No, not Alexander’s version. Not even close. Here’s what happened in my little corner of the world last Friday.
I dropped the Civic off at the shop for service, rented a car for the day, and headed to work. Have you ever been so lost in thought while driving that you get to your destination and don’t really even know how you got there? I was driving through a residential neighborhood on my usual route about a mile away from work, completely lost in thought when three dogs came streaking through the median right in front of my car.
I screamed bloody murder (because we all know how much that helps!) and slammed on the brakes. But too late. I thought I was going to hit the second dog, but he must have veered away from the car. I hit the third dog…and then ran over something…the dog?
Finally getting the car stopped, I looked in my rearview mirror, thinking the dog must surely be dead because I ran over him. Much to my surprise, he was very much alive – and writhing in agony. I stepped out of the car thinking it was bad enough that I thought I’d killed a dog, but now this dog was going to die an agonizing death?? It was more than I could take, and I stood frozen for a few seconds, not knowing what to do.
Then, the dog hauled himself up and ran back across the street and lay down in the yard. I was shocked that he could even move, much less run across the street. The second dog, his buddy, came back and stood by him, seeming to offer his support.
At this point of the story, I lost all common sense and became intently focused on helping this dog. Both of his back legs were bloody and he clearly couldn’t walk on one of them. He needed help, and he needed it soon.
So I did what any (in)sane person would do: I left my rental car running, unlocked, sitting on the side of the road, no flashers on, with my purse in the front seat and walked across the street to see if I could pick up the dog. Yeah, I know. Very clever of me.
I got close to him, which surprised me, and tried to touch him. Of course he tried to bite me. But his bite inhibition was so good – he barely put his teeth on my hand – that I knew I could get this dog to a vet. Except that he kept getting up and running!
I knocked on a couple of doors. No one knew who he belonged to. No one was interested in helping me catch him. By this time, at least I’d had the sense to move the car off the main road. But I still left it unlocked, keys in the ignition, purse on the seat. Yep, still not thinking clearly. I was doing good to have turned off the engine!
Then, a man came walking down the street. He was putting fliers on doors and had seen all three dogs on several streets that morning. I told him I’d hit the white dog and asked if he’d help me get him in my car so I could take him to the vet.
This dog evaded us at every turn, clever boy! The man suggested contacting animal control, but I said no because they’d put him down immediately and he was a young dog so he deserved a chance. So the man kept helping me.
Now, let me tell you something. This guy was so very afraid of being bitten. He wasn’t what I’d characterize as a “dog person” and he didn’t really know what he was doing. But he did everything I told him to and kept trying to help. He’d say, “I’m just afraid he’s going to bite me,” and I’d say, “No, I don’t think so.” He’d say, “He’s so scared! He’s going to bite me,” and I’d say, “It’ll be alright. He’s not going to bite you.”
But really, I was thinking, “Of course he’s going to bite you. He’s scared and he’s in excruciating pain. But you’ll live. Promise.” Honestly, I didn’t think I wouldn’t be bitten. I was just planning to not get mauled. But, you know what? I have really good health insurance. It never dawned on me what this guy’s real fear was until he said, “I just cannot afford to get bitten. I just can’t!” Reality check, Sherron.
Back to capturing the hurt dog…
A couple of guys drove up, presumably to work on the house where the dog was desperately trying to evade us. I asked for their help to catch him. They basically said no. I insisted. Well, that’s not really quite right. Actually, I ordered them to go stand where they’d block the dog’s exit. Why, yes, in fact, I can be a veritable Bossy McCrankypants when I have to be, complete with my daddy’s “do what I say or die” glower. Thanks Dad! Comes in handy when you’re trying to save a dog!
By now, my senses were beginning to return. I was wearing a scarf, so I’d just make a leash! I put the scarf around his neck and gently pulled…and he didn’t move a muscle. I tried again. Nothing doing. I was going to have to pick him up. I tied the scarf around his muzzle and then around the back of his head so he’d have a hard time biting my face off and then leaned down to try to pick him up.
The man said, “No, no! Let me. You’re going to hurt your back.” I’m pretty sure my chiropractor would agree, so I let him pick the dog up. Except that I didn’t explain very well how to do it, so he picked him up under his front legs, like you’d pick up a kid. This kid weighed 60 lbs. and he couldn’t hold him for long. And my car was four houses away!
I ran to get the car, but by the time I pulled into the driveway, the man had put the dog down. He didn’t realize that the scarf had loosened, and when he tried to pick up the dog again, the dog snapped at him. Scared, he jumped back and the dog ran.
Fortunately, he got himself trapped, and the two other guys were now conveniently positioned so that the dog was effectively trapped. So now we just had to pick him up again. I tightened the scarf again, reassuring the man that he wouldn’t get bitten. That’s when he said he couldn’t afford to get bitten and it dawned on me just how big a sacrifice this guy was making. He was supposed to be working, but he was helping a complete stranger catch a hurt dog. And he could not only get hurt but also lose his job if he did get hurt. That man’s empathy for me and the dog just completely overwhelmed me. But I didn’t know what to do!
Then, I realized I was wearing a jacket. Yes, senses very slow to return! I took off my jacket and threw it over the dog’s head. And just like that, he lay his head down and relaxed. That was enough for me, but not the man. He wrapped the jacket around the dog’s face tightly and said, “Here, you hold this tight the whole way over to the car.” So I did and we got the dog in the car at long last.
The verdict on the dog’s injuries: multiple contusions; several severe lacerations, including one where bone was exposed and another where a toe ligament was severed; and a fractured hip ball joint, which dislocated his hip.
When I think fractured, I think cracked, so I asked the doctor if we could just let the ball joint heal on its own and then put his hip back in its assigned slot. It was clear why she laughed and said no when I saw the x-ray: it’s broken all the way through, sheered completely off.
But, it’s fixable! A surgical procedure will remove the ball joint and the “neck” just below it and then the femur will go back up in the hip joint…and it will be just like there’s a ball joint there. It sounds like magic, or wishful thinking, but the doctors assure me that this works.
Of course, it’s also expensive. Too expensive for cash-strapped rescue groups to take on, and too expensive for me, too. So, we’re doing a little fundraiser and we hope you can help.
Frankie, as we’re calling him, will need about $5000 for all his vet expenses when all is said and done. I was right about one thing: this dog deserves a chance. He is totally worth it. He’s shy, but gentle, and under that wary exterior, there seems to be a comic. The vet staff told me that he started “talking” to them today. Just Husky chatter, they called it. Wanting to be kept in the loop, to know what was going on.
If you want to help get this boy back on all four paws, please click here to go to his fundraiser page. Any amount is appreciated – no amount is too small! And if you’d rather donate directly to the vet, that information is on the fundraiser page, too.