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‘This Dog Is NOT Going to Die Today’ Why We Have a 3-Legged Dog
I really don’t want to tell you this story. In fact, it drives me crazy when my kids go into full detail to anyone who asks about our dog’s leg. Can’t we just say she was in a car accident? But it was in August many years ago on a family camping excursion when it all took place. Before I begin, I have to say that if you don’t have kids, you cannot judge us. If you do have kids, you know that wrangling three elementary school-aged children into your vehicle after camping with them in Stanley, Idaho, is nearly impossible. But, about a decade ago, that’s where we were. Keri, our three kids, and I loaded into our truck that morning and began our three-hour trip back to Boise. As we were leaving, we heard a big bang. Startled, I lifted my foot off the gas pedal, but I saw nothing in my side mirrors. Then, we heard the bang again. I took another glance, and my stomach dropped into the ground.
to comfort Roxy, and I knew we had to get her to the veterinarian. Instead of traveling to the closest vet, we agreed Roxy would be stable until we got to Boise, and while we were shaken up, we headed home. We hit road construction along Banner Creek Summit, which always slows travel — but not as much as what happened next. Suddenly, we heard, “boom, boom, boom.” (This time, the dog was securely in the vehicle.) I looked out the window to find a flat tire sizzling on my truck. As I pulled over, Keri warned me that parking here was too dangerous, because of the summit’s corners. But with a flat tire, I had no choice. So, Keri shuttled the kids — with Roxy in tow — up the hill along the edge of the road. Swarms of bugs ate at them as I unhitched the trailer and tried to jack the truck up. Unfortunately, the truck was sitting at such an angle that it was nearly impossible to get it high enough. The ordeal took longer than any tire change I’ve ever made in my life. With a fresh tire and all six occupants back in the truck, we barreled toward Boise again. Except, the tire fiasco really delayed our trip home, and we weren’t going to make it to a veterinary clinic in time. We scanned for vets near Banner Summit, finding a rural clinic in Crouch, Idaho. After examining Roxy’s injury, the vet came out to speak with us. Somberly, he said, “We have a decision to make.” My stomach sank again as our children panicked. Then, the vet said, “Can you live with a three-legged dog?” My kids will never let me forget what happened next. After seeing Roxy laying in the middle of the road, certain we had killed her, after spending hours changing a tire on the side of Banner Summit, after searching for a vet in rural Idaho, there was only one answer to a question like that.
There, lying in the middle of the street, was our 4-year-old dog, Roxy.
Later, we would discover that Keri hung Roxy’s leash onto the door handle of the truck as she hopped into the vehicle. Like most parents, she was probably answering a million of our kids’ questions and just trying to get our show on the road. Amid all of this commotion, we forgot
all about Roxy, and banging against the vehicle was the only way she could remind us she was there as she ran alongside the truck. Flying out the door, I ran to Roxy and discovered she was still alive. Good Samaritans who had witnessed this event pulled our truck over while someone took our kids and bought them sodas. Meanwhile, I followed a horde of witnesses into someone’s home. By that point, I knew we were wasting time. I appreciated the help, but they were trying holistic methods
“This dog is NOT going to die today,” I shouted back at the vet. “I don’t give a s--t what has to happen. The dog isn’t dying today.”
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