So… early this morning I was sound asleep when Christa starts yelling outside in a panic for our dogs, Enli and Dingo. She burst into the room saying they are gone. I jump up, throw on a pair of shorts and sandals and go running out the door. Usually when they run away it is to the horse pasture to chase the horses. Christa said they ran as hard as they could for the woods. She went running into the woods yelling and I got on my motorcycle revving the engine and honking the horn riding down to the shooting range. I figured since they love to chase the bike they would come running. They did not. I shut off the motor and could hear what sounded like a vicious fight on the other side of the swamp.
Behind our house are thick woods, behind that is a swamp. It is listed on maps as Spring Lake Prairie. There is no spring, there is no lake, and there is no prairie. It is a bona fide Florida swamp. It is the source of plagues of mosquitoes and frogs. We don’t go back there much, even so we do know our way around out there.
The bike is not a canoe so I ditched it and started running through the woods and into the swamp. It wasn’t sounding like my dogs were winning the fight. Unfortunately, I did not see a hole and stepped into it wrong. I went down and heard a loud crack as I did. The fire ran from my ankle up my leg. The ankle instantaneously swelled to twice the size it should be. My dogs were still barking and screaming. I got up yelling to Christa I had just broken my ankle. Deeper into the swamp I went. The cold water felt good.
I climbed over the barbed wire fence that runs through the swamp separating our property from the neighbors and was knee deep in water when I saw Enli and Dingo at the edge of the water on the other side. I waded across, hollered to Christa that I found them, and yelled at them to get over here. They waded into the water towards me. Enli rolled over in a submissive posture knowing I was angry and revealed deep lacerations to his belly and throat. That little move also let stagnant swamp water pour into his open wounds. Dingo was limping. I don’t know where the fight took place or why the other party broke it off. Enli tried to get up, but was having obvious trouble doing so. I picked him up and carried him back across the swamp. Christa met me at the barbed wire fence and took him from me. Her face was pure horror when she saw her beloved dog and his wounds. I made it to the house and crumpled there. I wasn’t taking another step. My adrenaline had started to wear off and the pain was excruciating.
Years ago we had a similar incident where Shadow was shredded by three other dogs and Christa got her hand broken breaking up the fight. Back then we called Christa’s sister, Joanne. We called her today. Joanne took me to the emergency room for x-rays while Christa took Enli to the emergency vet. We owe her many thanks for helping us.
My diagnosis from the ER so far is a chipped fibula at the tip of the bone. I go to the ortho doc this week after the swelling goes down to find out if it also involved a tendon or ligament. No adventures for me for a while. Usually when I get hurt there is a much cooler story behind it. Stepping in a hole… well that just doesn’t have the same cool factor that most of my other injuries had.
Enli ended up being put under anesthesia to have his wounds deep cleaned and sutured. He has latex drains sewn in. It looks like they tangled with a hog. He has a long, deep gash across his right shoulder and one across his throat consistent with a tusk being thrust upward and across him. He got really lucky. My bank account… not so much. Emergency surgery is expensive. I am really curious what the hog looks like. I can’t go back to look for it, so I guess I will never know.
Dingo is still limping hard and got some rimadyl. Other than that, he appears to be fine.
The best we can figure is that Enli and Dingo scented some hogs and ran off after them. Over the last few years we have been having more and more wildlife on our property. The deer and turkeys are cool to see. The bobcat and hawks, while interesting, pose a danger to our dogs, especially Rastas, our chihuahua. The hogs usually stay on the back of the property and root around near the swamp. I always figured if they left us alone and that was the worst they did, I would leave them alone. This was crossing a line. As Bugs Bunny used to say, “You know, THIS MEANS WAR!!” As soon as this leg heals up, there are going to be a lot of dead hog carcasses in the woods.