Sunday, June 16, 2013

Near Tragidy

So we aren't even going to talk about my run in Evergreen. It sucked!! I'm at a loss and I need time to pout and sort through my thoughts.

After the barrel racing got done, we were all back at trailers, some friends were parked beside me, having a beer and talking shop. The horses were all loose, grazing on the knee high grass. T's son comes around the corner with her chihuahua, Cujo and sets him down in the grass between everyone's feet. Cujo is a very well-mannered and experienced rodeo dog. Prone to bitting, but hey...if you are dumb enough to try to pet someone else's chihuahua, you deserve to get bit, right? (No, not me...I know better...No matter how damn cute those dogs are, I know full well, they are generally not up to being petted by strangers ;-).

Cujo gets to playing and goes a fly by of one of the grazing horse's noses. It just happens to be Moon. T's son called Cujo back and he came, but we were all laughing, so Cujo runs around, thinking he is entertaining us and starts off to do another fly by. In that instant, I thought, 'I don't know if I trust Moon with a little dog...he's never been around one.'...

I don't think I even formulated the entire thought. Cujo didn't even get close to Moon and in that split second, between the thought crossing my mind and Cujo turning back toward the horses, Moon jumped and pawed Cujo.

I mean, full on jump, strike, slam. He caught Cujo's full on. I mean the dog weighs like 3 lbs. Moon's hoof is damn near as big as the dog. There was no doubt in my mind that dog was dead. He didn't even have time to yelp, he just went rigid, his eyes bugged out and his tongue was hanging out.

Everybody screamed and jumped forward, so Moon spooked away. But Cujo's lifeless body didn't move. T dropped to her knees beside him and her husband threw himself to the ground, cradling Cujo's body, but not moving him. He put his face next to Cujo and started talking to him and damn near crying. Well, hell...we were all close to tears, but were frozen by that horrible, sickening, shocked feeling.

T's husband just laid there with Cujo for what felt like forever, apologizing to him and telling him how much he loved him and all of the sudden he says, 'He just took a breath.'..and then Cujo blinked.

OMG!! He wasn't dead. He had just been knocked cold instantaneously when Moon pounced.

But that didn't mean Cujo was all right. He was breathing, but lord knows how long that would last. If Moon's strike hadn't killed him, we all pretty much figured the tiny little dog was broken to bits, inside and out.

There is always a vet on hand at the rodeos, so a passerby ran to get him. By then, we were all laid out flat on the ground around Cujo, while T's husband continued to talk to him. It took awhile for the vet to get down to where we were parked. And by the time he got there, Cujo could move again. He had some skinned marks on one leg and his bottom lip was bloody. The vet checked him over...although he said he was not a small animal vet, he felt Cujo all over and was able to determine that nothing was broken on the outside. No way to tell about the inside, so he recommended a place for T to take Cujo to get a chest film.

All Cujo wanted to do was crawl into his mommy's lap and the vet said that since nothing was broken on the outside, that would be fine. While T cradled Cujo, I got out my White Lightening and started giving him a pinch every 5 minutes. Didn't know if it would help, but I do know the WL has helped so many other times, that at least it wouldn't hurt. Pretty quick Cujo started to relax, he stopped shaking and wasn't whining anymore...He actually wasn't making much noise at all...which had me a little worried.

We kept checking his gums for refill reaction and testing his eyes for normal and equal dilation. All signs were good and as usually happens, when the WL starts to work, the animal wants to go to sleep. It just makes them very relaxed.

By the time T's husband and son got everything ready to go and horses loaded up, Cujo was up and walking around. He was very sore on that skinned leg and looked rather puzzled about what had just happened, but fine.

I tell ya...that was probably one of the most heart-stopping moments I have ever had in life. I swear to god that dog was dead and it was his daddy's voice that brought him back. I have absolutely no idea how Moon could have struck him that hard and not broken a single bone in his body. We all thought he was crushed...and by all rights he should have been. It was nothing short of a miracle. Pure and simple.

Of course, as sick as I was about it, I couldn't really be mad at Moon. He's been around dogs and cats his entire life and hasn't struck out or acted aggressively toward them since he was a colt. When he was a youngster, he used to chase the dogs and cats around the corral, snaking his head and striking out, but good lord, that was 13 years ago, he was a colt and mostly playing. He sure as heck has never pounced on anything like he did Cujo. I just think he was unsure what Cujo was and was being protective of his space, but it was damn sure horrifying. He never gave any warning, he just pounced. He was as quick as a rattler too. If I would have had just one second to finish the thought that crossed my mind, I would have moved Moon away from where we were standing, but I didn't even get a chance to finish formulating the thought before Moon struck. It's one of those things, I didn't really think Moon would do anything, but at the same time you realize that it wouldn't take much to kill a dog that tiny....

Apparently, Cujo is tougher than that...He's also an extremely lucky little dog.

Cujo's chest film came back clean. The vet gave him some muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatories to help with the soreness he is going to have. I talked to T later that evening and she said Cujo is fine. Sticking a little closer to momma and daddy, but all functions are normal and he is resting easy.

Whewww...I tell ya. I have been wanting a little dog myself, but after that...

I don't think so. That scared 10 years off of my life.


GunDiva said...

That is so scary. Glad Cujo is up and around.

Sherry Sikstrom said...

I was holding my breath reading that! holy crap! Lucky little dog,little like that maybe that is why Moon struck, thinking danger??

Laura said...

Wow - that was hard to read! Thank goodness the little guy is ok. Hard to beleive he could survive a strike like that.

(sorry if two comments show up - blogger spazzed out on the last one!)

Prairie Ridge Performance Horses said...

Oh My GOD!!! I too was holding my breath, that is SCARY!!!!
Great news, the little dog is ok, and Moon didn't hurt him, could have been a nasty outcome.

cdncowgirl said...

Wow. That is scary! And if you're like me at all you'd have felt horribly guilty even though it wasn't your fault, just one of those damn things that happen.

Stuff like that is part of the reason I try to keep the Bostons away from the horses & cows. They're a lot bigger than Cujo but they're not very big.

Praise God for miracles.

Cut-N-Jump said...

Holy Crap! If the dog did it once, it was probably Moons' way of saying "Don't do it again. At least not to me."

I bet that was scary as hell. I'm glad the dog is ok.

Unknown said...

That's sooooo scary! Glad everyone is okay!

kestrel said...

Scary stuff! I know better than to trust one of my horses with a dog...he hates them. All of them. Big ones, little ones, nice ones mean ones. The only good dog is a dead dog as far as he is concerned, and his mission is to make the world a better, dogless place. The other horse couldn't care less about dogs, but got skunked once and will scream like a little girl and try to climb a tree if he sees a little black and white critter of any kind. Go figure.
Sure glad Cujo's okay. Probably a good thing that he's little, Moon couldn't figure out the death blow! Don't we just hate those fleeting thoughts that are too little to act on at the moment?!

It's interesting that Moon is following tracks rather than the job. May explain some of the strangeness. He's such an independent sob and doesn't depend on you enough for the cues. Like a two year old kid, he wants to do it himself dammit!!

Paint Girl said...

Oh, how scary!! I couldn't even imagine. My horses aren't used to little dogs either and about a month ago I was on a trail ride with Chance and a woman was out riding her horse with a little dog. Scared the crap out of Chance. She is just not used to little ones. Give her a big dog and she is fine!
Glad to hear Cujo is going to be okay!!

Crystal said...

Wow that would be terrible! Poor little dog, so glad he survived but scary!!! My Bailey horses will chase dogs (all of them) and bunt them with her nose but have never seen her be more aggresive than that, but I warn people now about her, and will def watch when little dogs are around!

Funder said...

OMG, how scary and terrible!

in2paints said...

It was terrifying just reading that story... I can't imagine being there!! I'm so glad he's okay!!

HollyLane said...

Okay fill me in, what is "a pinch of white lightening" More information please... I am so glad the dog is okay and I bet that was a terriable experience for all involved. Last year at Pendleton my little dachshund/corgi cross broke her hip and I was walking around the rodeo ground sobbing carrying my poor little dog searching for the vet. She healed up just fine and the vet was very helpful. So glad they are there when you need them!