Charlie to the Rescue

Reader Contribution by Jacqueline Wilt, R.N. and C.E.M.T.
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I’m convinced our dog Charlie is an angel in dog’s attire. Charlie is a large Golden Retriever we rescued a few years ago. He makes a wonderful companion; always happy, loyal, and surprisingly OK with his job as pillow, step stool, beauty treatment victim, and ninja monster-in-the-dark killer for our 6-year-old daughter. He further proved his worth as “Man’s Best Friend” for us when I managed to sprain my ankle a couple of weeks ago.

Kate gave herself and Charlie an updated hair color treatment.

Charlie makes a warm and wonderful pillow.

I had spent the previous two hours dumping and cleaning stock tanks in the barnyard. The next chore included filling about 20 large water jugs to use for watering our poultry. I had taken all the empty jugs out of the barn and had two left to retrieve before starting the process of filling them with the water hose. I took a step to go into the barn, stepped on the water hose, slipped, turned my ankle, and fell. I heard a sickening series of cracks as I went down, and then blinding pain.

I was almost certain I had broken my ankle, judging from the cracks I heard and the pain I was in. I sat on the ground and ran cold water from the offending water hose on my ankle. Then I realized I couldn’t get up. I was on a slope, as the barn is at the bottom of a hill from the house. There was nothing to grab on to, so I couldn’t pull myself up and I couldn’t bear weight on my left foot. I ran through my list of options … my husband was in another state working, the nearest neighbor is a few miles away (and most likely outside and won’t answer a phone), and my family all live at least an hour away. I was home alone. My next thought was to call 9-1-1. However, living a rural community it is embarrassing to have to call them to come pick you up off the ground when you personally know all of them. I’d never hear the end of it. Ever.

Charlie with Kate and her friend Kendra enjoying the creek.

Luckily Charlie was hovering nearby. He was initially more interested in chewing on a particularly nice stick he had found, but came when I called him. He was happy I was on the ground, actually. All the better to lick my face, you see. I was able to pull myself up on Charlie and slowly stand. Then, using Charlie as a crutch, I very slowly and very painfully made my way up the hill to the house. After sitting for awhile and watching my ankle swell more and more, I finally decided this wasn’t something I could “shake off,” and my mom came to take me to an urgent care center to have it X-rayed.

Luckily, it was not broken. Sprained badly, but not broken.

So it’s crutches and an ankle brace for me for a while. I hear sprains are worse and take longer to heal, but I still think I am better off without a broken bone. And Charlie is a hero in my book. Good boy, Charlie. Good boy.

Charlie loves the snow.

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