Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Dog walking accidents: Are you prepared?

Liam the pug in his bed

Liam the pug and I go on a walk at least once per day. If the weather is good, we take a stroll two times per day. Regular walking times help Liam to feel a little more secure and confident, and walks help him to use his brain. All of that work can help him find his inner bliss when it's time to do things like eat or sleep.

Up until Saturday, I thought there were absolutely no downsides to regular walks. Turns out, I was totally wrong. And, I was totally ill-prepared.

We've been dealing with uncharacteristically cold weather this January, which means all available water has turned to ice. That ice melts a little during the day, and it reforms at night. That means all streets and sidewalks contain little patches of danger. Since I take the same walking routes most days, I thought I could spy all of these spots, especially big spots I had seen on days prior.

So on Saturday morning, even though it was snowing and there was ice on the ground, I thought it was safe to take a little walk with Liam. I was wrong.

A patch of ice I knew about had grown much bigger overnight, and it was covered with snow. That meant the edges of the ice were camouflaged. I had no idea where the thing ended.

I slipped on that ice, and after twisting for several furious moments and trying to catch my footing, I fell. And I heard two very distinct snaps as I went down.

So I'm lying on the ground, doing a little pain howling, and I realize I am totally unprepared for anything like this. I don't have my phone, so I can't call anyone. I don't have my wallet, so I have no identification I can give authorities. And I have a terrified pug on the end of my leash who has no idea what is happening.

Liam the watchful pug

I did what any reasonable person would do, and I started screaming for help at the top of my lungs. A very kind family stopped, and they called 9-1-1 for me. I was so relieved to see them, and those relief signals conflicted with the pain and terror signals. And that sort of wiped out my memory. I couldn't remember my husband's phone number, I couldn't remember my address and I couldn't remember the name of my insurance carrier. All of it was just gone.

And poor Liam kept howling and crying with me, wondering why in the world I was so upset.

When the fire department came, they assessed my situation and whisked me away to the ambulance. When that process started, Liam's cries got so much worse. He couldn't understand where I was going and why he couldn't come. And he kept trying to jump on the stretcher with me.

The fire department was nice enough to take Liam home for me, and they explained what had happened to my terrified husband. (Imagine seeing a fire truck pull up at your house with your dog inside! Horrible!)

As it turns out, I broke both the tibia and fibula in my left leg, and those two bones are in many different pieces. I will have surgery when it heals, but it's too swollen for that now.

Today's blogging work is a bit of a test, as I wanted to see how long I could stay upright and focused. When I can handle those tasks, I can go back to work. But it seems that 45 minutes is my limit. It's back to bed for me.

But before I go, a few lessons. Never take a walk without your cell phone. Even if you don't need it 99 times out of 100, you'll miss it terribly when that last time comes. And next: Make sure all of your identifying information is on your dog's collar, including two phone numbers and an address. That was the only way the EMTs knew who I was. And finally, bring your wallet. People need to know who you are.

It's back to bed for me now. I apologize in advance if I'm not able to visit as many of your blogs as I normally do. The combo of bones and drugs has me exhausted. But I will take your well wishes!

And if you'd like to read more pet blogs (including some that don't talk about falls), head over to the BlogPaws blog hop via the buttons below. You'll be glad you did!


  1. Thanks for the good reminders. I'm sorry this happened and I hope you heal more quickly than expected and that you can stay comfortable. It looks like Liam is keeping an eye on you - thank you Liam!!

  2. That is awful. The only good thing is not hitting your head. I hope you feel better soon.

  3. Dog walking is dangerous to your health. I always knew it! Healing purrz for a speedy recovery.

  4. Just reading this now, Jean. We also left a comment on your Sunday post, but we will say it again. We are so sorry about your accident, and purr and pray you are on the mend soon. Love and hugs to you.

  5. I'm so sorry for your injury. It sounds so scary just by reading this. Thank you for sharing your story. I always walk without my phone and wallet and this is a good reminder to be safe always. Happy and I will be praying for your full recovery and for Liam too! <3

  6. Goodness! I missed this before! How scary! So glad those folks stopped to help! I fell recently and cracked my elbow - but luckily I was with a friend (and, of course, I could still walk!) so she helped me get Rita back home. I always carry my phone ever since our run in with a crazy person (long, bad story!) and Rita always has her ID on her. I keep my old expired driver's license in the little pouch on her leash so folks will know who I am/where I live in case something realllly bad happens.