Friday, August 6, 2010

Would you risk your life - or body parts - to save the life of your dog?

Mimi's note: So, what is the most heroic and altruistic thing you have ever done for one of your animals, and, if you haven't so far - would you risk yourself for your pet? My story: Back in 1988 my cocker spaniel, Chuck, for reasons only known to dogs, decided to go into the middle of our street to take a poopie (I know, bad me, no leash, I was young and dumb). I looked up from gardening, and down the street the mail truck was just a'barrelin' along right toward my cocker spaniel who had 'business' to do-do. Without a second thought I ran into the street and stood with my dog behind me - still pooping, I might add - and began to wave my arms at the truck. I was prepared to stay in that street until I knew Chuck had completed his 'task' and would have let the truck smack me to save my dog from what would probably have been certain death. Now, how about you? Any stories? If not, how about family or friends?

It started off as a normal Saturday morning for David Grounds of West Palm Beach, Fla. He woke up and let family dog Mandy out in the backyard. But instead of returning to her home, Mandy was snatched by a 7-ft.-long alligator, and Grounds, 66, knew he had to do whatever he could to save her.

Instantly running after the animals, Grounds freed his 7-year-old Wheaten terrier from the gator's grasp, keeping its jaws open with his hands while poking its eyes with his pinky finger. But once Mandy was safe, Grounds faced another hurdle: how to save himself from the hungry creature.

"When he released Mandy for a split second he was still frozen, and he didn't move," Grounds said of the gator on the Today show Thursday morning. "I'm thinking, 'Okay, that was easy, but now what do I do?' I knew I only had a split second before it started reacting, and I tried to throw him and run to the right. But, unfortunately, he caught my right hand."

The angry gator then began twisting Grounds's right hand in a move the reptiles use to subdue their prey. "I knew I was in big trouble when he had my hand and he was twisting, but in a split second he had broken my fingers off," Grounds said. Ultimately, Grounds lost his right index and ring fingers, but luckily, escaped otherwise unharmed. The gator, a frequent visitor to the family's backyard, was later captured by authorities and euthanized.

Mandy, who has been with the family since she was just a pup, suffered some cuts around her midsection, but is otherwise on track for a smooth recovery. And Grounds, who was released from the hospital Wednesday, is taking his physical loss in stride. "It wasn’t a bad trade," he said. "Mandy for two fingers."

National Canine Cancer Foundation


Sam said...

That's really heroic. Mandy's a lucky dog to have such a brave and caring owner. I'm so glad his injuries were relatively mild!

houndstooth said...

I'm glad that he wasn't more seriously injured! I wouldn't think in a situation like that, I'd have acted first without thinking, too. I haven't had to go to great lengths for any of our pets, fortunately!

^..^Corgidogmama said...

We grew up on the Tippecanoe River in Indiana. My mom, a meek, mild-mannered lady with the heart of a lion, crawled out onto the ice of that river on her belly to save our family dog of 17 yrs., who had fallen through the ice on the current side. She made headlines in our small town newspaper. And, we never looked at her the same, after that little adventure!!

Barbara said...

I know I'd do something, but I don't think you know exactly what you'd do until something happens.

mayziegal said...

Wow! I wish every dog and cat could have an owner that cared that much.

My story isn't terribly heroic but about 1 1/2 years ago, I was walking Ranger down the street (on leash) when a 110 pound shepherd mix broke from from the 10 year old boy who was holding her leash. The dog made a beeline toward Ranger and jumped on top of him and started biting him. The small child tried to pull his dog off but it wasn't working. I still had hold of Ranger's leash and with the boy on top of his dog, the only thing I could think to do was sit down on the street and force my legs between Ranger and the dog to at least try to cover Ranger and protect him from more bites. Finally, the adult owner sauntered - literally - over and nonchalantly pulled his dog off Ranger. Luckily, I wasn't bitten and Ranger only sustained a few puncture wounds.

It wasn't until later that I realized how poorly my decision could have turned out. But I wasn't about to just stand there and watch that dog kill mine.

JackDaddy said...

I think we would all be amazed at what we could do if needed. I just hope that I'm never needed to do it!

A MilShelb Mom said...

I have to say that I have made a decision similar to yours. Well, I can't really call it a decision, because I didn't think about it. I just acted. You see, Shelby has a tendency to be an escape artist and when she gets out she runs like the wind! I never knew a little dog could run so fast... that and being low to the ground... I cannot catch her. So, I learned early in Shelby's life that the only thing I could do is stay behind her running after her and step out in front of moving vehicles to protect her. I know they can't see her from their car because she is tiny. Anyhow, one time Shelby escaped (and so did Milly this time) and they took off. Fortunately for me, my husband and father-in-law were both there. I grabbed Milly (who is fatter and , therefore, slower) and handed her off to my father-in-law and just kept running. I looked up to see a HUGE truck coming down the road. I knew I had to act fast because she was headed back to the road, I quickly dove for her and grabbed her up just as she reached the side of the road and the truck passed. I hate to think what would have happened if I had missed her... if I had been half a second later. The truth is, my dogs are my children and I protect them as such. They give me 100% of their love and devotion and there is nothing I would not do to keep them safe. I say all the time I'd sell everything I own, I'd beg, steal, and borrow to keep them happy and healthy. I kid of owe it to them, ya know?

Tweedles -- that's me said...

You are a brave mommy Mimi,
Mommy saved me once,,,, I escaped out of my harness at Home Depot and I was running everywhere. Mommy had to stop all the cars to save me. She finally caught me, and now NEVER AGAIN , do i wear a slipable collar. She says she dreams about saving me,,,, she said they are bad dreams.
Let me tell you,,, mommy is brave too.
Mommy saved the little minature donkey from the cougar,,, by screaming

♥I am Holly♥ said...

What a wonderful story! We totally understand what he did and what you did to save your dog. I have done lots of things over the years for different dogs and cats and some lost ones that I came across in the middle of the streets. I have never thought about it, I just did it to save them. I think if you love animals, you will do anything you can to save them from harm. Lots of love, Debbie and Holly