I don’t blame the dog that bit me: I blame my ex-boyfriend

Tracey Folly

A pit bull bit me in the face; it wasn't his fault.

A pit bull bit me in the face a few years ago. The dog’s teeth left a row of shallow punctures across my nose and one check. To my surprise, the encounter didn’t leave me with any scars, although I had ugly scabs that turned into discolored spots and took a very long time to fade.

I could still see traces of that dog bite on my nose for a year.

The pit bull belonged to my boyfriend’s mother. He was a good dog overall. Maybe he barked a little too much sometimes. Maybe he was a little overweight from his owner confusing treats with love. But AJ was a good boy, and I loved him.

I find pit bulls simply adorable. They have the sweetest, most expressive faces. AJ was no different. He could be a little aloof at times, like a cat that’s not sure if it wants to be stroked, but who hasn’t felt that way from time to time? I know I have.

One day, I was at my boyfriend’s parents’ home, and AJ was acting a little standoffish. I wasn’t worried about it, and I wasn’t about to chase a dog around the house and beg for attention. I sat on the floor watching television and having a snack when my boyfriend decided I should kiss the dog on the nose.

“Kiss AJ,” my boyfriend said.

I reached out to pat the dog, but the dog moved away.

That’s when things took a bad turn.

My boyfriend grabbed the dog and forcefully pushed him into my lap. “Kiss AJ,” he commanded.

I moved my face toward the dog to give him a little peck on the side of his snout, and he flinched away. So I stopped.

“He doesn’t want to be kissed,” I said.

My boyfriend grabbed the dog by the neck and shoved his face into my face.

Before I could jerk my head backward, AJ let out a sharp bark and nipped my face with his teeth. It happened too quickly for me to react until the damage was done.

Blood streamed down my face, making the bite look worse than it actually was. After I cleaned up the blood, I learned I had gotten off easy. I still had my nose. The dog could have just as easily taken it with him. From the puncture wounds on either side, I could tell he’d had the perfect opportunity.

I’m convinced the dog wasn’t really trying to bite me. Otherwise, the damage would have been far more severe. As it was, two adhesive bandages sufficed to cover the bleeding puncture wounds. I didn’t need stitches.

I was lucky.

After that day, I kept my distance from the dog. I didn’t blame the sweet pit bull for biting me — nipping, really — . I blamed my boyfriend. It was entirely his fault, and he was entirely unconcerned about what happened.

“He has all his shots… I think. Do you want me to ask my mother?”

I didn’t want him to ask his mother. Her bark was worse than her dog’s bite.

Fortunately, everything worked out in the end, especially when I broke up with my boyfriend for unrelated reasons a few weeks later.

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Writing about relationships online since 2009.

Massachusetts State

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