Scarlett’s Scary Accident


Last night, Scarlett and Chelsea were playing under our coffee table. It has a glass top with curved metal legs. All of a sudden, I heard her screaming in pain. I looked over to see her front paw, twisted and stuck in one of the metal legs. It was absolutely horrific. Instincts took over and I threw myself on her, trying to push her body forward. She was trying to pull her paw out with every ounce of strength; she was twisting her body, yanking herself and yelping in a way I never, ever want to hear again. Her paw needed to be twisted and properly slid up, to where the curved metal got wider and would free her. It took everything I had to push her towards the table, relieving the pressure. Thankfully, at that point, my boyfriend ran out of the bedroom (this was like 15 seconds from when it started but felt like an eternity). He got behind her, pushing her forward. This allowed me to get to her paw, properly twist and slide it out. She was biting me, yelping and throwing herself all over. I thought her foot was crushed for sure. Finally when I slid it out, she cowered and jumped on the couch, moving away from us. She wasn’t holding her paw but looked terrified of both of us. We backed off for a minute, observing from a distance. When we asked if she wanted to go out, she sprang off the couch, using the front paw normally. She ran around outside and circled back to us, licking our faces and wagging her tail.

We brought her in and looked at it. She had a small cut by her nail from where the metal sliced into her as she tried to free herself. It was bleeding a little bit but she was not licking it or anything. We decided to wait it out and take her to the vet if anything got worse or if she seemed to be in pain. Today she is completely normal, running, playing and eating. She still has a small cut but it is nowhere near what I thought.Β Thankfully, her reaction to being trapped was much worse than her actual injury. I’m glad she’s alright but it broke my heart to see her reaction. Here’s a little about Scarlett’s past you may not know.

When we rescued Scarlett amidst a Distemper outbreak at our local shelter, she was severely neglected and abused, at 10 months and 28 pounds. She actually tested positive for Distemper but symptoms never started and she survived the disease (only 20% of puppies infected overcome it). The past abuse and neglect came with physical evidence: she was severely underweight, had missing teeth, a few canines were grinded down, open wounds on her paws, “armpits”, head and body and scars all over. This is how “Ruby” came to be Scarlett. Her emotional scars were much worse. She was terrified of any person, besides myself. It took a week for her to warm up to my boyfriend. There were other things that terrified her: cars, loud noises, men, yelling, snapping, making a kissing noise and a lot of other stuff. It was so sad. Her ears and tail were down the first two weeks she was with us; we didn’t know they actually went up. But sure enough as she got comfortable, up they went πŸ™‚ She got considerably better as time went on and she learned we were not going to hurt her. And oh yeah, she’s 50 pounds now!

Besides being terrified, she was very animal-aggressive. Although it wasn’t that way in the shelter, in a home environment, that changed in an instant. Despite being properly introduced to Harley and getting along for the first few hours, she snapped when he ran over to me in the yard. She rushed him, bit his neck and held him, pinned. Off to the hospital we went, and a few stitches later, Harley was better. This terrible event put everyone on edge: “give her back”, “have her put down”, “give up on her”, “she will never learn”. We felt awful for Harley because honestly, the fight was my fault but we also knew we would not give up on Scarlett. We vowed to do whatever it took to rehabilitate Scarlett and keep our home safe for Harley and our kitty, Roory. It was three and a half months of very intensive training; we used Leerburg’s method, catering it specifically to our situation. As most of you know, Scarlett is now the most gentle, well-trained girl of the bunch. Besides loving Harley, Roory and Chelsea, she loves all dogs now. And she is a beautiful dog inside and out.

Though we will never exactly know the extent of Scarlett’s past, we understand it was terrible. Last night’s accident gave us a glimpse into that reaction of sheer terror. I will never understand how people can mistreat dogs and after hearing those blood-curdling yelps, I don’t know how anyone could live with themselves when they are the source of the inflicting pain. For those of you wondering, we’re getting rid of the coffee table ASAP. It was a freak accident but we’re not taking the chance.

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21 responses to “Scarlett’s Scary Accident

  1. How scary! I’m glad that Scarlett is OK. Thank you for sharing her story – I too adopted a fear aggressive pit mix. I vowed never to give up on her and now she is a happy well-adjusted dog whose only issue are her Excita-bull nature and Fall Indoor Poopies! πŸ™‚

  2. You are both so wonderful, so caring, and a great people.
    Poor Scarlett I could feel her pain just reading your post, and I can understand why she bit you, she was terrified poor baby. I do hope that your bite is not too bad…
    We had a similar problem with one of our rescue dogs. I had already been bitten when I tried to give him a piece of bread which was lying near his paw. He thought I was taking it away.
    Then a bit later he got his paw caught in his neck chain and was yelping like mad. Instead of trying to do it with my hand and getting bitten again we used the broom handle to open the chain and set him free. Needless to say he no longer wears a chain collar..
    I am pleased that the table is going..move it somewhere else rather than completely disposing of it… four straight legs are better than curly ones.

    • It was really terrible, thankfully my bites are not bad. She wasn’t trying to hurt me, I think just in pain. She only broke the skin a bit and I know she could have done much worse. Thanks for sharing your baby’s story…it is just so scary. I’m glad it all worked out in the end!!

  3. I am glad Scarlett is OK. She probably panicked when she got her foot caught. I can’t say my dogs would not have done the same, (especially Storm who is some what dramatic). Then you worry that they might do more damage trying to free their paw by pulling it.

    Good for you for rescuing Scarlett and not giving up on her. (I don’t think I have ever heard of a dog surviving distemper. When I was a kid, dogs routinely died of that disease.) Sounds like that training method really worked for you. I only skimmed but I was surprised to see the use of a prong and e-collar. So many frown on those (not me). πŸ™‚

    • Our vet was amazed she pulled through but we have one strong-willed girl! Leerburg’s method was a lifesaver for us. I don’t frown on those collars either, especially when the situation calls for one, as it did with us πŸ™‚

  4. Chancy, Mumsy and Crew

    That had to be so scary for both you all and Scarlett. We are happy she was not injured badly. She must have been crying out in fear more than pain. We are so happy she is with you now and no longer has to suffer bad things happening to her. Hugs and nose kisses

  5. Thanks for sharing. I’m glad Scarlett is OK. Our husky mix has what we call a “trick toe” — the vet says it must have been broken at some point and it healed in such a way that makes it stand up. It looks a little like she’s flipping you the bird. πŸ™‚
    However, that trick toe has gotten stuck in her gentle leader a couple of times when she’s playing off leash (near us). She yelps like mad, but then she is OK. Dogs definitely have a high-pitched “alarm” yelp. My min pin often shrieks, too, as if the world is ending if he senses that one of the other dogs is about to step on him.

  6. I’m sorry she went through such a fright, but I’m glad she’s not physically injured.

  7. Glad you didn’t give up on Scarlett, and glad she wasn’t really hurt in that table.

  8. I was so worried by the title of your post and by the description of the accident 😦 I am relieved that Scarlett is OK. A lucky escape! I think you have been wonderful in rescuing Scarlett and helping her to overcome her earlier trauma.

  9. Phew! Glad that Scarlett is OK. The title of the post had me worried too. Thanks for sharing your story about saving Scarlett from a terrible past. She looks like such a happy, healthy, wonderful dog now – it’s hard to imagine she has been through so much trauma!

  10. Pingback: Leash Training Sundays | For The Love of My Dogs

  11. We are cheering you here! It makes me sick when people’s first word about a dog with a problem is to put them down. In fact I am more like p%$#$!!! What if we put down every human who had a bad day or moment? We applaud your patience and love with Scarlett! YAY!!! Great post and give her a huge hug from our collies and us. To those who abused her before, May God Open their eyes to what they have done and may they repent and change their ways.

    God Bless You!

    Chuck and the Collies πŸ™‚

    • Chuck and the Collies, thanks for all your beautiful comments. I feel the same way about people who think that way- especially because it only took a few months of love to change everything!
      Wow, I wish that for her previous owners too and I feel sad for people who miss out on one of the best relationships this world has to offer! Dogs are truly the best πŸ™‚
      -Deanna and the crew

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