20/12/2018 by Hannah Poon 0 Comments
I WAS THE DOG'S CHRISTMAS DINNER!
Christmas is a time for indulging in festive food but I never guessed I would become the dog’s dinner… By Amanda Busby, 42
As I buttoned up my waistcoat, I was ready to serve the hotel guests their Christmas dinner.
I didn’t mind working on Christmas Day 2016. I don’t see much of my family and I was happy to earn a bit of cash from waitressing.
The hotel had even offered to give me dinner and put me up for the night after my shift. So on Christmas Day, I started laying the tables at 10am.
‘Make sure each place setting has a cracker,’ my boss smiled. ‘Of course,’ I replied as I set about making the tables look extra festive.
The place looked beautiful once I’d finished and I couldn’t wait for the guests to see the decorations.
‘Merry Christmas!’ I greeted the first lot of diners as they walked into the dining room.
I was pouring some festive fizz for the guests once the lunch service had got started when I noticed some old friends had just sat down.
‘Hey! Merry Christmas! Long time no see,’ I popped over to their table to say hi. ‘Happy Christmas, Mandy! You’re not working today, are you?’
I explained I was waitressing until 5pm and then back in the following morning for Boxing Day.
‘That’s no way to celebrate, why don’t you pop over to ours after your shift for a drink?’ they offered.
‘That sounds lovely, thanks,’ I smiled back.
Despite working, I actually really enjoyed the day. All the guest were in good spirits and were so friendly and chatty.
Then at the end of my shift, I headed upstairs to my room to check my phone.
The offer is still on if you want come over for a drink, my friend had text.
I was exhausted after a long day on my feet but I figured one festive drink wouldn’t do any harm. It was Christmas, after all.
So I jumped in the shower and pulled on a pair of jeans and a top before making my way over to their house.
‘Glad you could make it,’ my mates smiled as they welcomed me into their home.
‘Thanks for having me,’ I replied, full of festive cheer.
As I walked through to their living room, their beagle, Oscar, was lying on the sofa. He’d grown so much since I’d last seen him as a puppy but he looked as cute as ever.
‘He’ll be there for the rest of the night,’ they laughed, showing me through to the kitchen. ‘Fancy a glass of fizz?’ my host offered.
‘I’d love one,’ I smiled, taking a sip of the prosecco. ‘That’s just what I needed,’ I said as I took my drink through to the living room where I sat on the sofa next to Oscar.
Setting my glass down on the coffee table, I went to pat the head of their pet pooch when all of a sudden, the hound jumped up and launched himself at me, his jaws locking tight around my face.
I was in such a state of shock that it took me a moment to realise what was happening.
‘Aaargh!” I yelped, as agony tore through me.
‘Oscar, get off!’ his owners shouted, but it was no use.
I desperately tried to escape the monster mutt’s grip but Oscar’s teeth had sunk deep into my face, and blood gushed from my wounds.
‘Help!’ I tried to scream before eventually, after what felt like a lifetime, the dog finally released me from its jaws.
I stood there, trembling as I held my chin in my hands, running my fingers over the deep gouges in my jaw.
I’d literally become the dog’s Christmas dinner.
‘Mandy, we need to get you to hospital,’ my friends rushed me outside and into their car. ‘We should have left him in his cage,’ I could hear them saying from the front seats.
The pain was indescribable as I arrived at Kettering General Hospital. ‘We need to transfer you to Northampton,’ the doctor took one look at my face, before putting me on medication.
On the way to Northampton Hospital I made a quick stop at the hotel so I could pick up my bags and tell my bosses I wouldn’t be working the next day.
On Boxing Day morning, instead of starting my next shift at work, I underwent a five hour operation to to stitch my ravaged face back together.
‘We’ve done the best we can but you will be left with significant scarring,’ the surgeon explained afterwards.
I broke down in tears when I finally caught a glimpse of my sewn up face, and later that night, I was discharged from hospital and sent home.
When I’d regained some strength I approached a solicitor but was told there wasn’t enough evidence to suggest the dog had a violent history, and they couldn’t take on my case.
Deflated, I tried to put the broken pieces of my life back together but although I was desperate to return to work, the physical and mental pain meant I was forced to quit.
Now, I struggle to leave the house and if I do pop out, I cover myself with thick layers of heavy duty theatre makeup and wrap a scarf around my face to hide my scars.
I’m now awaiting further surgery to repair the damage to my face, which will take another two-and-a-half years to heal.
Christmas should be a time for family and festivities but the traumatic ordeal has haunted me with horrific memories.
I am slowly learning to live with my scars but they will always be a permanent reminder of the year I became the dog’s Christmas dinner.