Tuesday was a normalish day, we walked around the city finding the Scrumpty statues. We walked about 4 kilometres, then I drove to the last one as my parking ticket was nearly up. You do not want to mess with parking in Gloucester, we have almost as many parking wardens as car parks.
After getting home it was calm but not that quiet. A neighbour was doing DIY so there was some muffled banging. Freya and Doris went upstairs, I assumed to steal my bed, but half an hour later I heard rather louder noises. Banging, thumping, scratching. Before I could investigate something hits the ground in the garden. Something brown, and fluffy… jesus it’s Freya!
I was shocked, I unlock the back door and run outside. My best friend is collapsed in a heap, clearly in pain but not crying. She crawls away as I run at her, and puts her head to the ground like she thought I would hit her. Poor babe, as if.
I rest her on the sofa and immediately dial the vet as I try to work out what just happened. I see blood from her mouth or chin, she’s in mega pain but afraid to cry (poor woofer has issues relating to her life before the DogsTrust saved her), she can’t stand properly, her breathing is not normal. I am terrified but not screaming “oh my god is she going to die” at our vets. I can’t, I need to keep it together for the kids.
The vets say I must keep an eye on her, monitor her behaviour and they’ll see her in an hour. At this point the kids tell me what Doris was doing. She tried to rescue Freya, my lads ran upstairs instinctively when I ran outside. Doris was on Jen’s windowsill, crawling forwards, most of her body outside, edging outside to drop not jump. She was crying, she was terrified for Freya. Jen grabbed Doris’ back paw, he reckons he stopped her but Dee grabbed her body and lifted her back in to the bedroom and locked the window.
That hour felt so long. Freya was suffering from concussion, sleepy and confused, shivering silently. Her back leg was smashed up, cuts and bruises and twitching in pain. Being a saluki she has huge ribs with no fat protecting them, I honestly thought with her troubled breathing that she had fractured a rib or two causing pressure on her lungs. When she looked at me it was straight in my eyes, “help me mum.” Her paws are bleeding slightly between her toes from putting them out to try to reduce her fall
Time to leave, I wanted to carry her to my car but she hobbles to the door and walks along the path learning on Doris. It hurts her to get in the car, but again she wants to do it herself. On the journey she is crying, potholes in the local roads make her shudder. I hated hearing her whimpering but it was a relief to hear something from her, as soon as she started being noisey Dee started chatting with her, gently stroking her. “It’s okay puppy, nearly there, the vets will help you.”
We walk in to vets and she pretends she’s fine, jumps up to put her front paws on the desk as she always does. Again no crying, but I see from her reactions it hurt like heck and I carefully lift her off. She can’t sit, and it hurts to stand, so I lay on the floor in the waiting room with her. I don’t care about what people think, Freya is my family and I’d do the same for my kids. I caught a look from someone and you could tell they understood.
Dee without being asked or told escorts Jen off to look at pet fish and adoption corner. Jen didn’t grasp how bad this situation was, our girlie had just come out of an upstairs window about 15ft up, she’s 3ft so a big drop compared to her height. This leaves me on the floor with both dogs, Doris watching over us both and occasionally licking Freya. I assume that’s like “I am still here my Pup, don’t worry.”
The vets call her “the dog that jumped from upstairs?” – she looks at her colleagues in disbelief. Yes, that’s us “Freya, she’s called Freya.” In we hobble, this isn’t a vet we know but a locum. Doris gives her sideways looks and sniffs her before she moves aside to allow this stranger to touch Freya. I say “it’s okay Freya” and she shuffles towards the lady presenting the most injured side first. I explain the situation, her behaviour, my opinion of what’s going on. The vet does the same and agrees Freya requires pain relief ASAP and X-rays to check out where things are broken.
The vet was also worried about the breathing more than the leg damage. She said “we need to take her in” and I gave her a huge kiss in the top of her head between those fluffy ears. As she walked off Doris wanted to follow her. I was worried I might not see her again and I wonder if Doris was thinking similar. Doris was calm enough being in the vets, both our dogs like our vet practice and adore the regular staff but she was uneasy seeing Freya go somewhere without her.
I was paying attention but forgot everything the vet said to me. The nurse on reception says to me “she’s going for x-rays to check out how bad it is and she’s being sedated. You can come back in about an hour or go home. We know your phone numbers, we’ll let you know.”
As the incident had occurred as I was about to cook for the lads they hadn’t eaten dinner yet, we walked a few minutes away to a well known fast food chain and got something for us and Doris. For her it was plain burgers I took out of the bread rolls. I didn’t want to go home, I wanted to be with Freya. Luckily it was a warm evening and we all sat outside. After the boys ate I allowed Jen to play a short while in the soft play area, I called time on this when Doris started crying and gently pulling in the direction of the vets. Clever girl, okay we’ll check in on your pup.
The vet nurse said she was still being checked over and they needed to keep her a bit longer. “Okay I’ll wait” they politely point out that they have actually already closed and can I please go home… This nurse is a dog owner herself and she understood I wasn’t being impatient but our girl was on their table, sedated and out of it.
We drive home, minus Freya. I couldn’t think of anything else, just watching my phone. Jen shoved on the TV, he was alright but Dee was asking questions. “Why didn’t she cry? What is concussion? Concussion can kill can’t it? Is she coming back mum, be honest, is she?”
About half an hour passes and the vets phone “you can come and get her now”. The vets is now officially closed, and this means I will have to knock on a fire exit door to be seen. I say to Dee I really want him to stay home with Doris as this situation isn’t good for her, he was reluctant as he was expecting bad news but I promise him I would not make any permanent decisions without him. I take Jen to the car, and play music as I drive to push away the negative thoughts.
I arrive at the fire door and the vet says “you can take her home now” – I am confused! I quiz her, when do they need her back, what is broken, what issue will this cause and so on. The vet explains using the words lucky and amazing that Freya has mild concussion, not a single broken bone, and nothing permanent at all. She explained that neither herself or her colleagues could believe it, but she really was going to be okay. The breathing was a result of shock and pain, blood on her face was nothing more than a graze, the cuts on her leg really was the worst thing. She is on dog pain killers and strict orders not to jump, she’s a nutter, I tried to stop her but she’s been jumping up to hug people and hopping over the back of the sofa. She’s only allowed short walks and cries when we’ve got to about one mile, she happily walks five miles normally.
My poor babe, lucky, stupid babe. Thankfully I have both dogs insured, this split second fall cost around £250 and it could have been more if surgery was required. She’s been back in for check ups and yeah, she hurts but she is okay. Bruises heal, fur will regrow, I just hope Doris is going to be okay.
Our little hero not only tried to follow her out of that window and checked the vet out for Freya, but she’s being super protective of Freya. She’s growling at tiny cute dogs and making sure nothing comes near our Freya. In a way it’s very sweet but I hope it fades away. There’s only so many times I can say “I’m so sorry, her pup was injured the other day, she’s just trying to keep her safe”.
I love Freya so much, but I am also very proud of both my boys and Doris. My sons acted instinctively, ran towards the noise, towards potential danger. They didn’t act scared, they just ran to help, and they stopped Doris from falling. Doris was so brave to try to help, to crawl out on the edge. The way she behaved is exactly what I was taught to do by firemen if you get trapped in a room by fire, the slowly lowering yourself rather than jumping minimises injury. She is so smart, and so loyal.
It’s strangely reassuring to know she’s brave in an emergency.