Thanks to the kindness and care of animal-lovers, a brain-injured dog will live to bark another day.
The dog, who has been named Dave by Shuswap SPCA workers, was hit by a semi-trailer truck travelling eastbound on the Trans-Canada Highway between Chase and Sorrento between 5 and 6 p.m. last Saturday, Aug. 6. Viktoria Haack, who was behind the semi, saw the dog cross the road and then head back, when he was hit.
“The semi did everything he could to avoid him, but he caught him on his head with the front left bumper,” says Haack, noting her husband, who was driving, stopped to tend to the dog who was obviously in a great deal of pain. “He had blood coming from his mouth and we thought he’d be dead in a few minutes. You don’t get hit by a truck and live.”
At first unresponsive, Haack says the dog, who way lying by the side of the road, began to bark and his legs started moving as if he as running.
An RCMP officer arrived on the scene and checked a couple of nearby residences but was unable to find the dog’s owner.
The Haack family drove Dave the dog to the Shuswap Veterinary Clinic, where he was cared for by Dr. Jim Clark.
Clark, confirms Haack’s assessment that Dave is a gentle dog, despite the brain injuries that have blinded him.
“He’s a nice dog and looks like he belongs to someone,” said Clark Friday. He was knocked completely unconscious but interestingly, there were no injuries in his legs and chest.”
Clark says he treated Dave for shock and the initial concussion and credits the dog’s youth (estimated age is under one year), with the rapid improvement in his condition.
“We’re looking for someone who will provide a foster home, or someone who is looking for a special-needs dog,” says Clark, who believes the dog is probably a mix of lab and border collie. “He’s really sweet, but we don’t know if he will ever regain his vision.”
Clark is hopeful though, having treated a dog with worse injuries a few years ago that got his vision back three months after his injuries.
“He’s going to need some special care; the main thing is he will need to be in a fenced yard and in a place where things aren’t changed around,” he says. “Dogs are tremendous, they memorize where everything is. They can learn very well to compensate, but they need to be in restricted areas.”
Dave, who has been treated at a “significant discount” by Shuswap Veterinary Clinic, is recuperating at the SPCA shelter on Auto Road.