A Family Rescuing Their Dog

16 Jan
Aloha is...a family coming together to save their dog.

Have you ever carried 180 lbs up a steep hill?

Last night was so stressful.  Hutch, our 13-year-old English Mastiff, must've been out for a pee when he heard the sounds of coyote in the canyon behind our house or in our neighbor's yard when he slipped and fell down our steep hill at 11 PM.

How steep?
Let's put it this way, with my bad back, I could barely make it down the hill myself to find him crying at the very bottom. If it weren't for the fence to catch him he would've dropped a few feet into the canyon. His backside was firmly leaning against the wire fence and he was clutching to the hillside with everything he had. I realized I had zero leverage to lift him from behind as I sometimes do when he can't get up from the floor (he has arthritic hips). I even had to use my hands to crawl up the mountain, pulling on long blades of wet grass as I went. 

And, that's how he fell. I can see the wet grass smoothed out from his body sliding down. This hillside is almost straight up!

I had to wake up my husband because my stepson, Aidan, and I couldn't help him.  When Matt couldn't get him to move, we knew we had to call Zach, Hutch's master.  Thank God Zach just got off work and that we were able to get a hold of him. It took all three Quigg boys and a moving blanket to wrap him like a burrito and do a combination of pulling, hoisting, lifting and dropping him as they climbed up the hill. It took almost an hour! 

By the time they reached the top and put him down on all four legs, he was shaking like a leaf.  He was so traumatized and exhausted from the ordeal, I lay with him on the floor to comfort him for the next two hours. 

What a night. My back is feeling it, but he's safe now.  And, that's what matters most to my family.  To play it safe, Aidan created a barrier of patio chairs along the top of the hill to discourage him from getting close to the edge again.  I also couldn't help but think that thankfully he didn't fall down during the day because he would have had to wait there for hours until everyone got home.  That would have been awful for him and me!

Aloha is the love of a family dog.  Dogs not only love us unconditionally, but they bring us together, teach us how to care for others and teach us how to be a family and come together in a crisis.  We have to work harder to get to know our pets because we don't speak the same language as them.  So, we're forced to learn each other's habits and cues.  After 13 years, we can say we know Hutch.  And, Hutch knows us.

We absolutely love and adore our Hutch.  He is the oldest dog of his size at our vet's office, breaking all kinds of records.  He is so loyal and protective, especially of our 18-lb. Chihuahua-Pincher mix, Pinto.  And, I'm sure that's why he sought the coyote.  Hutch will not come into the house until he knows danger has passed.  We got very close to losing Pinto last year to a coyote, but Hutch always managed to scare them off every time that we didn't get outside fast enough.

Personally, I had never owned a dog before, but I've been bit by one.  Yet I wouldn't let my fear of being bit again trump my desire to learn how to love and be loved by a dog.  I have learned so much about loving a dog since meeting Hutch and Pinto.  Now, I'm a total dog lover!  And even if I didn't know it, I sure knew it last night when I heard him crying at the bottom of the hill.  My heart broke into a million pieces and I was so grateful we were able to save him.

If you have a family pet, give them an extra hug tonight.  Make sure you let them know how much you love and appreciate them.  They deserve aloha more than you think as pets are easy to take for granted, aren't they?

Ever since this incident, I have made sure to give Hutch a lot more love. And, he's loving every minute of it.

Live, Love and Lead with Aloha!

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