Dog Survives Four-Story Fall, Finds New Home
Canine's amazing journey ends in care of loving owner.
Lying in the critical care unit at Angell Animal Medical, Blackie, a Cairn terrier mix, really needed a friend. The dog had plunged through a fourth-floor apartment window in Lawrence, Mass. and hurtled to the ground. His owners had witnessed the accident. They rushed the dog to the MSPCA-Nevins Farm, where veterinarians diagnosed Blackie with a traumatic head injury.
The dog had come through the fall without breaking a single bone, according to Rob Halpin, MSPCA-Angell spokesman, but as a result of the blow to his head, Blackie couldn't see and couldn't walk.
Doctors hoped the losses would be temporary, but no one could say for sure if the little dog could make a full recovery.
And then, Blackie's sad story became even sadder -- because he also needed a new home.
"His owners opted not to keep him because they were concerned about the length of time his recovery would take," Halpin said. "So they surrendered Blackie to Nevins Farm."
The Nevins never counted Blackie out.
"Thankfully we were able to provide Blackie the initial care he needed after such a tragic accident because of generous donations to our Angels for Animals Fund," said Mike Keiley, director of the Noble Family Animal Care and Adoption Center at Nevins.
After the initial evaluation, the Nevins transferred the little dog to the critical care unit at Boston's Angell Animal Medical where Dr. Jaclyn Morency took over the case, Halpin said.
"Our initial focus was to reduce Blackie's pain and anxiety, and we were able to do that quite effectively with pain medication and by keeping him comfortable," she said.
That's when Katelyn Guay, an attendant in the critical care unit, noticed the sad little patient.
"I saw him really quickly," she said, as she was passing by. But Guay wasn't working in the unit that day, and she didn't deal with Blackie's treatment. She did know he was "almost completely blind" and "wobbled" when he tried to walk.
But she also noticed Blackie was a Cairn terrier mix, and that's the breed she and her family love, she said. When Guay heard Blackie's story, she "felt bad" because he had lost his home and was up for adoption. On the spur of the moment, she filled out the adoption application, and the Nevins accepted her.
Doctors didn't give her any guarantees about his future, she said.
"They told me head injuries are pretty unpredictable," Guay said, and problems might recur. Morency had thought the dog would walk and see again because Blackie, thought to be between six months old and a year old, had youth on his side and was otherwise in good health, Halpin said.
And for now at least, Blackie can see and walk, as doctors had hoped. He also isn't on any medication, but Guay will monitor his progress carefully, she said.
"You wouldn't know anything had happened," she said. "He is doing amazing. He's not even the same dog. He's gone back to being a puppy." Guay said Blackie is either playing "nonstop" or is "passed out" on the couch from too much playing.
"We love him to death," she said. "It feels like we've always had him."
Blackie has also met her parent's two Cairn terriers. They're a little standoffish, she said, especially the 11-year-old, but the dogs all get along, and he loves them.
Guay knows Blackie might someday suddenly lose his eyesight again, but she is taking one day at a time, she said. The important thing, she said, is that Blackie is happy. He knows he has a home and people who will take care of him, she said.
To contribute to Blackie's medical expenses or to help animals in a similar predicament, go to www.mspca.org/blackie for details about the MSPCA-Nevins Farm's fund.
Pictured: Katelyn Guay, an attendant in the critical care unit at Angell Animal Medical, has adopted Blackie. The Cairn terrier mix suffered a serious head injury in a four-story fall out a window but has since recovered his eyesight and ability to walk. (Photo Courtesy of MSPCA-Angell)
What do you think of Blackie's story? Have you heard of animals surviving similar accidents? Tell us your thoughts below!
2 years ago
I have heard cats have a better chance if they fall from higher up, Blackie's story is very touching, Abby was picked up as a stray in calafornia by a high kill shelter she had a broken leg that needed surgery she had come from a puppy mill and had been overbred is what the shelter thought they saved her leg and they figure she was hit by a car when she escaped from the puppy mill or jumped out of a car window she lived and she is now my sweet little dog also I had neighbor's who moved out they left the kitten behind and took the momma cat this has happened to me twice the most recent was Storm her mother Rain got to move with the owner but Storm had been dumped and I took her in and found her a new home then there was a little gray one when I was a bit younger that I took in and found a new home that was Oatmeal I wish he could have stayed but Teddy and Biff the two older cats Biff was an alley cat we had taken in did not seem to be too fond of Oatmeal so he had to find a new home.
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