Lucky to be alive

It was all going so well. We were on a short break holiday at a cottage in Sussex. We were on another lovely country walk with our dog, Patch. We were on a public footpath and had just passed a house with an open garden. Out of nowhere a large black Labrador came running towards us. 

Before we knew what was happening, it had bitten Patch on the back of the neck. She was squealing like a pig. Fortunately, the Lab let go and my wife picked up Patch. The owners were very apologetic. We only realised the size of the wound when we put her on a table to look at her. 

The Lab owner drove us to the vet and said he’d pay the bill. As luck would have it, we were seen almost immediately. Jack Russells have a roll of fat on the back of their necks and this is probably what saved her. The bite had gone through the fat but not into the muscle and nerves of the neck. If it had, it would have been much worse, perhaps life threatening. Miraculously there was hardly any bleeding either, as no blood vessels had been touched. 

We had to leave her at the vet’s. Three hours later we retrieved her, stitched up and a bit woozy. The nurse had been giving food to the other dogs and Patch wanted some, so we knew she must be OK. Jacks never turn down food! 

Needless to say my wife and I were both very upset, so we decided to drive back home in the evening. Home is the best place for us all to get over this. It all happened so quickly; I don’t think we could have done anything to stop it. We feel very lucky that Patch should recover fully as it could have been much worse. 

She’s had a good night’s sleep. She’s still a bit confused from the anaesthetic, but she’s eating. No walks for a few days and we need to make sure she doesn’t scratch the stitches. At the moment she’s resting in bed number two by the window. 


8 thoughts on “Lucky to be alive”

  1. Hope Patch makes a speedy recovery. Surprised that a Labrador attacked her as they are generally placid dogs.

  2. Glad she’s OK Robin. Also glad the labs owner took full responsibility. Pretty damn traumatic experience for you all and hope she heals physically and mentally from those wounds.

    Kind regards,


  3. Dear Robin Thanks for sharing the shocking news which raises a few issues. I suggest you use ‘Social Media’ to alert other walkers and/or dog owners of the location of the incident. Furthermore, writing as a seasoned walker, I am sure that you, as a keen walker, are aware that incidents involving Public Rights of Way (eg livestock, dogs) may also be reported to the Local Highway Authority. Afterall, nobody would like this to happen to another dog (or child), and there is the possibility that the ‘large black Labrador’ has been involved in a previous similar incident. I wish you, your wife and Patch a speedy recovery. Fyi, I read each and every one of your posts and you certainly have plenty to write about throughout the year! Peace and pedals Andrew MartinNottingham 

    1. We have spoken again to the owners and are trusting that they will be taking measures to ensure this never happens again.

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