Hit By a Car, Unable to Walk, Boxy the Dog Didn't Give Up
We were set up in the fire hall doing intake in the fire truck garage. The vets were doing surgeries in the board room. There was a bustle of people and dogs coming and going and I don’t remember where the short legged reddish brown dog came from but we all heard the thud as the truck hit her. You only have to hear or see one HBC (hit-by-car) – believe me, you’ll never forget it. Somehow she managed to drag herself across the road and tucked in under the bleachers at the ball diamond. Thankfully, working on sick and wounded animals is what vets and techs do.
Lori and Denise ran across the road and by working on both ends of her, pulled her out of her hiding spot. She was an odd looking thing but interestingly enough, she wasn’t the only dog in the community to look like she did. We had seen others that day.
Apparently short legged, reddish and brown were dominant characteristics in the dog gene pool that year. The vets didn’t find any bleeding; there were no cuts, and no signs of a crush injury. When they palpated her, there were no broken bones. But when we put her down, her hind end didn’t work. She was paralyzed. Without any way of doing more, we made her a cozy bed in a cardboard box, covered her up and left her to rest in the “surgery” room checking in on her throughout the night.
The next morning she was bright eyed and bushy tailed, but her hind end still didn’t work. She could only drag herself across the floor. The vets looked at her again but still couldn’t find anything amiss. Without any outward signs of trauma they wondered if she was suffering from nerve damage.
No one in the community admitted to owning the dog so when it was time for us to leave, there was no question that Boxy (named for her cardboard box) was coming with us. Road trip! We were driving the back road to the next community and you honestly have to drive the back road to get it – think dirt, dust, in a convoy (so more dust) and 30 degrees without air conditioning is a bit of hell.
Add in a flat tire, a porcupine hit by a car, a call to the police to find out our whereabouts and finally, beautiful green northern lights waiting for us at our destination at 1 am. This gives you an idea of Boxy’s first taste of adventure with the Northern Dogs Team. For the next two days she hung out in her box while the team worked the clinic. We would walk her with a towel supporting her hind end or she would pull herself out of the box and drag herself around. Don’t feel sorry for her… she was no push over and was queen of the surgery, bossing all the other dogs around.
Lori took Boxie home with her and the vets at her clinic did a once over to find whatever was not working at the back end. But they couldn’t. The diagnosis was left vague – possibly nerve damage with an uncertain prognosis for recovery. But Boxy had other plans and over the next month, she not only found the use of her hind legs, she found overdrive.
She was adopted by a staff member at the clinic and when I bumped into one of the vet techs when I took Gracie in for a second opinion, I was told that Boxy was doing fantastic and had just moved to Vancouver. And yes, honestly, they still call her Boxy!
For more information about the International Fund for Animal Welfare efforts to save animals in crisis around the world, visit http://www.ifaw.org