Dog Bite

More on the last post – a new memo has appeared on the notice board that boils down to 'if you have swineflu, the advice is to not come in to work, it will be counted as an absence' – which to be fair is only reasonable. After all the coughing pig death virus is a fairly mild flu – and we don't have special circumstances for normal 'flu.


The job was sent to us as 'man – bitten by dog two days ago' which figures high on the 'rolling your eyes' scale, but not too high on the 'completely unexpected' chart. What was unusual was that in the special instructions part of the dispatch notes was that the patient needed to police to look after his dog.

When a job like this comes down the wire it is only traditional to share the news with any other ambulance personnel within earshot. It's a game of one-upmanship that we play with each other, seeing who can get the most ridiculous call.

“Hold up”, one of my station mates says, “what address is that?”

I tell him.

“You'd better take the police along with you, I was listening to them talking about that patient yesterday – he's apparently violent”.

I could see that he wasn't joking.

As the job was obviously not going to be anything too serious we decided to ask for the police to arrive, after all the patient had asked for the police himself to look after his dog.

We were waiting only a few minutes before two response officers and a dog handler arrived. The dog handler got the kit out of his car – a loop on a stick and a fire extinguisher.

Fully prepared we approached the front door and rang the bell.

“Come on in”, said the man who opened the door – a man with obvious alcoholism and mental health problems*.

We entered to be greeted by what is perhaps the most energetic dog I've ever met.

This dog, that apparently needed the police to look after, ran over to my crewmate looked her square in the eye and rolled over to have his belly rubbed.

My crewmate and I are both dog lovers and when we get to a job where a dog is loose whoever isn't dealing with the patient is normally found playing with the dog.

And that is what happened – while I tried to persuade the patient that, no, his finger wasn't going to drop off, my crewmate sat playing with the dog while the police, seeing that we were fine, disappeared off to their next job.

A bit of a waste of all those resources, but what can you do except shrug and keep going?


*Don't ask – after a while you start to develop an 'eye' for such things.

8 thoughts on “Dog Bite”

  1. He was put down, I'm afraid. We did eventually get him to the vets, and there was nothing else they could recommend. In fact when we got there they said he was too distressed for them to do anything with him, so we would have to take him home and try again another day. And go through all that again? No chance mate.

  2. Probably just as well you took the police though. A different day, the man might have been less amiable. Doesnt sound like the dog would have been though!

  3. I can't believe this*, a month ago our perfectly normal, friendly dog got something stuck in his throat and when my stepdad tried to remove it he attacked him, and then when I loaded him into the car to take him to the vets he attacked me. These were proper bites that needed medical attention (though we carted ourselves off to A&E afterwards, no ambulances necessary). Realising that we needed help in getting this dog under control we rang the RSPCA, the council, and the non-emergency police number. We were told that the RSPCA couldn't bring out sedatives so they wouldn't be able to help, the council's dog warden service only deals with strays so wouldn't help us, and the police could do nothing to help. After a couple of hours of being locked in the yard while we rang round the dog got the blockage out himself and returned to normal, until this weekend when he flipped again and went for two people (including me). We again tried the RSPCA, the council, and the non-emergency police number all while barricaded in the living room away from this dog that was genuinely going mad in the hallway. Same response. The fact that no one was maimed is a miracle.I realise that no one is interested in reading all this, but I've been horrified for weeks by how we just couldn't get any help at all, and then this idiot gets a police dog handler for a complete softie. I'll know next to time to ring 999.

    Long time reader, first time commenter. 🙂

    * I can.

  4. Try to make sure there isn't a “next time.” Take the dog to a vet as soon as you can, to have this change in behavior looked into.

  5. pig flu – my employers has said that pig flu is to be treated as sickness yet it is not counted towards sickness triggers.

  6. Its sad that reasonable people who use the proper channels seem to be pushed aside for those who overreact and call for disproportionate help despite the fact they should be capable of dealing with it themselves.At the same time I think that it is typical of the government. They refuse to help until the damage has been done, and even then you sometimes get ignores. I wonder how much time and money the government would save if they dealt with things before they became a problem

  7. I'm very sorry for the loss of your pet, it's always hard and this sounds like especially painful circumstances.It's possible your dog wasn't choking but having a seizure which can look very similar & often goes along with sudden unpredictably aggressive behaviour. If that was the case then euthanasia was the kindest thing.

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