I was returning from Puerto Vallarta one late afternoon. The traffic was about a normal flow. I was just entering the town of Lo de Marcos where there is a center divider in the highway. On the other side of it, to my horror, was a large dog. It clearly had been hit. It was up on its front paws and looking around totally stunned, but could not move. I looked down the road, adding to my horror was a stream of traffic including a very large truck. My mind instantly pictured what was about to happen. The concrete divider went some 25 meters beyond the dog. I literally LAYED RUBBER turning into a sharp U turn around the divider and stopped my car in front of the dog for protection. The road there is 2 lanes wide. The dog lay right in the middle of the 2 lanes. With flashers on, I jumped out of my car and frantically motioned to the oncoming traffic to slow down and go around. When the cars and the big truck had passed, I pulled my car around the dog so that my back end door was near it. I approached the dog slowly, watching for more traffic. He was dazed and had some bloody and skinned places. None bad, but it was obvious he could not move his hind quarters. THIS IS THE MIRACLE PART! Out of nowhere came this Mexican gentleman who said, “I speak English.” Wonder how he knew I did? Together, we assessed the situation and how best to lift the dog into my car, which we did ever so gently. I thanked him and away I went to Sayulita to see Dr. Marco.
X-rays were needed, but Dr. Marco had none. The closest one was in Puerto Vallarta, but it was too late. Dr. Marco gave the dog a shot for pain and told me to keep him calm during the night. He gave me another pill for pain in the morning. I drove home. It was hot in my garage, but moving the dog was not an option. The back of my car was the perfect place just to keep him quiet. I rigged up a fan as it was hot! He drank a little water, and we sat together through the night.
Dawn came. I gave him the pain pill, took a quick shower and off we went to Wolf Veterinarian in PV. The dog was sedated, then put on a stretcher and x-rays were taken. Bad News. BOTH femur bones in his upper hind legs were broken and dislocated. My own Vet, Dr. Francisco Aguilar, a wonderful soft tissue surgeon as is his wife, suggested I see this wonderful orthopedic veterinarian only a kilometer away. We called, he was in and away we went. Dr. Alejandro Castillo looked at the x-rays. Then he and his assistant started explaining what needed to be done. I could see pesos flying by. I simply said this isn’t even my dog… but after sitting up with him all night… they said that this dog would be fine in 3 months, I swallowed hard and said, “okay.” They would operate that evening.
I called to check on “Patches,” the name I had given him. They said he was doing just fine. The bones had been relocated. Two large pins were inserted the length of the femur, inside the bone to hold it in place. Then on the exterior of the leg were two braces with 4 anchors each, through the skin into the bone, also to hold the bones in place. I don’t know the name of this brace, but it is used often on humans.
I was told I could come and get him on Monday, 3 days later. I thought, oh dear, what am I going to do? I already have 6 dogs. This dog will need to be kept very quiet. But my friend Mimi had just arrived for the season, and their dog had run away in a storm, never to be found again. So I asked if she might help me out here. So Mimi, Juliana, another dog rescuer, and I went to get Patches.
We walked into the small office, past the operating room to the back. It was unbelievable to me. When the dog heard my voice, he STOOD UP AND WALKED TO ME WITH HIS TAIL WAGGING. The 3 of us were simply amazed. Patches was again loaded into the back of my car, gently. And away we went to La Peñita.
Mimi and John consented to caring for the dog with support from Juliana and me. They renamed him “FRANKIE.” He had constant attention. When Mimi was singing, Juliana went to sit with Frankie. He lost a lot of weight and went through some depression the first month. He was only suppose to go outside 3 times a day, so was kept on a cushion by the TV where he felt company and interaction. Just like us humans, time and GREAT CARE heals. Finally the braces came out… AND LOOK AT HIM NOW! YOU WOULD NEVER KNOW! He is one happy dog!
Frankie lives with Mimi and John and their second rescue, a Doberman named Mr. Big, and several rescue kitties. They travel with John and Mimi in their bus, back and forth to Nevada each year. What great Animal Angels they are!
A fully recovered Frankie (unfortunately there are no photos of him with the metal braces in his back legs). Just below Frankie’s left hip, there is a horizontal line, which is the only visible reminder of his accident.
About the Author: Sarah J. Walker grew up on a farm in the central part of Ohio. Seldom in her life was she without the companionship of a cat or dog, or both. At present, her loyal guardians are a rescued Labrador, rescued Chiwiennie, 4 Chihuahuas and a rescued kitten, 7 in total…. plus all the street fosters in nursing care and recovery waiting to be adopted into forever homes. In the 9 years she has lived in La Peñita, Mexico, Sarah has witnessed firsthand what love, care (often medical), can do to save the life of an abandoned, sick cat or dog. “To me, these animals can give the purest form of innocent love anyone can ever receive. But it does not come to you without your act of kindness.” Sarah enjoys sharing her animal rescue stories and is a dedicated JBAR volunteer.
Sarah ends all of her emails with this statement: “If you save one dog… you won’t save the world… But to that one dog… It’s world is changed forever.”
If you enjoyed reading this story, please consider making a donation to Jaltemba Bay Animal Rescue (JBAR) to help pay for food, medication and vet care for the animals they rescue and care for throughout the year.
This story was submitted by one of our readers. If you want to join in the fun and share your stories and photos of Jaltemba Bay, Mexico, please email them to Tosia@JaltembaBayLife.com