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Posted: 7/10/2009 5:11:34 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/10/2009 5:20:38 PM EST by Wolfcri]
Caution: This gets a little graphic.

I came home today around 4:00pm from a successful job interview. I had a bunch of things going through my head, as usual. I wouldn't say I was in condition white, but my condition yellow wasn't as sharp as usual. When I opened the door to our finished basement I was surprised that our 8 month old terrier/shep/greyhound mix pup wasn't standing at the top of the stairs looking up at me.

We rescued her from the animal shelter less than 3 weeks ago and as she had gotten more comfortable in the house she'd started chewing things every now and then. We decided last week that we would crate train her. The only catch was that the little K9 Houdini figured out how to pull the front panel of the cage inward, as if disassembling it, and escape. At first, a few cable ties fixed the problem but then she actually figured out how to manipulate the top latch and would squeeze out the top half of the door. Then we put small key chain caribeaners on the door to hold it shut. She bent them wide open and got out again. It was always funny to see her at the top of the stairs when I got home because it meant she'd outsmarted us.

This morning when I left around 10:30 I used two of the cheap $0.99 caribeaners (about 3") that you find in the check-out line at the hardware store. The ones that are made in china and say "not for climbing use". When I arrived home and she wasn't at the top of the stairs I just thought it had worked and went back to thinking about the BS that was in my head before.

When I got to the bottom of the stairs I could see her standing in the crate looking at me from the other side of the room. I started to talk to her from across the room as I put down what I was carrying. She didn't wag her tail, she didn't bark, she just stood there completely motionless. The hair on the back of my neck stood up and I didn't even know why yet. As I got closer to her I started to see that the front of her face, chest, front legs and paws was covered in saliva and blood. She had tried to manipulate one of the large caribeaners with her mouth and it had opened and then closed on her lower jaw under her tongue. She must have started to panic and pull away and it had fish-hooked through her lower jaw.

She just stood there completely still looking up at me. She looked like she had been fighting to stay there in that position for hours and she was having trouble keeping her eyes open. My heart dropped, my brain started going a million miles an hour and I just started talking to her very calmly. She actually wagged her tail for a second or two and then my mind cleared up. I kept talking to her as I tried to reach my fingers through the bars to get to the caribeaner but my hands are too big and I couldn't. I couldn't open the cage because the same caribeaner held the top latch down. "Cut the caribeaner" was my next thought. I reached to the back of my belt where my leatherman should be... FAIL... no leatherman. I didn't wear it with the clothes I wore to the interview. "Bolt cutters" was my next thought.

I took off for the man cave and realized that they were over a buddie's house. FAIL #2. Then I fumbled around and came up with a big set of diagonal cutting pliers. I ran back to the crate and looked tried to cut the aluminum caribeaner. No way in hell. "Cut the cage, you idiot." I cut the steel bars until the caribeaner was free and then opened the cage. She came out slowly dripping blood and saliva everywhere. It reminded me of gas chamber training in boot camp. Hoping every second that my lunch would stay in my stomach, I held her jaws open and finessed the caribeaner out.

It was not very bright downstairs so I led her up into the kitchen where I could examine her in the sunlight. She wasn't bleeding much anymore but had a 1" gash under her tongue that almost completely penetrated out the bottom of her lower jaw. She was beginning to liven up and then went for her water bowl. As she drank, I though "Call the Vet, idiot."
I fumbled with my $300+ blackberry that I really should learn how to use, only to find that my dumb ass never programmed the Vet's phone number in for an emergency like this. Fail #3. Back to the man-cave, Google, got the number. I called the Vet and she told me to bring the dog right away.

I called my fiancée who was on her way home, eta 5 minutes and told her we were going to the vet as soon as she got home. Thank god she is not a whiner complainer or a pain in the ass that has to question everything. She said OK and we hung up.

At this point, the pup started acting a little more lively and her eyes were open again so I thought my next move should be to wash some of the bloody goo off of her. Not to preserve the interior of the car, but because I didn't want my fiancée to have the resident evil dog vision of her own pup burned in her memory forever. Been there, done that with other things in the past myself so I figured I'd save her the nightmares.

Everything else went smoothly. The vet knocked the pup out and after eight stitches and some antibiotics and anti-inflammatories we got her back. She was drugged out of her mind and probably seeing pink elephants, but she's ok.

What I learned:
Carry my leatherman. Period.
Program emergency numbers into my overpriced, super-computer cell phone.
THINK before I attach things to my dogs cage.
Running through stupid drills like this with the fiancée in the future can save lives.
Brush up on CPR again, just because.


Thanks for being my online support group, guys.

Flame away.
Link Posted: 7/10/2009 5:20:01 PM EST
Im glad the pup is ok. To many threads lately of pets dieing
Link Posted: 7/10/2009 5:39:23 PM EST
It sounds like you made an honest mistake but saved the day by keeping cool. Glad to hear your pup is doing better. Post some pictures of the little guy when she heals up!
Link Posted: 7/10/2009 5:57:16 PM EST
Originally Posted By cougargnw:
Im glad the pup is ok. To many threads lately of pets dieing

You can say that again.
Link Posted: 7/11/2009 6:45:23 AM EST
Glad your dog was OK. I buried my GSD a couple months ago after failing to keep her alive with CPR...

Have you looked at a better crate?
Link Posted: 7/11/2009 8:20:28 AM EST
I think we are going to skip the crate training after this experience. The man cave has industrial tile floor and should be pretty easy to dog-proof so I think that is where she will hang out when we are out of the house.
Link Posted: 7/11/2009 8:41:28 AM EST
I like that idea better.
Link Posted: 7/11/2009 12:06:24 PM EST
Originally Posted By Wolfcri:

What I learned:
Carry my leatherman. Period.
Program emergency numbers into my overpriced, super-computer cell phone.
THINK before I attach things to my dogs cage.
Running through stupid drills like this with the fiancée in the future can save lives.
Brush up on CPR again, just because.


Thanks for being my online support group, guys.

Flame away.


No flames dude. You did ok. Its strange but seems you always need THAT tool exaclty the singel day you forogt to take it. The lesson would be to be consistent with your everydat tools and always have them on you.
Good advice on being quick and proficient with our phnes too.
Dogs are tough, they get over a lot of things.

FerFAL

Link Posted: 7/11/2009 3:27:06 PM EST
As a vet who deals with the kind of mishaps animals get into every day, I'd say that you did well.
A lot of times, people flip out and become non-functional or just bring the animal in still attached to whatever object is the issue. I've seen the carabiner thing happen before, BTW.

-Hobbit
Link Posted: 7/11/2009 8:02:16 PM EST
Thanks guys.

The pup is doing well. Here she is:
Link Posted: 7/12/2009 12:23:31 AM EST
A dog this smart is a real asset! Great story to tell others.
Link Posted: 7/12/2009 2:26:44 AM EST
Great to hear your pup is going to be ok.

For what it is worth a cheap padlock is very useful when you get a dog that is a Houdini, just make sure to keep the keys on a nail nearby they don't seem to understand "oh crap be right back" too well.
Link Posted: 7/12/2009 2:31:10 AM EST
I would never crate my dog. She is house broke and well trained.
Link Posted: 7/12/2009 4:37:28 AM EST

Originally Posted By Wolfcri:
Thanks guys.

The pup is doing well. Here she is:
http://i127.photobucket.com/albums/p157/wolfcri/CIMG2866.jpg


Holy CRAP! Thats aint no puppy, thats a DOG!
What a cutie too!!!
Link Posted: 7/12/2009 6:58:35 AM EST
good looking dog.

glad everything worked out.

clown
Link Posted: 7/12/2009 7:11:43 AM EST
Originally Posted By hammerkill:
I would never crate my dog. She is house broke and well trained.



Crate training is a widely used and tested way of house breaking a dog. The crate becomes their safe haven. There is nothing inhumane with it.


Link Posted: 7/13/2009 11:32:35 AM EST
Glad everything worked out. My dog is always locked in his crate when we are at work and he is 9. The little bastard pees all over the house when he is alone since I was the one who thought it would be nice to not have him fixed.
Link Posted: 7/13/2009 11:41:44 AM EST
glad the pooch is ok....on another note..that rawhide looks like something straight outta the Flintstones......ya I know iths the camera angle...just sayin



Link Posted: 7/13/2009 11:43:39 AM EST
Our retriever never took to the crate. She's terrified of thunder and we finally gave in and got drugs from the vet. Even drugged she was able to break out of the crate. She wore her teeth down in the process. Before that she'd been outside when a storm came up. I came home to find her covered in blood. She had managed to peel the corner of our steel door several inches and damn near sliced off every pad on both front paws. She'd also chewed the door frame to the drywall and the nails ripped her gums. That was an expensive vet bill.
Link Posted: 7/13/2009 12:36:03 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/13/2009 12:39:25 PM EST by Wolfcri]
Originally Posted By JaxShooter:
Our retriever never took to the crate. She's terrified of thunder and we finally gave in and got drugs from the vet. Even drugged she was able to break out of the crate. She wore her teeth down in the process. Before that she'd been outside when a storm came up. I came home to find her covered in blood. She had managed to peel the corner of our steel door several inches and damn near sliced off every pad on both front paws. She'd also chewed the door frame to the drywall and the nails ripped her gums. That was an expensive vet bill.


Yikes, that myst have been a nightmare. The vet bill was pretty expencive for us too, but well worth it.

Originally Posted By TVLL62CAL:
glad the pooch is ok....on another note..that rawhide looks like something straight outta the Flintstones......ya I know iths the camera angle...just sayin





Haha, no its actually about 14" long so it is pretty big. She picked it out herself at the pet store. Its pretty funny to see her with it in her mouth.

Eta: Crappy cellphone pic but you get the point.

Link Posted: 7/13/2009 3:34:02 PM EST
Originally Posted By Wolfcri:
Yikes, that myst have been a nightmare. The vet bill was pretty expencive for us too, but well worth it.

Indeed. I forget the damage but after the ER was done then we had the follow-ups with the regular vet. We still love her despite the way she claws the carpet and everything still.

I learned one very important thing: Don't leave the house a bloody mess when the wife is coming home. When I opened the back door the dog ran in and I shooed her out when I saw the blood. I took her through the backyard and put her in my Explorer. I left a message on the wife's cell phone but she didn't get it. She came home and found no sign of us. What she did find was blood on the carpet, the back room and the door were smeared with blood, and there was blood in the driveway. Whoops!
Link Posted: 7/14/2009 11:07:17 AM EST
stick with the crate training. Get the book The Art of Raising a Puppy by The Monks of New Skete. Its a very easy read and you'll see direct results.

I also recomend a dog door, it'll make your life a lot easier.

many will advise against dog doors for security reasons, but Ive alway used a maze inside a fake dog house to hid the dog door entrance if your that concerned.


on another note, Ive probably got as much practical first aid experience fixing pets as I do humans.

good luck, mv
Link Posted: 7/14/2009 11:45:39 AM EST
Originally Posted By Wolfcri:
Program emergency numbers into my overpriced, super-computer cell phone.


Glad to hear that things worked out in the end. One of the phone numbers you may want to program is the animal poison control in your area, if you have one. If you don't, use "human" poison control, they'll usually still work with you even if it's a dog.

Dogs have a way of getting into things that you NEVER thought they would... ever seen what chainsaw bar oil looks like coming out of the back end of a puppy?
Link Posted: 7/14/2009 5:12:41 PM EST
Glad the puppy os ok. Thanks for sharing the story at the risk of being flamed. You can't prepare for every unforseen situation, so it is important to keep your wits, assess the situation, and take immediate appropriate action. I say you had 3 out or 3 wins for that. Congratulations.

P.S. You are a lucky man if your woman doesn't automatically blame you and start off every sentence with "Why did you?" It can be a real pain in the ass when someone's personality is to blame blame balme. OOPS, my wife isn't reading this is she?
Link Posted: 7/14/2009 6:46:37 PM EST
The patient lived.

Who cares how it happened?

It's not a mistake if you learn from it.
Link Posted: 8/1/2009 8:44:43 AM EST
Originally Posted By _Matt_:
Originally Posted By hammerkill:
I would never crate my dog. She is house broke and well trained.



Crate training is a widely used and tested way of house breaking a dog. The crate becomes their safe haven. There is nothing inhumane with it.




This our dog loves his crate. When he is scared or bored, he just hangs out in the create.
Link Posted: 8/1/2009 9:30:14 AM EST
Originally Posted By Q3131A:
Originally Posted By _Matt_:
Originally Posted By hammerkill:
I would never crate my dog. She is house broke and well trained.



Crate training is a widely used and tested way of house breaking a dog. The crate becomes their safe haven. There is nothing inhumane with it.




This our dog loves his crate. When he is scared or bored, he just hangs out in the create.


Ditto here. "Where's Lily? I haven't seen her in a while" Yup she went to her crate to chill out.

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