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Reactive Dog Walking Nightmare

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On Friday, we had an inch or two of fluffy snow on top of slick conditions from a thaw and freeze. I was walking my dog on campus at the local college, feeling confident because I was crossing a grassy field, when my legs went out from under me. Turns out I was on a sheet of ice. One leg went forward, one went back, and I ended up on the ground in agony from a hip injury.


It took only about four minutes for some local do-gooders to come by, cover me with a blanket, and phone an ambulance. Meanwhile, my reactive dog Buddy was growling at all comers and generally freaking out. I couldn't stand up, but couldn't get in the ambulance because I needed to secure the dog at my house first. None of my dog-walking neighbors was home from work, and Buddy wouldn't go off with any strangers.


In the end, the ambulance guys got me upright, the do-gooders drove me and Buddy to my house, and I was able to get a ride to the hospital with my brother. It ended up being a bad hamstring pull or tear - immobilizing, but likely not so serious it'll need surgery.


I had always worried about this - what would I do if I got hurt when out with the dog? Not sure there's a lesson to be learned here - unless it is to keep the numbers of lots of dog-loving contacts in your phone. (Though, come to think of it, the local animal control officer probably could have brought the dog home.) In the end, just a revelation about the value of community: the strangers who drove us home, my friend up the street who came and took off my wet boots and socks and put on dry socks and shoes for me, the next-door neighbors who came and shoveled out my walks and sanded them for me the next day.



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Oof, I'm so sorry that happened, and glad it wasn't worse. That is a worry for me with my reactive dog who is very well behaved but might panic if I ended up on the ground and people had to come help me.


I always wondered how well an solid drop and down at a distance would hold up in a situation like that.

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General PSA: If you ever have to call 911, please tell the dispatcher that 1) you have dogs, 2) they are or are not contained, and 3) ESPECIALLY if one or more my be reactive, and what the reaction might be. Remember that an emergency is a high-stress situation, and a bunch of strangers flying into your house fussing over you can set off even the mellowest of dogs. The dispatcher will relay the information, and your friendly neighborhood EMTs can make a plan. I was very happy for my dog experience and training more than a few times on aid calls. I even once ended up taking the patient's timid, but non-aggressive female BC home with me. (Small rural community, with patient's permission. She turned out to be super sweet, just old and used to things being pretty quiet.) One of our paramedics got bitten by a dog on a call, and that address forever had a "make sure dog is contained" warning before we'd go there.


Also, think about who you could call at 3 am to come get your dogs/other pets when you're about to be put in an ambulance. Post the number on the fridge or some other obvious place with instructions. Just about every EMT I've met would call if you are unable to, or will take the info to a hospital with you.

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