Background: our neighbors (an older woman and her teenage daughter) to the north invited us to a fish fry, scheduled for last night. We are great friends with these folks, and my six-year old son loves the gal’s granddaughter; they play together quite often. It was a small party—the older gal, her husband, daughter, son, daughter-in-law, two granddaughters, a friend of the family, and my wife, my son, and I.
We had Kramer, our dog (four year old black Lab), with us, because he loves to play with the gal’s big German shepherd dog; they play tag and race around, grab stick and play keep away with other, just like a couple of four-legged kids.
Well the food was just about ready, when the dogs came charging along, and Kramer was looking behind him at the other dog, and he ran, full-tilt, right into a steel horseshoe stake. He yelped and bounced back, and then kind of staggered…I saw it happen, and then saw that he had this gigantic hole in the middle of his chest. He had staked himself, literally punctured a huge hole in his chest…had a big flap of skin hanging down. I grabbed him and looked it over and saw that it was bad, even though he wasn’t bleeding at all. My son wanted to see and I told him to beat it…this, he didn’t need to look at.
Mommy went inside and called the emergency vet number, and the on-call vet asked what his vitals were; I told her he was shocky and his gums were going grey; I couldn’t check his pulse because he was panting so heavily. She said, “I’d strongly suggest you take him to the emergency animal hospital rather than wasting time coming over here—I’m the only one here, and I can’t do anything tonight in any case.”
So, we asked our neighbor to take care of our son for the evening, because we had to take care of the dog. She said it was no problem, and to get going, so we loaded Kramer into the car of the car, with Mommy next to him, and I drove to the emergency animal hospital----in Grand Rapids, 80 miles away. Mommy stroked him all the way there and kept him settled down and quiet, even though he was obviously in a lot of pain.
Grand Rapids had every major thoroughfare in the whole city ripped to shreds for summer construction and we had to go out of our way to get to the animal hospital. It was $114.00 to even walk through the door; but in a situation like this, you don’t quibble. The vet looked him over and said he’d make it okay, but he’d need surgery; I signed the paperwork and told them to go ahead. It was going to take several hours, so the vet tech advised us to go and get something to eat, if we wanted. We left and I got some nasty burgers from McDonald’s (so much for our fish fry); Mommy couldn’t eat.