Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Coworker Dead/ Duke Attacked By Pitbulls

The title of this entry is the kind of  day that has happened.

This morning, early AM, a co-worker was on I-40 eastbound heading to New Mexico on company business - usually they send him out to fix fire hydrants or to do pipe welding projects - when he hit an ice patch.  There are no more details at the moment about what exactly happened as far as what he ran into, but he died at the scene of the accident.

I knew this guy well, we talked frequently about nothing in particular whenever I saw him at the main branch, which was frequently enough.  He's one of those guys that  everyone loves.  Dedicated, loyal company-man.  Hard worker.  Loving father, grandpa and husband.  52 years old, in excellent health, a man that left for work in the morning but will never return home.  The "glue" that held his extended family together, he was basically raising his daughter's kids.

Everyone at work in shock and disbelief.  The reality of it not really setting in - yet.

I begin praying for the family.  I have experienced enough grief in my lifetime in lost loved ones to know what they are going through.  Yet, the element of an untimely death, unexpected, surreal, just unbelievable.  But that's the same thing that happened to my best friend some 3 years ago now - heart attack out of the blue that took his life right there at his house.

I get home and definitely commit to the idea of going to the church prayer meeting tonight.  I was going to leave early, just wanted to sit in a quiet place and seek the Lord.  The neighborhood kid had taken Sophie out for a walk and then came back for Duke - I don't allow Prince on walks anymore, his bum leg is only going to get worse with extended walks.

I'm waiting for the kid to get back with Duke so I can leave for church.  He comes knocking on the glass sliding door to the kitchen. I'm looking at him wondering why he just didn't come to the other door?  I open it up and ask him where Duke is?  Well Duke was attacked by 3 Pitbulls, was his response.  Now I'm freaking out, well where IS he?  He's over there where I left him.  What are you talking about, why did you leave him over there?

Turns out the people that saved Duke's life were holding him, the police had been called and the police had brought the kid to my house to get me to come back to get Duke.  This day getting more surreal by the hour.  I follow the police car to where Duke is, jump out of my car and run over to him.  He is a bloody mess. He had been bitten all over his body, and when I say all over, I mean his neck, all 4 legs, his left ear had been bitten so many times you couldn't tell how many bite wounds.  His back, chest, everywhere.

I'm just dumbfounded at this point.  The men that saved Duke - they beat those Pitbulls off of him, Duke had NO idea what to do with 3 vicious dogs attacking him out of the blue so they said he just laid down on the street.  I have no doubt in my mind those dogs would have killed him if there hadn't been human intervention.  I had to wait until they were done with my information, the owner's of the Pitbulls information and waiting for Animal Control to show up.  Duke is standing there shaking blood out of his head every few seconds, in obvious pain.  Well I patiently waited and Animal Control finally showed up.  The guy comes over and tells me the animal hospital on Hardy drive is still open and is the closest place. Good, cause' I've taken my dogs there before, they will have my information on file.  I thank the officers for their help in the matter, shake the men's hands and thank them for saving Duke's life and then take off to the hospital.

I could have dealt with a couple of bite wounds myself, but this was too much, especially his ear.  They take Duke into the back and then take me to a waiting room, where the vet comes in and hands me a prepared paper with the "news" on it: $520 to knock him out, deal with all the wounds, put staples in him, give him a shot of antibiotics, give me the antibiotic pills and the pain killer.  I have antibiotics at home, but I just decided to go ahead and just do the whole thing there.  They sent me packing - told me they would call me when they were done.

Well, I left and headed straight to church.  Going home made no sense to me, going to church and seeking the Lord did.  I was there 5 minutes before it all hit me.  Waves of grief came over me for the man that died and his family.  I felt the heart of the Lord going out to them.  I prayed and prayed for that family and shed no small amount of tears.  I thought of all the times we laughed together about different things at work and the last time he had been over at our branch, spending the day helping us get ready for the inventory - he was there last week.  I had just talked to him yesterday.  I thought about Duke - but I knew he was going to be okay albeit probably a bit messed up in the head after that kind of attack.

Well, I asked everyone at church to pray for the family of the man that died today, in a vehicle, alone, on a cold stretch of highway on Interstate 40, out in the middle of nowhere.

I had talked to a salesman at work on the phone earlier, he was all messed up about it.  He continued to exhort me over and over to be safe out there on the roads in the semi.  It was amazing that he actually sounded like he cared for me, a person I hardly ever talk to. It's the reality of death, especially a sudden , unexpected death.  It hits home, you start thinking about your own life. When is it going to end?  How is it going to end?  My manager and the lady that works in a different department in our company but uses one of our office spaces were totally out of it.  I could tell my manager wasn't really being able to deal with it all that well.

Well, the prayer service was at the end and the pastor called everyone up to pray together, but I had to leave.  It was almost 8:30 and that's when the hospital closes - they called me during the service telling me to be there no later than 8:30.  I didn't want to leave Duke there overnight, so I rushed back.  He was still out of it from being sedated, not even close to being fully awake, in fact they said he probably couldn't even see yet.  He had to be carried to the car.  I had to lift him into the car and then lift him back out.  He couldn't walk so he laid down right next to the car on the driveway.  Well that isn't going to work, I needed to get him inside on his bed.  I coaxed him up and he was wobbling all over the place.  Took about 5 minutes to actually get him into the house and onto his bed.  I left the bedroom to go turn things off and h started crying.  At least for right now, he won't let me out of his sight.

It's way past my bedtime.  I'm attempting to wind down, I figured writing out this entry would help and so it is.  Finally getting sleepy, Duke has settled down though shaking, but I think (hope) he'll go to sleep after I shut off the light.

It's been quite the day.


Interesting day. Up early - 4:00, jolted out of deep sleep by the ridiculous phone alarm - annoying as all get out but that's the inten...