So I am finally sitting down to tell the story from a few weeks ago when Henry got hit by a car, the story has a happy ending (thankfully).
But first, a little back story on the pup named Henry:
Henry is a malti-poo rescue, you wouldn't be able to tell it by looking at him - people think he's a designer or posh dog. He is quite good looking. He has those piercing, human eyes and they're mesmerizing.
The reality is that they found Henry's Mom on the side of the road, a small poodle pregnant only with Henry. Right from the beginning, my assistant at the time, Gaby (who found Henry) said that when she called the shelter, there were 12 dogs - Henry was the leader of the pack.
This holds true to this day. Whenever we go to the dog park, no matter which one - he's leading a pack of larger dogs, running after him. Again, by looking at him, you would never know that he is one of the fastest dogs around. It's insane. His short legs and his ability to be nimble allows him to pick up tremendous speed and turn on a dime. It's actually quite impressive.
Henry at 2.5 months old
Henry has always been a smooth dude. He doesn't shed (hypo-allergenic), is super chill inside and very lively outside. He's always friendly, loves children and people. I've taken him on trains, planes and automobiles. He's sat in restaurants, bars and clubs. He is a down dog and loves doing down dog! Haha.
Hours before the "incident"
On Memorial Day Weekend, it started off as lively as ever. We went up to my friend's spot Friday night (Henry of course comes with everywhere), we went to my other friend's house on Saturday in Beverly Hills and went for a hike with all our dogs in Mandeville Canyon. During this hike, Henry would end up getting a Foxtail plant stuck in his paw. This is a terrible plant that grows in SoCal (May-Oct) and should be monitored for if you have a pet. Here is the article talking about it: Foxtail Grass and Your Dog
This crappy plant harms all types of animals: poisons horses, kills dogs and cats
I was throwing a tennis ball we found on the trail and Henry was running up a storm, this also led to his paws being severely cut up as the trail is rocks and dirt. Regardless, he had a good time. I didn't notice the foxtail lodged in his paw, but that would come later.
The next day (Sunday) we went to Topanga Canyon to visit some friends who bought a house there. As always, Henry loves nature and we were in the mix for most of the day. This is Sunday now, he has been active for the whole weekend.
Mind the mess, they just moved in!!!
After a fun day we headed back to Hollywood, and THIS is where the incident took place. As we were emptying out the car at 10:30pm, our plan was drop off the pups, our stuff, shower and go out. I walked Henry across the street and set him down as I always do. I walk him without a leash consistently and he's quite good (can get excited when he sees other dogs).
We were double parked in the road across the street emptying out the car. As I went to go get more stuff from the car, Henry was sitting patiently staring at me from across the street. I figured one of my buddies was walking back across the street so Henry wouldn't be alone. I was wrong. Very wrong. And the next thing that happened will be a reminder that dogs, no matter how well trained, how well behaved, are eternal 5 year olds.
Henry thought for some reason that we were leaving him and not to be left behind started running back towards us and into the street. At the same time, a car coming from the opposite direction was approaching going about 30 miles per hour, a bit fast for a crowded street, but I do not place blame on them at all. It was like a terrible slow motion movie. Henry entered the street at the exact same time as the car was going by and you just hear a loud THUMP as the front of the car smashes into Henry's 25 pound body.
My 2 friends and I cry out incredulously, I literally scream and yell, drop my bag (which shattered my new Issey Miyake cologne my Mom got me, I wouldn't know this till later, but it got all over everything) and run to the front of the vehicle that hit Henry. My first thoughts were of course that my beautiful furry boy was either dead or severely injured lying in front of the car. I get to the front of the car, and NO HENRY. What the...!?
I look up and I see a blur of a tail taking off. I take off after him. My friends are completely confused as to why I started running (they also both thought I was going to drag the person driving out of the car and beat him up, lol)... I start yelling at the top of my lungs: HENRY, HENNNNNNNRRRYYY! Usually, he would listen to my voice and just stop, but not this time.
I take off down the street and my phone flies out of my pocket, it shatters, I keep running. More things fly out of my pocket, I keep sprinting. I don't see Henry - he's that fast. I come across a person and say in a bewildered manner: "Have you see a dog run by!?" I must have looked like a crazy person with my disheveled hair (my hat flew off too). I come across 8 cops standing around just talking. I ask them if they have seen my dog, they say no. I tell them he was just hit by a car and they just all blankly stare at me. @(^#@%@&%$ ya know? Aren't you supposed to protect AND SERVE!?
I get to the busy intersection of Franklin Ave, which is 4 lanes across. I have to wait for the light, then continue running. I come across more people who say that they saw a dog flying by as if the Devil himself was chasing him (later we would say that Henry was running from the Grim Reaper himself)... I keep yelling his name: HENRY, HENNNNNNNNRRRYYY!!!
(Via Lindsay Ross Blog)
I keep running and reach Hollywood Blvd, another 4 lane, extremely busy intersection, no Henry. I have to once again wait for the light and I kept running. My thoughts were he was going to go crawl up somewhere and die. I could feel the tears wanting to come out but I held them back, fighting the negative thoughts. Henry could have gone a multitude of directions, but I kept being pulled South... and I kept yelling his name: HENRY!!!!
I almost reach Sunset Blvd, and I see a man with a dog on the leash across the street.... IT'S HENRY!!!! The man apparently rescues dogs for a living and saw Henry running out of control, was able to slow him down and calm him down. When I reached Henry, he looked at me and it seemed like he didn't know who I was - he was so dazed, confused, shocked and frightened. I was just so happy that he was alive and it looked like nothing even happened.
The guy gave me the leash he had, another lady caught up with me and had my cell phone and my friends drove up a few minutes later. After all was said and done, Henry sprinted over half a mile in a minute through two of the busiest intersections around on Memorial Day weekend. The fact that he didn't get hit again is mind boggling.
Henry's path from North to South
We took Henry in the car, my buddy driving is a Doctor (not a Vet of course) but checked him out anyway and while Henry was limping a bit and walking slow, overall he seemed fine. I would take him to the Vet early Tuesday morning, he had a scratch on his nose (we hadn't noticed his foxtail yet because of the hairy paw and all the hoopla). The Vet said that smaller dogs usually fair better than bigger dogs when it comes to getting hit by cars. Henry was able to somewhat anticipate the car, ricochet off of it and take off. Absolutely insane.
I would notice on Thursday that his paw was getting disgusting and raw. As he was due for a teeth cleaning, I took him in early Friday morning and of course he needed to have surgery while under to now remove the foxtail that became more lodged in as the week went by. He would also have to wear a cone around his head for a week.
Henry Drugged Up
Henry Drugged Up but trying...
Doesn't stop him from trying...
Dogs are amazing creatures. They are some of the most resilient animals around. After a few days, he wouldn't even know that the cone was around his head. It was quite comical seeing him constantly just running into things, frolicking and prancing around - still as happy as ever.
Henry getting some Sun
In the end, I am SO grateful I still have my best friend. He turns 3 next month and the average lifespan of dogs in California is 12. I couldn't help the feeling that I was a bad Dad. I had let Henry down, but I can't beat myself up about it. We all make mistakes and thankfully we came out on the right side of things. My pledge going forward is to love him even more and be more aware of the surroundings we are in. Henry was obviously not ready to leave either. I am extremely grateful for all the good people who helped and to the Universe for watching out for him.
Henry back to 100%