Last week in Part 1, we read about the horrendous freak accident that author and blogger Debbie Norman had while out walking her two dogs on a cold winter day. It should be mentioned here that Debbie has a rare autoimmune affliction that renders her very weak, especially when she is already tired. She was pretty sure she couldn’t reach her house or her parents’ house nearby, so she aimed for getting back to her SUV and honking the horn until help came. We continue the story below.
My hero dog (Part 2)
As I crawled, my leg flopped and the pain was excruciating. CoCo stayed by my side the entire time. The further I crawled, the harder it got to crawl. I was so cold. I had never been so cold in my life.
Finally, after what felt like forever, I made it to our SUV. I breathed a sigh of relief, then I reached for the door handle. I couldn’t reach it. I tried and tried with everything I had in me, but no matter what I did, between my leg injury and my back and shoulder injury, I could not reach that door handle. I exhausted myself even more, trying. It was pointless, I couldn’t do it.
I thought, “What now?”
I knew I couldn’t make it to Mom and Dad’s house. No one could hear me screaming. And I was rapidly getting far too cold. My entire body felt stiff. I collapsed on the ground and almost gave up. Thoughts entered my mind like, “No one will hear you. Chuck will be asleep for hours. Your Mom won’t even look for you until tonight when she brings the kids home. Then your kids will see you frozen to death in the driveway.” Well, that last thought was motivation enough to keep going. I had babies, and I had to find a way to make myself keep crawling. CoCo nudged me with her nose, as if to say, “You can do it, keep going!”
I knew I had to go for [our] house, it was the closest thing to me, and my only chance. I had no clue what I was going to do when I got there. I knew if I couldn’t reach the SUV handle, I wouldn’t be able to get up the stairs and reach the door handle either. But I remembered our outside broom, that we use to sweep the sidewalk. And my plan was to try to make it to the glass door, grab the broom and hit the glass door with the broom, in the hopes the noise might wake my husband upstairs. I knew it was a long shot, because I didn’t feel like I could crawl another inch. But it was all I could think to do.
By now, my leg had swollen to the point where I couldn’t feel my foot, and my leg was no longer flopping around as much. Which was actually a blessing. Trying to crawl while dragging a flopping leg behind you, grinding broken bones in the process, was awful. Being swollen was a good thing. Because I could crawl, without it moving so much.
Unfortunately, the cold was getting to me and my blood pressure was dropping. Even though it’s not all that far from where my vehicle was to the house, it might as well have been miles. Every movement took so much effort. I was flirting with blacking out. My vision went black many, many times. I would move one leg, or arm, then have to rest. So the progress was extremely slow. I would almost pass out, my head would bob down, and everything would start to go black. Then CoCo would rush in, under my face, forcing her muzzle between my face and the ground and she would ferociously lick my nose.
Yes, I said ferociously. The funny thing about this, is that Coco was never a dog to lick people. Ever. She just didn’t do it. But that day, every time I started to pass out, and the world started turning black, she would go after my nose like crazy. I would swat at my nose and it would keep me alert. I remember saying, “Stop it, CoCo. Stop it.” And she would stop, as long as I kept making progress. But the minute I would start to pass out again, she’d dive in after my nose again.
Not to be gross, but just to demonstrate the lengths she went to, to keep me conscious, the worse I got, she actually curled her tongue and put it IN my nose. It was so gross and tickled so bad. But it kept me awake.
I would say, “What are you doing, CoCo?” and I would swat at my nose. At the time, I was in too much pain to understand that she was trying to help me and keep me conscious. She would just wag her tail and stare at me like keep going, keep going. She went along with me walking backwards, facing me, as I crawled forward.
It took forever because of my slow progress. All along the way, I tried to call for help when I could, and I prayed to God that he would wake up my husband, so that he would hear me.
I remember seeing CoCo’s tiny, skinny legs shaking in the cold and I thought, “Oh man, you need to get inside, too.” I was scared for us both.
Has your pet ever done something kind or heroic?
What actions did s/he take and what was the result?
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(Next week watch for the last instalment of
“My Hero Dog – with Dorky Deb – Part 3”)
Column and introductory text copyright
© 2013 by Sandra Bell Kirchman
MY HERO DOG title, content and pictures
copyright © 2013 by Debbie Norman
All rights reserved by the respective authors.
(Volume 14.5-2, May 10, 2014)