My Dad Got a Doggy Miracle for Christmas

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There is a website called doesthedogdie.com where you can search books and movies to find the fate of canine companions. While not listed on the website, I can reassure you that the dog in this story is very much alive. And that is a true doggy miracle.

My family is composed of dog people. We stop to pet dogs on the street, have canceled plans because there was a dog sleeping in our lap and often remember dog names better than those of the humans that care for them. I begged for a dog almost as soon as I could talk and have successfully been surrounded by dogs since I was 7. It seemed only natural, when my parents separated, that my dad got a big black pitbull named Kal from one of the local rescues. Depressed, heartbroken and lonely, my dad needed a companion. He needed someone that was happy to see him and would give him reason to get out of bed in the mornings and leave the house. In Kal, he found everything he was looking for plus the unconditional love that he didn’t realize he needed.

Kal is a bundle of need covered in a very thin veneer of fur. Separation anxiety doesn’t begin to explain the frenzy that Kal will whip himself into whenever he sees one of his people. My dad once said that Kal is his emotional support animal. I pointed out that it was far more likely that he was actually Kal’s emotional support human.

On the morning of November 29, Kal went out for his usual morning patrol of the yard and to pee on everything in his domain. While in the yard, he suffered a seizure and became incredibly disoriented, slipping out from under the fence and running away from the house. Unfortunately, my dad lives quite close to a major highway and it was there that Kal was next spotted. Scared and confused, he was running across the highway when he was clipped by a passing car.

It is important to highlight the kindness and generosity of all the people who stopped what they were doing to help get a poor dog to safety. Complete strangers dedicated hours to searching for him and I received hundreds of responses to my posts about him missing.

It was six excruciatingly long days without any news or sightings. We had given up hope of ever finding Kal, dead or alive, and had begun reconciling ourselves to a life without him. My dad still went out to the spot he was last seen every day and wandered around, calling him, just in case he had returned.

In what can only be described as a doggy miracle, a wonderful couple had stopped on the day that Kal ran off and had tried to coax him to safety. A week later, they hiked an hour and a half up the mountain, just to see if they could find anything. And they found Kal.

The poor guy had two broken legs, hadn’t eaten or drank anything in six days so his organs were in rough shape and he was too weak to even wag his tail. But he was alive.

A week in doggy ICU and he was finally allowed to come home. Kal doesn’t like restrictions and jumped a baby gate (still with two broken legs) so that he could properly greet someone at the door. Last week, my dad received an urgent call out for work and I was tasked with babysitting the needbeast and making sure he didn’t try anything else crazy while left alone. Kal always loves to snuggle but he was especially grateful for the company that day.

It’s going to be a long road to recovery but there is no possible better ending than this.

They lived happily ever after. (And Kal got all the snacks he wanted)

Crazy dog mom, mental health advocate, project manager and writer

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