While getting ready to bathe I vaguely hear my mother shrieking. I ignore it. I am 100% positive that Leo has gotten out of the gate again. Five minutes later I exit my room and glance down the corridor. Leo is pacing in his porch, panting heavily. His entire body is shaking with his exertions but his mouth is open in a smile with his tongue fully hanging out. He spots me, turns his head and fixes me with a glossy, bright eyed stare which can only be gained from a moment of ill-gotten fun.
I recoil in horror. The entire right side of his furry white face is matted with blood. He is undeterred by my expression and my approaching presence only makes him smile broader and his feather-like tail wag faster.
As I cross over, he places his two front paws on my leg and I can see droplets of blood trickling out of the tip of his coffee stained ear. I feel weak and scared. I have heard that these bites can get infected easily. As I extend my arm towards him, he moves off of me and crawls under the rocking chair, giving me his best puppy dog eyes. I can tell it is the beginning of a nightmare due to his inexplicable aversion to medical aid.
My mother comes to my rescue with sickly orange liquid antibiotic. I uncap the bottle and from the odor expelled, I am instantly reminded of a hospital ward which does not help to ease my discomfort. We saturate it in water and begin the unpleasant dance.
I stand back to survey the scene. The entirety of the rectangular porch is drenched in water with patches tinged with blood. Leo is stalking sulkily, having been given an unexpected bath in the process. He shakes, and the top of his white forehead has turned crimson again where his ear has made contact.
I give him a treat and his tail resumes its wagging. It has always been a tell tale sign of his mood. I am taken aback by how unaffected he is by the situation but it also placates me knowing he is happy.