Last evening I heard an odd noise while Kitty and Bunny were playing on our back deck. It was a thumping sound. Beside the thump, thump, thump, I heard an odd raspy type of noise. When I opened the back door, what I saw horrified me and I began to scream, "Kitty's dead!" Madison came running and so did Thomas. What we all witnessed was Bunny's lower jaw wrapped and twisted around Kitty's collar. Kitty was lifeless from the noose-like twisting of her buckle collar and her limp body was being dragged by Bunny's entwined mouth.
Kitty's collar was twisted over Bunny's lower jaw and behind her canine teeth. The more she pulled to try to release it, thhe more it choked Kitty. Bunny was terrified that she couldn't close her mouth and also by the fact she was dragging Kitty with her. Thomas immediately tried to stop Bunny from her frantic pacing and I tried to pry her mouth wider open to untangle the collar. It so tight over her jaw, I had Thomas run and get a steak knife for me. The dogs were so tightly tied together that it was impossible to get a knife in anywhere to start cutting.
Kitty was limp and lifeless. Her tongue was bluish-grey and her eyes were BULGING out of her head. She did not blink, nor breathe. Bunny was frantic and I realized after the fact that I had sliced up my fingers on Bunny's teeth trying to pry the collar over her canines and off her jaw. Thomas also got some nasty cuts on his left forearm trying to help me hold Bunny's mouth open. Somehow, I'm still not quite sure how, I got the collar over Bunny's lower canine teeth and was able to un-twist it from her jaw. Bunny staggered away and Kitty fell lifelessly to the floor. I closed Kitty's mouth, with her bulging tongue hanging out the side of her mouth, and began to give her CPR. I never checked to see if her heart was beating, I just started doing some chest compressions on the side of her chest, kind of behind her elbow. I don't know how long I did this, perhaps just a few times, maybe a few minutes. My heart was beating out of my chest and I was sobbing so loudly I couldn't hear Thomas yelling that she was alive.
I leaned over Kitty and saw her abdomen moving in very shallow breathes. I started rubbing her vigorously all over and when she started to blink I knew she was coming back. She laid there for some time in a type of fog. She didn't get right up, but rather laid there and gained her bearings. After several more minutes she lifted her head and stood. She went right to the water bowl and drank. About this point, my legs gave out and I was crying like a baby. Sure we've had dogs put to sleep before, but that is humane, painless and needed. Seeing a puppy suffocating and terrified of their own impending death is a sight no one should witness.
Thomas and I went to urgent care last evening and got our cuts cleaned up. I was worried we'd need stiches, but they just steri-striped us and sent us on our way. I was also concerned that they would report this as a dog bite and would take Bunny away. I think after we explained it to the doctor, she understands that although the dogs teeth cut us, they were not bites. She infact, called me a hero! That made me cry again.
SOOOO, my PSA to all my dog lover friends is to never, ever let your dogs wear a collar of any kind without your direct supervision. Even better, since supervision cannot stop the dogs from playing and getting tangled, do not let your dogs wear collars unless you are on the other end of the leash. My shelties have microchips for ID, and next week, Kitty and Bunny will too. I will never have my dogs wear collars again unless they are on a leash. BTW, our dogs wearing nylon, buckle collars and the steak knife, had I even gotten to use it, would have been highly ineffective. It's life cutting a seatbelt....damn near impossible without a razor.
Kitty is fine today. Bunny is fine today. I hope my blood pressure returns to normal and then I can be fine too. Learn from our near tragedy!
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