Sorry for the delayed update, but things have been a bit topsy turvy here at Westside Beagles. This past weekend, several of you came out to meet puppies for the first time. It was great to meet everyone and it was good socialization for the puppies as well. On Sunday afternoon, Dallas really wanted to do some running around and since it was such a nice day, I let her. She would run into the brush, hunting for bunnies for a bit, then would check back in on the puppies. After getting some scratches from me, Dallas would take off again for awhile, but would always check back. However, when I was finally ready to head for home, Dallas was nowhere to be found. While I was worried that Dallas didn't come when I called, Dave convinced me she was just having fun and would probably be back before I knew it. We grabbed a bite to eat and when I got back to the property, she was still nowhere to be found. I hiked all over, calling for her, but still, there was no sign of Dallas.
Getting really worried at that point, I let several of the other dogs out hoping that if they jumped a rabbit, this would lure Dallas back. Alternatively, I hoped the dogs might find Dallas while they were running. Well, the dogs did jump a rabbit and as they were making a racket, I thought I heard a cry come from the opposite direction from where the dogs were running. I took off toward the sound and again thought I heard a cry, so I continued til I got to the fence on our property line. Just on the other side of the fence was Dallas - and while she looked at me, she was silent and not moving.
I called to Dallas, trying to get her to come closer to me, but still she didn't move. I climbed the fence and found that she had injured a rear leg, which was tangled in a vine. Once I got Dallas back over the fence and had a chance to check her leg more closely, I could tell she was seriously injured. I packed up Dallas and the puppies, heading straight for the emergency clinic where I work, while Dave rounded up the dogs who were still hunting.
At the emergency clinic, the X-rays revealed the shocking cause and extent of Dallas' injury. She was shot. The bullet had shattered the end of her tibia near her ankle, leaving a spattering of small metal fragments and bone pieces at the break site and a much larger chunk of metal lodged in the soft tissue above her ankle. We gave Dallas pain medication, flushed out the entry wound, and splinted her leg. I left her in the hospital overnight on IV fluids, antibiotics, and pain medication, and the next morning, she was evaluated by the surgeon and her team. The consensus was to hold off on surgery for now, but to cast Dallas' leg for 6 weeks and reevaluate at that time if surgery will be necessary. Dallas will have to have the cast changed out every few days initially, but then will be able to go longer periods of time between changes as her wounds heal.
So I'm sure at this point in my story, you all have several questions, including who could have done this and was it intentional? Well, since our neighbors were shooting target practice on Sunday and their property abuts ours on the back left portion of our property, I think we know who did it. However, I just don't know if this was intentional or not, though I certainly hope not! Clearly, Dallas found a break somewhere in our fence line, so she was likely on their property. Did they shoot her because of that or was this an accident due to ricochet? We may never know for sure, but we have to look into it for our safety as well as our dogs'.
In the meantime, there is now much extra work to be done to take care of both Dallas and the puppies. Dallas cannot nurse puppies due to her medications, so I have to monitor all contact between them and we are weaning puppies a bit earlier than planned.
Well, all, it is really late and I must get some sleep. I wanted to make sure to update everyone but I'm afraid pictures will have to wait a bit longer. I will get some pictures posted tomorrow evening (Wednesday). For now, here is poor mama, Dallas, just after she got back from the hospital.