On Friday, September 2, our good friend and fellow rescuer, Dr. Kim West, was on her way to the Franklin County Dog Shelter to pull a little chihuahua mix who was slated to be euthanized due to dental disease (Dr. West said the 8-year-old girl only has four teeth left). Ever since rescuing Fruit Bat last year, the chihuahua with the fractured ankles who was left at a bus stop all day until a kind volunteer from Colony Cats rescued her, Dr. West has been a huge advocate for small dogs–finding fosters and homes for them when they are on the brink of euthanasia.
Driving along interstate 70 East on her way to the shelter, Dr. West suddenly saw a dog fly through the air and land on the highway. Dr. West was not directly behind the truck, so she did not see exactly what happened. She only saw an airborne dog and, of course, pulled over to help. A man driving behind the truck stopped, as well. From what he told Dr. West, there were two dogs (one was the husky) riding in an open truck bed. Cars on I-70 typically drive in the 70-75 mile per hour range and this truck was also going that fast. The dogs were trying to balance themselves to keep from falling out. Unfortunately, a semi passed the truck and created a huge gust of wind which caught the husky and threw her over the side.
The truck did not slow down and Dr. West said she doesn’t even know if the people realized the husky was gone. The truck did not return, either. In the panic to rescue the dog, no one got the license number of the truck. I can only imagine how traumatized the other dog must have been when the husky suddenly disappeared.
Several people have asked me if the dog was purposely thrown from the truck by a cruel human. From the account Dr. West was given, it appears that this was just an accident, but obviously one that could have been prevented. Who lets their dogs ride in the back of an open vehicle on the highway when cars are going so, so fast? Unfortunately, it used to be common practice to allow humans to do the same until the dangers of this mode of travel were finally taken into account and it was out-lawed (my husband and I both remember riding in the backs of pick-up trucks as kids). The same type of law needs to be passed for any animal riding freely in the back of an open vehicle. The habit should be banned.
Dr. West said that the way the husky fell out of the truck, she landed squarely on her right front leg and, in essence, amputated the leg herself. Luckily, veins and arteries were only stretched and not completely broken, so the bleeding was not as profuse as it might have been. The leg was dangling, but still attached.
Several concerned people stopped to help the dog and Dr. West said she was worried that one of them was also going to be hit by speeding cars. Her main goal was getting the dog into her car and to OSU Vet Hospital. She said it never even entered her mind to call 911 and get a police officer there to help keep the people safe. She was so focused on the husky that she just went into “save” mode.
Dr. West was on the opposite side of the concrete barrier that separates the highway from the husky. She had to have several people help her lift the husky over the tall barrier so she could get her to her car. This dog was so nice that she allowed them to do all of this to her even while in so much pain. Other dogs might have snapped or growled, because of the trauma, but this sweet girl let them carry her and lift her to safety.
Dr. West said another little girl helped her carry the husky to Dr. West’s waiting Subaru. The poor girl’s pants were loose and kept falling down. She wanted to stop and pull her pants up, but Dr. West said they didn’t have time for that and no one would know who she was anyway. So together they carried the 80 pound husky, with the poor girl mooning most of the drivers on I-70!
After placing the husky in the rear of Dr. West’s hatchback, Dr. West was horrified when the dog leaped into the back seat, leg dangling. The poor dog just wanted to be closer to Dr. West, who reached back and petted her on the ride to the hospital.
Arriving at OSU, Dr. West said the emergency room vet asked what she wanted them to do for the husky. Dr. West shouted, “Save her, of course.” When a good samaritan finds an animal that is that badly injured, most of them do not agree to pay any amount to help the animal recover. The emergency room vet was not used to hearing that. But he obviously did not know Dr. West.
After hearing her impassioned announcement, the startled man said, “Well, then that’s what we will do.”
The husky went in for immediate surgery to have her leg amputated. Dr. West returned home covered in blood, her car also covered in blood, to await the news from OSU.
The very lucky canine made it through the surgery with flying colors. She is a young dog, only about a year old, and very resilient. When Dr. West visited her Saturday night, she was already eating, playing, and even walking on three legs. Yes, you read that right. The now three-legged dog was already up and walking.
I am always so amazed by how quickly animals recover from major traumas. Dr. West is supposed to check on her today, Monday, to see if she can be released from OSU. I have not heard yet if Dr. West has found someone to foster her.
Once the dog was safe, Dr. West was able to think about other things with the husky. She and friends chose the name Bowie for the husky girl. The dog has two different colored eyes like David Bowie. She was wearing a collar, but there was no identification attached and she was not microchipped. Additionally, Dr. West called Franklin County Animal Shelter and checked Pet FBI to see if anyone was missing the husky, but nothing had been reported.
The surgery to help Bowie is probably going to cost about $3,000. That is where we come in. Dr. West has always been our good friend and veterinarian, so we’ve always jumped on board to help her with the rescues who find her. Last year, we helped raise money for Fruit Bat. So this time, we, of course, said we’d help her with Bowie.
If you can make a donation toward Bowie’s surgery, please visit our home page, www.bandocats.org and click on our PayPal button to donate with a credit card. If you donate this way, please just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell me the donation is for Bowie the husky. Unfortunately, our PayPal donation page does not have a place to put notes about donations.
If you’d prefer not to have fees taken out of your donation through PayPal, you can instead mail a check or money order to Black and Orange Cat Foundation, P. O. Box 126, Plain City, Ohio 43064.
I will keep everyone updated on our fundraising progress and on Bowie on the Black and Orange Cat Foundation Facebook Fan page, which you can access HERE.
At this point, we have raised almost $900 towards this sweet baby’s vet bills.
Just as a postscript in case any of you were worried, Dr. West did go to the shelter yesterday and took the little chihuahua mix to safety. After she saved the husky on Friday, she called Franklin County to tell them she would be delayed and they agreed to hold the little girl until Dr. West could arrive to get her. So an additional happy ending attached to the happy ending of Bowie.