That shouldn’t be something that needs to be said. It should just be automatically assumed that people matter more than money. However, events this weekend have shown me that at least with some people, the opposite is true.
We were supposed to watch my sister’s dogs this weekend while she went on her anniversary trip. I didn’t see any problems with this arrangement because we’d been around their dogs before, pet them, etc. They’d run around my children, no worries. She has two huskies it just didn’t seem like a big deal. It was payment enough for her letting us stay with her until our house closed.
At least that was my thinking.
When she got here Friday, she only had one kennel. With both dogs. They did both fit in the kennel but they were NOT happy about it. Bruce, the big one, was fighting with Harley, the little one, before my sister even left. But there was no offer of fetching the second kennel. In fact, it was suggested that if they go too crazy, that I should put the big one in my laundry room, where the only damage he could do was scratch the paint off my door… as if that were ok with me.
Shortly after she left, I was in my room, chilling a little bit, when Shane tells me that I needed to call my sister now and have her pick up the dogs. I thought perhaps he was exaggerating because he was not eager to look after the dogs. He’d already made a few comments that made me think this previously, and though he didn’t come out and say this, I thought perhaps that was the motivation of his statement. I went to go see what was going on.
He said that the two dogs had been fighting really bad and he let Harley out and they put him in the bathroom. However, every time he tried to get Bruce, the dog tried to attack Shane. When we stayed with my sister, she had said that he responded better to a female since he had a female alpha (referring to herself). So I thought I would try and pet him, to try and calm him down.
In hind sight this was stupid, but I really wasn’t thinking clearly at the time.
When I reached my hand into the cage, he growled at me, but it wasn’t until he snapped that I panicked. He nipped me a bit and I went for the only area I could where there was no teeth – right up under his neck. It was good that he couldn’t bit me – I had him pinned against his cage, but it was bad because now I couldn’t get my hand out without being bit.
Time seemed to stop here. We stared at each other for a few minutes. I’m honestly not sure how much time elapsed. I sort of lost touch with reality. After that unknown amount of time, he scratched my arm, twisted his head, and basically mauled my hand as I tried to quickly get it out of the cage. I don’t even think it hurt. I went to my room, sat on the edge of my bed and tried to unlock my phone. I was dimly aware that I was bleeding on the carpet so I went to the bathroom sink to wash my hand off. Suddenly I felt very nauseous, and I couldn’t stop shaking. I started to ask my sister to bring the other kennel but Shane took the phone from me and I could hear him demanding she take the dogs immediately. I then kind of dropped into a stupor where I was only aware of the water running over my hand.
Shane and Emily poured hydrogen peroxide on my hand and got me to my chair where they did some impromptu first aid on it. It was determined I needed to go to the hospital and I felt incredibly peculiar. Reading about the potential after effects of a dog fight was too much. Finally Shane took me to the hospital, after we determined it was taking too long for my sister to get there.
Once we got there, the hospital reacted pretty quickly initially, getting my hand with some antibiotic bandages, getting an x-ray on it, etc. Then we had a long wait before they had a room ready for us.
During this time I finally started to feel ok enough to chat on my phone. My mom was asking how I was. I told her what all had happened thus far and we got into a discussion about what all had gone on with my sister. Apparently she had griped on Facebook about how she was out $600 for her anniversary trip, and then went on a rant which included multiple cases of profanity about me and my family, and her ill-opinion of us now. She went on to illustrate herself as blameless, and the victim, pointing out how “even after” allowing us to stay with her for 5 weeks and after my children broke a laundry list of item, I did something to get bit and now we wouldn’t watch them, so she was out all this money. She never mentioned that I paid for the things that were broken, or that we cleaned up behind ourselves well enough that it was cleaner than when we got there. She didn’t mention how she frequently screamed profanities at my children, forbade them from playing with the baby toys because apparently they weren’t playing with them correctly (Mark would put the big toddler Legos in his mouth for example). She didn’t mention how we were forbidden from using her dishes and spent that 5 weeks eating off of paper plates and Styrofoam bowls even though we washed not only our dishes, but their dishes, and how we tried to be considerate to their budget by handwashing the dishes instead of using the dishwasher since dish soap is cheaper than dishwasher tabs. She failed to mention how she would scream at my young children and banish them to outside in hundred degree weather because they were talking during her tv show. She also failed to mention on her rant how she would then act baffled as to why the teens wanted to stay in the room we were sleeping in and how everyone was being “antisocial” by “hiding out” in that room.
It’s a mystery to be sure.
Fact is… I was willing to reimburse them the money for their trip. It turns out they went anyways after all was said and done, but not before they publically chewed out my family, blocked every one of us, and had her entire family block us. While all this was happening I was trying to recover in the hospital, hoping my hand would stop hurting soon.
She never once asked how I was.
She never once asked anyone else how I was.
In her words, I just “needed a little Neosporin”. I kid you not. I had muscle tissue poking out of my skin from one of the wounds. I had fifteen puncture wounds on my hand. I required a ten day run of antibiotics. A week later, all of the wounds are still there, my hand is still bruised and a little sore. Just a little Neosporin though.
People astound me.
I will say this… people matter more than money. Money is just a tool. It is a useful tool, but it is not worth cutting off your family because of it. It’s also unwise to make assumptions about things.
For example, my sister assumed I was “messing with” the dog. In fact, Shane was already telling me to call her and have her pick him up because he was literally about to get his aluminum baseball bat and kill the dog due to the fact that every time Shane got close, the dog tried to attack him. My sister made mention that only Shane and Matthew were supposed to “handle” the dog. But the conversation where that took place involved taking them out to do their business since we hadn’t finished our fence yet at our house. I was trying to pet the dog, to calm him down. If petting the dog resulted in a vicious hand wound, and that was expected behavior, there is no way on God’s green earth I would have allowed that dog in my house with my small children. However being as we’d all petted the dog many times before and never had an issue, how was I to know?
But assumptions. There’s a saying about assumptions. And it seems to apply here.
I know the spirit of Christianity is forgiveness. I heard a sermon once that said you couldn’t forgive someone who didn’t think they’d done any wrong. You could only have a willingness to forgive – whenever they asked for it. So I’m willing to forgive my sister. But she has to ask for it. And since I have never known her in her entire life to admit she was wrong about anything, I don’t expect she’ll ever ask for forgiveness. Until she does, though, I think I’ll just live my life happily drama-free without her in it. It’s not worth it.
People are worth more than money, though, and should she ever try to make amends, I will forgive her. But one thing I can and will do is despite all this, I will pray for her time to time. Perhaps one day she will come to know God. I really really hope she does. Not just because of being saved but because I think she would then change and actually be a likable person then.
Time will tell.