Sunday, June 14, 2009

Close call-- pet sitting emergency!

Murphy's Law: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
Last night was one of those events from hell for me. 9:30 pm: A small terrier mix named Rex was unhappy that he was out in the outer yard by himself. He is boarding here with his roommate, Makaso. Makaso was in the house. All of a sudden I hear a dog screaming in pain, fear, whatever. I go blasting out back and find Rex's head caught between the chain link gate and the frame. I couldn't open the gate– it pinched him tighter. He had stuck his head in through the corner, which is a bigger spot, then stood up and was stuck between the bars in a very narrow spot. 

I tried to get him to relax and lower his head; no go. I peeled his feet off the fence and tried to push him into a down position, but he was totally braced, screaming and twisting. I had to let go, run in the house for the phone, and call the neighbor. I told him he needed to bring a wrench that could take off the gate. By now I'm back outside trying to hold Rex still and calm him. 

God bless my neighbor, who came right over with the correct tool and removed the gate while I held Rex. I was afraid Rex would pass out from choking, which would mean I might be able to get him out, but then I'd be doing CPR on this dog. The second he was loose he was just fine, shook himself off and started wagging his tail. I stuck him in his crate and had a good cry. 

I haven't flipped out this much since I killed a rattlesnake. I could never have gotten him loose by myself. I'm not strong enough to unscrew the bolts. If I'd been gone, I could have come home to a strangled dog. My heart was pounding in my ears and my adrenaline was pumping. I swear my lungs are still burning from the stress. I am physically exhausted today. When you are in a life and death situation like that, the hardest part is to leave the victim and call for help. Which is exactly what you are supposed to do, as I've learned in all my first aid training. 

That's why we make the big bucks, huh? There is no way to be prepared for everything that could happen. 

The photo above: Rex revisits the scene of the crime. Bottom left hand corner of the gate (circled) is where he put his head through.


barrie said...

OMG what a horrible horrible thing for both you and Rex :-( Do you leave the dogs with access to the yard when you aren't home? You might not have been able to get Rex out that way by yourself but I have faith that you would have come up with an alternate solution to the predicament!!

BestFitPetSit said...

Oh, I am so sorry that you had to go through this! Isn't it funny how dogs just shake themselves off like nothing happened and we're standing there with our knees shaking on the verge of tears? Talk about living in the moment! Dogs are great examples of how everyone should live in my opinion!
Good thing for Rex that you were able to keep a clear head and that you did exactly as you were trained. I can't believe he could squeeze his head in that little gap!
Thanks for sharing this story.

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Anonymous said...

Scary! Maybe you need to figure out a way of blocking that hole.

Terry Albert said...

I did cover it with hardware cloth, plus we lowered the gate within the frame. I don't leave small dogs outside at all-- although Rex is very fine-boned, I don't think of him as small. Guess he is!