White Dog rushed to my rescue and in her loyalty complicated the situation I have knew instinctively was just waiting to happen. It was inevitable that Quinn would have a blip in his adjustment, an unexpected reaction, a meltdown that was unprovoked. He has been through so much; how could his adjustment be perfect and smooth?
I was putting on his walking harness this afternoon so that Michael could take Quinn for their after school walk. We have put the harness on and taken it off nearly a dozen times since we fit him and purchased it on Sunday. He grumbled as I put the harness over his head and Michael and I both spoke gently calming him as I worked. When I lifted his paw to slide it into the harness, Quinn snarled, whirled and sank his teeth firmly into the top of my hand.
He was all twisted in the strapping so I could not let him go but gathered him against me continuing to talk calmly over Michael's panic and jumping around and White Dog's rush to my defense. I pulled the harness off and stroked him (the poor boy was shaking) as I held White Dog in my other arm and reassured both that momma was OK. Michael was so concerned that Quinn would hate us for trying to put the harness on; and he was worried about the blood rolling off my hand. Drama abounded. Quinn was shamed and remorseful; he hid behind the kitchen door. Michael, although a little afraid of being attacked, reached down and petted the shaken dog. White Dog sniffed my wound, growled with raised hackles at her brother, and placed herself between the danger and myself. I have thoroughly cleaned and bandaged the bite.
Quinn was not malicious or vicious--something triggered a bad memory or perhaps he has a raw spot on his belly under his still matted fur...he was merely reacting to pain. For that I cannot be angry or punitive. He is a frightened boy with I am sure lots of demons that will across time need to be dealt with. Later, as I sat at the computer (with White Dog, my protector at my side) Quinn came and laid in the doorway. I quieted White Dog and spoke to Quinn letting him know I understood. He was not yet ready to come close, but he stayed for a while before going back to his "usual" nap spot in the living room. All are quiet and calm once again.