So, I was in the middle of a dog fight last Monday.
I have to start the story by explaining the day that Will and I had been having. His morning nap was too short, and he didn't seem to want to sleep in the afternoon, either. The result was an overtired, fussy baby and an overtired, frustrated mommy. It was kind of a tough day. Despite the crummy fall weather we were having, I decided to get us all bundled up and brave the elements to get some fresh air. It usually works wonders for both of us to get outside, plus I knew that my two dogs would appreciate the exercise.
A few minutes into our walk, I was so glad that we had gotten outside. Will was dressed warmly enough and the brisk fall air felt good. Despite some serious storm clouds, it wasn't raining, so I opened up the cover on his stroller. He stopped crying and I was relieved to see that his eyelids were drooping. He was as good as asleep. I breathed a sigh of relief that we were both getting the rest that we needed.
The next thing I knew, I felt a bumping into the back of my legs. Startled, I gave a little yelp. I looked down to see a brown dog at my feet. A brown dog that happened to be a pit bull.
Now, allow me to say that I am a dog lover. And I know that pit bulls can be loving creatures with a bad wrap. However, when this dog stuck his head into the stroller, my heart stopped beating. I think this would have been my reaction no matter what the breed. I screamed and pulled the dog back from Will's face.
My little dog is a terrier and as terriers usually go, he is stubborn and full of fight. He decided that he did not like this interloper sticking his head into "his" baby's stroller. So, he growled. And of course, the stray dog did not like being growled at by a dog that he could eat for dinner. So, he growled back. And my big dog, who is not much of a fighter, decided that he couldn't let his brother take this on alone, so he joined in the growl-fest.
The next thing that I knew, I was in the middle of a dog fight. Try as I might, I could not pull the dogs apart. I found myself in a web of leashes, trying to stay upright and keep the stroller free of the snarling dogs.
Luckily for me, a car stopped and the passenger hopped out to help me pull the pit bull off of my big dog and give me a chance to disentangle myself from the tangle of leashes. By this point, I was crying and Will was screaming. So much for our peaceful walk and Will's nap.
The kindly strangers scared the pit bull off and then followed me home to make sure that I got back all right. Shaking, I got in the house and vowed to never leave home without my pepper spray again. I looked over both dogs and found only a small bloody scratch on Rocky's ear. We seemed to have emerged mostly unscathed.
I sat on the stairs in our entry way and clutched Will to me. I was still teary and unsettled, but he seemed no worse for the wear. In fact, as I rocked us both on the stairway, he finally fell asleep. Even though the danger had passed, I started to cry again as I thought about how scared I was when that dog stuck his head in the stroller. If something happened to Will . . . I can't even process those thoughts.
Really, he was never in any danger, but I find that the aftermath of my struggles with infertility is that I always go to the worst case scenario. After all, the worst did happen to us. So many times. Our babies died. And babies die. No one can tell me that it doesn't happen. I sometimes still feel as if we somehow "cheated" the fates and wonder how long we will stay lucky.
I pray that it is forever.