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I was walking my dog Gizmo in the park, as I do most mornings at about this time. Ahead of me, I could see a large alsatian snuffling around in the undergrowth and a man who was mostly hidden by the trees ahead of me. As we got closer, the alsatian turned, saw Gizmo, and set off after him. Now, Gizmo loves getting other dogs to chase him, because he knows that none of them will ever catch him, so I wasn’t too concerned.
By this stage the man had come into view and I could see that he was wearing full police uniform. He called his dog back, and ordered me to stand still, which I did. His dog turned back as soon as it was called, but instead of going back to the owner it lunged at my hand as it passed, and latched on with full force. I was completely shocked. It hurt. A lot.
The policeman ordered his dog off and thankfully it responded to his command. When I took my hand out, it was oozing thick blood. The sight of it made me feel weak. There was a large puncture on the middle finger of my right hand, a hole splayed open at the edges inside which I could see a big loose vein and other bits and pieces of gore. Up the side of my index finger was a raking cut, again fairly deep and with little bits of mincemeat hanging out. The policeman brushed it off as “not a very bad one”, and took me back to his van where he gave the cuts a quick wipe and put a dressing on my middle finger, while two plain-clothed detectives hovered in the background. He told me that they’d been searching for a purse which was stolen and probably dumped around there. Only a couple of months before I’d found a rucksack dumped in exactly the same spot, which I’d taken to the police station. Not long before that, I found a mobile nearby and got to hear a part the sad story of what happened to its owner. I’m starting to have my worries about walking home late at night in this area.
Subsequently I had to go to my GP’s for a tetanus jab, then to the hospital to have the wound checked over, sellotaped up (it needs stitches but they apparently don’t stitch animal bites in case they seal in any infection), and pick up some antibiotics. And now, I’m finding it very hard to type, and to take photographs.
Anyway, Mark wanted me to show these photos which Gill took for me. Are they art? A depiction of the artist’s suffering, perhaps?