May Pets of the Month
Dogs Get Help For Injured Runner
Oates and the boys were having an exhilarating run; the wind still gusting and dramatic breaks in the clouds where the sun, low in the sky, lit the lingering rain. And then suddenly, the run was over. A slip or misstep caused Pita Oates to tumble down the hill. At some point during the fall, she broke her femur (thigh bone) and tore her ACL, a ligament in her knee. She was in terrible pain and in trouble. She assessed her injuries and somewhat luckily, the damage was primarily confined to her leg. But when trying to stand, she immediately realized that she couldn't put any weight on her leg.
She hadn't brought her phone and the chances of someone passing by were slim. She knew she had to get herself off the hill. She was wet, cold, and it was getting dark. For the next 90 minutes, she inched her way down on her rear, careful not to even bump her injured leg. She used one of the leashes to immobilize her broken leg.
The dogs knew something was wrong. First, they stayed close by but as they got further down the hill, they began to bark incessantly. It was as if they knew there was more of a chance for help to hear them. Then she noticed that while Buddy stayed close by her, Merlyn was making bigger and bigger loops, looking (and barking) of help. When Merlyn was out of sight, he and Buddy seemed to be also barking to each other.
It was dark and Oates wasn't sure she was going to be able to get back to the parking area. But she was sure she didn't want to spend the night out in the wind and rain. She was experiencing signs of hypothermia and drifting out of consciousness. Buddy was still barking in response to Merlyn's distant barking. As Merlyn got closer, she realized that her dogs had likely saved her life. Merlyn had found one of the only other people out on the moorlands that night and somehow convinced a man walking his dog, to follow him. Merlyn brought the man to the spot where Oates had stopped. Two mountain rescue units responded to get Oates out.
Oates spent the next 8 days in the hospital. Her broken femur required surgery and a metal plate and she will require another surgery to repair her ligament damage. Still, she is quite lucky that her boys knew what to do and were able to get her help. See more on the BBC news website.
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