I was attacked by a chow.
Thirty-eight years ago, I walked into a pet store not to get a pet, but just to look. I looked into this kennel and there was this little black bear looking right back at me. Needless to say, I walked out of the pet store with my first black chow puppy and have been in love with the chow breed ever since.
I have owned nine chows and had two litters. Before I start my story, let me tell you a few things about chows.
1. They are stubborn.
2. They are very loyal and loving.
3. They are very protective of their owner and property
4. They are very easy to train.
5. They are world class runners.
6. Never come up from behind them and grab them.
All nine of my male and female chows have been very loving and loyal. Never have I had any fear
of my babies except my last male chow, Kingston. He was a white male and very loving. When he was around 3 ½ years old, he started displaying some strange behaviors like he was sensing a spirit or ghost in the house, and he did a lot of undirected growling. Then came a period when Kingston was growling at me and was behaving very aloof. But he still enjoyed going on hikes with me and being out in nature.
My family became concerned with Kingston’s behavior and became fearful for my safety. But in my mind, this was my baby of 5 years and I was not afraid of him enough to get rid of him. My vet voiced concerns and said some dogs do have brains that are not wired quite right.
From the Gray Nomad: This is a true story told to me by my step-daughter Kim McGrath, who lived then in Independence, Kansas. Mostly, these are Kim’s actual words.
Now to my story, set in small-town Independence, Kansas.… I was taking Kingston for walks on the golf course and around the house to let him go potty and exercise him. It had rained one Friday and I was unable to get out before later when it started to get dark. But as I was about to enter the golf course, something made me stop — and I had a feeling I should not take Kingston for a walk, but to stay close to home.
The previous night on the golf course when it was secluded, we came face to face with a deer. Kingston went crazy and was biting the leash to get loose to go after the deer. It was like he was attacking the leash. I finally got him to calm down, but it scared me to see him acting this way.
I think this is why I stopped, for fear of this happening again. The sun was starting to go down. Plus no-one was out in the neighborhood or on the golf course due to the rain we had.
I stopped and tried to bring Kingston back into the yard, but he pulled against me. He did this about six times and resisted my tug to get him to turn back. He had never done this before. I gave one final tug and his collar came off. As he turned to run, my natural instinct took over and I lunged and grabbed him from behind, which was a big mistake.
All of a sudden my arms were in front of my face protecting it from a full-force, vicious attack. While I was standing up, Kingston went for my right wrist and bit me all the way up to my elbow. My first thoughts were, I cannot believe this is happening to me. My next thought was, I am going to die.
Kingston started shaking my arm like a rag doll and I felt like he was ripping it apart. I knew this was not going to end well. Still standing upright, all I could do was yell out to God, “God, God, Oh God, God, God!”
Then Kingston went at my other arm starting out with my wrist and working his way up, again shaking it like it was a rag doll. I was terrified because I knew that when dogs are in a heated fight, they only stop for three reasons: (1) They have killed the other dog or person, or (2) they have fought so long and hard that they are exhausted, or (3) someone pulls the dog away from the fight. I knew there was no-one around to pull Kingston off me and I feared he would attack me until I died.
Stitches on my right arm (left panel) and on my left arm (right panel
When I felt my left arm rip, I called out to God one last time. That is when God stepped in and saved me. While standing and trying to fend off Kingston, everything went blank although my eyes were open for the entire time of the attack. I don’t know when Kingston stopped attacking me and I don’t know how he got turned around so he was standing between my legs, facing away from me. But when I came to, still standing, my hands had a grip on his hair on both sides of his neck and I was holding on very tightly.
Kingston was totally calm and did not move at all — it was like he was frozen. He did not move his head or try to get loose. I was too afraid to let go of him because I knew I was in shock and was also afraid of him turning around to attack me again. All I could do was cry out for help for what seemed like an eternity, while watching blood spurting out of my wounds and soaking my jeans, and blood dripping on Kingston.
My concern now was bleeding to death. I called and called for help hoping someone would come out of the neighboring houses and hear me. There were no golfers on the course due to the rain we had. In between cries for help, I prayed again asking God to save me. A peace settled over me that I was going to be okay if I died because I knew I would be in heaven.
Out of the dusk, what seemed to me like a junior angel appeared — a middle-school boy riding past on his bike. I yelled out to him to help me. He continued to ride on. This seemed like my one last hope. I hollered as loud as I could one more time as he pedaled away. Dazed, I saw the boy turn around and come back, get off his bike and run toward me. Kingston still didn’t move, although the boy running up to us would normally be a threat to him.
I told the boy my dog attacked me and asked him to call 911. Then I told him to run and get my neighbor. When my neighbor saw me she started to run around in circles, like a chicken with its head cut off. I told them just to keep still and stay with me until the ambulance came, but not get close to Kingston. Fortunately, Kingston did not move his head or growl.
The police got to my house very quickly and three large police officers ran right up to me. Once again, Kingston never growled, never tried to get loose, he didn’t move at all. The police had to convince me to let go of my dog because I was still in shock and afraid Kingston might attack again. I let go of Kingston and he walked straight up to the back door of my house while a police officer followed him with a taser. I yelled for him just to open the door and let Kingston in.
The ambulance came and took me to the ER where I had 40 plus stitches. The time that elapsed from beginning to end of the incident was 7:00 pm to 1:00 am.
Since the attack happened to me and was on my property I didn’t have to put Kingston down then and there, but I knew I would have to do that. I dropped Kingston off at the vet three days later and cried all the way there and all the way home. I still cry about the attack to this day even though I had forgiven Kingston for what he did to me. There was something wrong with his brain.
Despite this experience, I remain a chow-momma. This little merle-colored bear (on the left) is Nala, now a 1-year old (on the right) and the friendliest Chow in Kansas.
But best of all, this is a testimony of how God never leaves us or forsakes us. I called out to God and by a miracle I’m convinced he saved my life!
A few days later the young boy on the bike came to see me and check on me. He told me that when he rides his bike, he always wears his earbuds to listen to music. But he didn’t put them on that particular day when he was riding his bike past me and stopped to help! God is good!
BLOG TOPICS: I write in-depth blogs about a mix of topics: Health and Hiking, and Science and Energy, and Inspiration and Hope.
The Gray Nomad ….. A true story about a dog called Kingston and his owner called Kim, who believes God saved her life.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. [Matthew chapter 14.]
Great article. The attack sounds terrifying. It makes me cry every time I hear this story. Kim is my sister. God never left her side. Thank you for saving my sister
Thanks for sharing for all to read. God is good.
I was also bitten by my chow years ago. I surprised him at night, and he bit me in the face. It was absolutely terrifying, but he did not continue to attack although I’m sure he would have. I yelled at him, and somehow that shut him up for enough time for me to get away from him. I am convinced he did not have a normal brain either. During the time I had him he bit five people. Since having him, I learned that labs are absolutely the best dogs.