Accidents happen

I have to admit that I'm one of those Mom's that is always thinking about safety.  As my kids were growing up they constantly complained as I hovered; I'm protective, perhaps over protective.  But allowing something to happen because I wasn't watching was not something that I was okay with.  My dogs are also encompassed by my zone of safety; I try to stay as vigilant as possible and foresee accidents before they happen.  That said accidents still happen; even to the most cautious of us and when I hear about weird accidents I like to share them with others so that this information may just save others in the future.

So here are a few things that have happened to me; Miss Cautious.  The first that comes to mind is the day that my little Jessie got her face stuck in the car window.  I had Jessie in the front passenger seat; she was harnessed in but able to stand to see out the window.  Paying close attention to the road I heard a small yipe; as I quickly glanced in Jessie's direction the problem unfolded.  She had been standing on the doors armrest looking out the window with her nose out the small crack I'd left open when she inadvertently stepped onto the window remote.  This caused the window to close on her face; she was standing on the control so it was trying to close as she struggled.  Her yipes got louder and I panicked; I wanted to help her instantly  but had to pull over so we didn't both end up dead in a car accident.  I pulled over and parked in about 10 seconds and quickly removed her foot from the control which was locking and clamping her face.  Once free she had a few big stress sighs but seemed to be okay albeit being left with a nice indent in her face.  Luckily that was all that happened in the freak accident.    What a horrible stressful event.  The windows have been locked from that day on.

Another accident which could have definitely been avoided was caused by collars.  Collars can be very dangerous and should never be left on when dogs are together or left alone.  Years ago I had two males; they loved to play rough and tumble outside as I gardened.  One day I heard a commotion; as I looked up to see what what was going on, it looked like my boys were fighting.  I  quickly ran to the scene; I could see that they were stuck; one was stuck in the others collar.  One of the boys had got his mouth snagged in the others collar; both were panicking and struggling to free themselves.  It was not a good situation; I screamed their names which stopped them long enough for me to get in and untangle them.  From that day on no dog wears a collar in this house; they are strictly as a walking tool.

Sadly I have heard many stories of dogs hanging to death by their collar.  Choke collars are by far the worst because they cannot slip off if caught and continue to tighten.  I believe all choke type collars belong in the garbage.  But even a flat collar can kill.

Another incident also occurred years ago; with my very first dog Mandy.  We were out tossing a stick for her and on the last toss of the day the stick landed vertically sticking into the soft ground as she ran full speed to retrieve it.  It went into her mouth and up through her soft palate; she screamed in pain and we rushed her to the ER.  Luckily soft palates heal quite quickly and after being on pain meds and antibiotics she was fine within a week.  A simple game of tossing the stick for my girl had ended very badly; take great care when throwing sticks.
We had the same sort of thing happen to Luke but it was not caused by a tossed stick.  We were in the canyon for a walk one day when he stuck his head into the bushes and yelped.  I immediately thought "rattlesnake;" and contemplated the distance to the car.  He rubbed his face with his foot and on the ground which made me think it was indeed a snake that had nailed him.  I opened his mouth to have a look and he again yelped.  But when I looked into his mouth I saw what looked like a stick at the back of his throat; off to the ER again.

Once at the vets; she had a look into his throat.  Not an easy task with a nervous boy.  The vet had to hold his mouth open as wide as it would go as Luke struggled.  She said it looked to have pierced his soft palate but it was now gone.  She put him on a course of antibiotics and said he should heal up nicely.  A week later Luke was not fine and each time I opened his mouth to check he yelped loudly.  We went back to the vet to see what was going on and they put him out to have a really good look.  After much probing around they found the cause of the pain; a two inch piece of hard reed that had stuck up into his soft palate which had then covered over the opening.  He had this thing in his mouth for a week; I cannot imagine the pain.

So even when you take the greatest of care; accidents can happen to the best of us and our dogs.  These are just a very few of my own accidents.  Even when you are playing; you can never forget about safety.  I hear about canine related accidents all the time; and it enforces the hovering behavior that my kids use to complain about.