At the same time, ahead of me, another dog walked along the footpath towards me. I was alarmed by this dog’s energy: it was menacing and dangerous. I noticed its eyes were different colours – one blue, one brown – and its thick, bristly coat was shades of grey, brown, black and white. It was a strong dog and, as it reached me, it jumped up at me. I kept my voice steady and told it to stay down, then I turned around to see where Billie was and what she was doing. I knew I shouldn’t turn my back on this strange dog but my instinct was to protect Billie. I called for my dog.
Billie ran back across the road, narrowly missing a car driving at speed. When I saw she’d made it safely to this side of the street, I turned around again to see what the other dog was up to. It wasn’t there. I turned back around again, only to see my girl Billie surrounded – the dominant dog and its pack were advancing on her, about to attack. Billie’s tail was down and she was visibly shaking. I called her and she darted between them, finding the courage to run to me. I shouted at the other dogs, sending them away.
I placed my hands on my dog, feeling her sides, her face, calming her, but when I took my hands away, I saw blood on my palms. I looked more closely and found bite marks on her body, the wounds deep. Somehow, in the time it had taken me to turn around, she’d been hurt. Though she’s a big dog, I picked her up and tenderly cradled her in my arms. She morphed a few times, changing into a baby girl with big blue eyes and back into her dog form. Blood trickled out of her eye and down her face. She looked beaten and I felt devastated. I knew I had to get her quickly to a vet, but it was now night and I was on foot. I woke.