Beware of what you may encounter at the dog park.

by R D
(Calgary Ab.)

Beware of people who mistake the dog park for the city dump!

Near the beginning of this year, I was taking Ranger for his regular walk at the neighborhood dog park. What a park it is. 300 acres of wide open grassland with a ravine that runs through it.

Ranger only has one speed, FAST. Being a Vizsla, he loves to run, swim and point for partridge and so this off leash area is just perfect. It's his nirvana.

About 2 minutes into our walk, Ranger came limping back to me with that look on his face like he peed on the rug.

Concerned, I focused on him to see if I could determine what was wrong. I was horrified to see a very large and deep gash under his belly with what looked like an organ or piece of intestine sticking out. He was visibly in a state of shock, as was I.

I immediately picked him up, ran to my truck and kept him on my lap as I tried to tuck his insides back in. Racing to the emergency animal hospital, I didn't think that things would end well due to the extent of injury and the fact that my usually hyper dog was pretty much out of it and could do nothing else other than stare at me with that look of 'help me please' on his little face.

The vet was great and after a couple of hours in surgery and some tests to determine that no organs were lacerated, Ranger was returned to me in a pretty sedated state. He had about 20 stitches on the outside, more inside and a drain tube from his abdomen.

Once I brought him home, I needed to go back to the park to see if I could find what he may have encountered. It was dark by now (3am) but with a flashlight, I followed his foot prints as there was a new skif of snow which fell that eve.

I was surprised to find a broken porcelain toilet bowl frozen to the ground with the sharp, broken edges pointing up. That new skif of snow had covered the toilet completely and so when Ranger ran over top of it, it contacted his belly and opened him up.

I removed the toilet and dragged it to an area where it would not be encountered by anyone else (dogs or kids)and would be noticed by city crews and removed.

This event ended well and Ranger is back to being a dog again. The recovery was surprisingly speedy pointing to the resilience of dogs.

Someone obviously wanted to save a 5 dollar dump fee. I spent 1500 at the vet :(

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