Winston is currently resting on his sleeping bag in the office. Notice his ear, ever on the alert despite regular doses of DoggyContin (but check out that chilled smile). You can see a couple of the bullet wounds on his side; there are two on the other side, and one on his neck--the slug was slowed down by his rabies tag, which may well have saved his life (it's crumpled into a point--just unreal). If you have to get shot in the middle of a night when there's slim likelihood of any help arriving before sunup, you really want to try to avoid catching any bullets in your neck (think jugular, carotid, cervical spine...). Amazing, too, is the fact that nothing struck any of his organs, particularly his heart or liver.
When I gave him his pain pills last night, prying open his muscular jaw (not an easy task) and putting my entire hand into his mouth so as to place the pill as far back as possible, it dawned on me that if he so desired, Winston could snap my bony little wrist in an instant and swallow my hand instead. His teeth are formidable--razor-sharp and bright white, a young dog's arsenal at the ready--and his breed, the American Pit Bull Terrier, is famous for its jaw strength and tenacity. But he swallowed the pill, licked my hand, and sighed. I pressed my face to his cheek, then kissed the top of his head, as unafraid of this gentle dog as I'd be of Son Three's teddy bear. Pit Bulls are notorious--to those who've actually known and loved them, at least--for their intelligence and loyalty. As with any dog, though, they can be abused to the point of becoming vicious and dangerous. The difference, of course, is that powerful, densely-muscled dogs can do much more life-threatening harm than, say, a Chihuahua who's raised to be mean.
Thankfully, Winston demonstrates all those lesser-known Pit Bull traits. He is so smart, I swear he can communicate with his facial expressions, as he did on Saturday when I asked him if he wanted to take a little walk: No, not now--I hurt. When Roberto arrived that evening, he was ready, and out he went, very slowly. He approached a favorite pee-tree, but his right quadricep had the deepest wound, and his leg was obviously swollen and giving him pain. I won't say he crouched like a girl; instead, I'll say He did what he had to do.
Bravo Winston the Wonder Dog. And woe betide the heartless, larcenous scum who tried to harm him (more on that as it develops).
(H/T Karen for the photo)