If Your 15 Year Old Dog was Brutally Attacked, What Would You Do?

ImageOn January 6, 2012 I was walking my 15-year-old Miniature Dachshund, Texas. We were walking in a wooded area and my husband was about a mile away running our Black Lab, Mercedez.

I noticed a woman walking a Bull Mastiff that was not muzzled and was wearing a small collar. As they got closer, the large dog took three leaps towards Texas. She did not bark or growl. There was no indication that she was about to attack. She was no match for the woman who was walking her and pulled away easily causing her owner to fall. Molly, the large dog, grabbed Texas so quickly I did not have a moment to pick him up out of harm’s way. He was in the mouth of this dog who violently shook him for a full five minutes. Molly’s head was the size of my Texas. I did everything humanly possible to release her hold.  I screamed so loudly that I damaged lung tissue and was feeling ill.  I kicked her several times but she would not release little Texas. Finally, I gave her a hard kick to the groin and she dropped him.

Within moments, my husband approached us in the truck and I yelled at him to open the tailgate as Texas had been attacked. I picked up my mangled little buddy and didn’t know if he would live or die.

We assessed very quickly what happened and realized the woman with the Bull Mastiff was swiftly walking away. I ran after her and confronted her about the dog. The woman claimed the dog was not hers. She was walking it for her uncle who was in Hawaii. I knew that we had an emergency on our hands but had the presence of mind to ask the woman to call my cell phone so that I would have a record of the phone number. The woman was reluctant but I can be very convincing. She did not even offer an apology and was trying to move swiftly away.

We were about five miles from the closest veterinary hospital and drove as fast as possible, blowing the horn and flashing our lights. I called a friend to alert the hospital we would be arriving.

Two compassionate gentle nurses attended to Texas. They were amazed at how calm he was but alarmed at his condition.

It took about an hour to assess the damage and we had to make a decision. It appeared that no organs were affected which was a determining factor in our decision. The doctor said the only thing that saved his life was his fat.

This is a dog that spent the first 12 years of his life as a stud (27 litters) and he also had a full time job running the horses out to pasture each morning and bringing them home at night.  He had been kicked many times by the horses but  always knew he was in charge.

I looked  my husband in the eye and asked if we should say good-bye. My mother-in-law had died three weeks earlier and Texas was my husband’s best friend. We could not say good-bye yet. 

The tears on his back extended the width of his body and his skin was ripped away causing extensive damage.  His leg and shoulder were severely torn open and one of his teeth was broken off.  We determined that he got one good bite into his attacker.

Texas was our little buddy and I was heartbroken.  He just stared at me, obviously in shock and certainly confused and scared.

Prior to doing the surgery, the vet told us that Texas would probably not handle more than one and a half hours of surgery due to his age, so he couldn’t make any promises. Surgery lasted three and one half hours. The doc said that his blood pressure or heart rate never elevated and he could not believe how healthy he was for a 15 year old dog. He said Tex had more stitches than any animal he had worked on. Instead of using staples, he individually tied each of the 150 stitches to help avoid infection.  The hospital stayed in close contact with me through the evening.

When I picked him up the next morning, there were no guarantees if he would make it. For the next three weeks, my husband slept with him on the sofa, changing his bandages every hour as there was so much drainage. He was on strong pain killers and I was glad he was not in pain.

When he went in for his check-up we were told that they would have to do another surgery as most of the skin on his back had died from the damage and they would have to cut it away and restitch him. This surgery lasted close to two hours. Another three weeks of sleeping with him and nursing him 24/7.

We sent kudos to the hospital in the local paper and five people came forward whose dogs were attacked by the same dog and each time the owner ran away. No one had been able to get any contact information previously.  I was determined these people would pay for the vet bills and they did, to the tune of $7,000.  I gave each of the other people, whose dogs had been attacked by this same dog, the owner’s contact information.

The newspaper in our town had a photo contest of the best kiss on Valentine’s Day. I just couldn’t resist and submitted the attached photo and won second prize. Within a few months, Texas was back to running and enjoying life. He seems to understand the importance of living life to it’s fullest. In some ways, he seems younger than ever.  That was almost 2 years ago and he is still as active. 

We know the time is approaching that we will have to say good-bye to our little buddy as he is 17 now, but I am so glad we made the decision to give him these extra years.  I also know that his incredible state of health from being on a raw food diet helped saved his life. (see my post on “Number 1 Reason not to Feed your Best Friend Commercial Pet Food”)

Number 1 Reason Not to Use Commercial Pet Food for your Best Friend

I am not trying to sell you any dog food, but I am a dog lover who wants to get the word out about commercial pet food.  


There are many reasons why we should not use commercial pet food to feed our best friends.  Taking the time to do even minimal research, you will find out how many cancer-causing chemicals, preservatives and additives it contains.  


If you love your dog, and I am sure you do or you would not be reading this post, then please consider feeding your best friend a natural food diet.   

One of the first reactions people make regarding natural pet food is “I can’t afford it!”  First of all, the food is basically the same price or cheaper than commercial brands.  Secondly, and even more important, your vet bills will drop to a minimum or become non-existent.

Remember when we were kids– now I am talking to those of us who grew up in the 50s and 60s — do you remember buying dog food in the stores?  I certainly don’t.  Our dogs ate the leftovers from dinner.  If you remember that than you also recall we almost never took our pets to the vet.   In general, all our pets lived healthy lives. 


I am not sure when, but I think it was in the late 60s, we introduced “pet food” to our dogs and cats.   We were told it was unhealthy to give them table scraps.  Soon, we had to take them to see the pet doctor as they were acquiring various health issues.


In my adult life, we had several dogs and cats who were all raised on pet food.  They were, in fact, part of our family and only the best food would do — and usually it was the most expensive.  They acquired various health issues, including cancer, and certainly did not live life to their full potential. 


Approximately six years ago, we watched a television special about commercial dog food and were appalled.  It explained that it didn’t really matter how much money you spent on your dog food, it basically was the same with so many chemicals, toxins, additives, food coloring you name it…


We immediately introduced our Black Lab to a raw food diet and within a few weeks, she lost ten pounds of weight that she did not need.  Her coat became shiny and satiny, her eyes cleared from the allergies she had, her breath started to smell sweet and she had more energy. 


Around the same time, we inherited a miniature Dachshund who was twelve years old.  He had several tumor like growths and dragged his hind quarters.  He appeared to be in a lot of pain and had to be carried outside to relieve himself.   In two weeks time, he went from dragging his back end to running and jumping.  His tumors literally disappeared and he was obviously happier.  He is now 17 and our Lab is 13.  They are still both youthful, playful and full of life with shiny coats and healthy teeth.  We have not had a vet bill in all these years.


I promised you the NUMBER ONE reason to switch to a natural food diet and here it is.  There are several large dog food manufacturing facilities that purchase euthanized pets from veterinary clinics to be ground up and used in their dog food.  Even more disgusting they don’t bother to remove the collars, leashes or plastic bags from the dogs.  These companies will also buy road kill.  If this is not enough for you to at least check out a natural diet……..


Many of our acquaintances have switched their dogs to a raw food diet with similar results.  I am so thankful for giving new life to our little friends and seriously recommend you check out a raw food diet for yours.  We buy their meat at our local butcher which is ground beef and heart.  To that we add carrots, celery, apple, parsley and yams that we have put through the food processor.  We add some vitamins and that’s it.  A couple times a week they get raw beef knuckle bones which clean their teeth and work their upper body muscles.    Healthy, happy pets without large medical bills. 


It may be well worth while to check out a raw food diet that is recommended for your pet.  Vets will usually warn you against it — and I believe the reasons are obvious.