, we do know the owners, they are very good friends of ours and have offered to pay the bill. They have been through hell these past few days too, knowing what their dog did to Otto. The whole thing is just terrifying and doesn’t really bear thinking about… Thank you for the healing hugs, I think we all need them right now. We’re so happy he’s back home though and just praying he keeps on getting stronger.

      1. Oh, cripes. Sorry I put my foot in my mouth (they don’t call me the mad cow for nothing). The poor things. Let’s hope that Otto gets quickly back on track and that the whole episode becomes part of the past for you all.

  5. Ah bless his heart! So pleased he is on the mend, it’s awful for you to have to go through that trauma, our pets are so part of our families and so upsetting when they get hurt. May he continue to get stronger every day. The other dog sounds ferocious, hope his owners keep him under control in future. Wishing you all the best with your new venture, you so deserve to do well. Hugs foe Ottoxxx

    1. Thanks Maureen. Yep, we’re keeping everything crossed that his recovery continues well. He’s clearly a lot tougher than we could ever have imagines so I guess that bodes well! Thanks so much for your kind words and I’ll pass the hugs along!

  6. So shocked to read of Otto’s injuries but very glad that he is recovering so well. Hoping he’s back to his happy, bouncing self very soon and that you are all recovering from the terrible shock. Thinking of you from “down under”.

    1. Thanks Jenny, that means a lot to us. It’s been a trying few days but he’s doing ok and we just have to keep hoping he keeps going in the right direction. Hope all is well in chilly Australia!

  7. I admire you for your positive thinking, and wish Otto a speedy recovery, but I must say that if a dog owner knows that their pooch is prone to attacking, then keep it on a leash, or muzzled! Otto should never have had to go through this.

    1. Thanks Rowena. I totally agree. We’ve been trying to reason why it happened and why he’s had to go through it and the best thing we’ve come up with is maybe it was to stop a child being attacked in the future. The other dog’s owners are being very good about it and are trying to find a solution, but until something is actually done we won’t be walking anywhere near their house!

  8. I am crying as I read this. This would be my worst nightmare. I could not bear this to happen to my Buddy. Hugs and kisses to Otto

    1. Thanks Lyn, and sorry to make you cry! It’s even more upsetting as you feel like it’s your job to look after them and you’ve failed, that’s how I felt anyway. Still, he’s hopefully on the mend now, though he hates having to wear the cone of shame!!

  9. So glad Otto is doing okay. It’s hard to imagine how I would’ve handled a situation like that. It’s so heartening to see that you continued to be strong and relentless in your support of him (even when it was easy to slip into a depressive state). Hope he gets back to top form soon!

    1. Thanks!! There may have been a few, short-lived depressive states, but we were able to lean on each other for support and plus we had so many people sending us positive messages it was hard not to be strong for him. He’s sleeping next to me right now. Still a little way from being back to his normal self, but he’s getting there.

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