Rosie – a warning

603324_3914566715108_160569215_nBack garden. boats and me and rosie 093Back garden. boats and me and rosie 091

On an ordinary Sunday morning, sunnier than it had been in a while, Rosie nearly took her very last walk. We’d gone to a favourite spot, near an infants school, where it was quiet enough for her to run off the lead and get some real freedom. All three of us were enjoying ourselves, Pete sitting watching and me throwing a ball for Rosie to retrieve. We’d been out for about twenty minutes when, after I’d thrown the ball, I turned away for a moment. The next thing I was aware of was the most awful screaming sound; almost unearthly. I turned and laughed as I saw Rosie walking around in circles. The laughter died in my throat as I realised the heart rending noise was coming from her. The ball was about a metre away from the dog, almost hidden in the long grass. Her front paws were off the ground and she had impaled herself on a stave; not a stick, a stave. Someone with nothing better to do had buried half a dozen staves approximately 18 inches into the ground with as much again sticking out at a 45 degree angle, the top of which was also sharpened to a point. We were totally unaware of any risk as they were at the edge of a dense shrub area and very difficult to see. I broke the stave off near her jaw so we could race her to the vet. I don’t even want to relive the horror of laying on the floor of the vehicle trying to keep Rosie still so she didn’t injure herself further.

Thank God that we have a vet in the area who has cover 365 days a year and an operating theatre. Anyway, Rosie had 3 vets operating on her for 2 1/2 hours and after a lot of TLC we’re ecstatic that she’s back to her normal self. The vet asked us if we’d talk to the local paper as it would be good PR, which we did, and then it all got out of hand. The national press picked it up and various magazines wanted to feature the story of our dog’s miraculous survival, but we said no, emphatically. One feature editor tried to persuade me by saying, ‘… if printing Rosie’s story saves one dog from going through what she did…’ the implication being that the dog had been chasing sticks. But she hadn’t.

We were devastated by the whole experience, and though it’s difficult to say without upsetting some people, Rosie is a DOG. I love my her to bits, but 2 children die every minute in Africa. And why did not one person from the media, or who stopped us in the street afterwards, express concern that there was an idiot out there who was targeting, at worst kids, at best, animals. The whole thing could have happened to a child or a toddler.

Since then I’ve found staves buried in another area close to a play park and school. I’ve informed the police and the headmaster, but I am seriously worried that Rosie will not be the last casualty.

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