ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Kathy Johnson cradled her greyhound in the back of a stranger’s pick-up truck, pressing a T-shirt against the dog’s gushing wounds as they rushed to an emergency veterinary hospital.
“At that point, I was pretty sure he was going to bleed to death,” Johnson said. “I was horrified. I couldn’t stop shaking.”
The greyhound, named Jack, was in dire straits after being attacked by two dogs who escaped their yard while Johnson was taking him for a walk. He couldn’t walk or stand, and multiple wounds covered his neck, legs and shoulders.
But today, Jack is on the mend, thanks to the doctors and technicians at BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospital in Ann Arbor. And the brave greyhound now has a fan club with members across the globe who are cheering his progress on a Facebook page.
The attack occurred on June 21, as Johnson and her husband walked their greyhounds, Jack and Guinevere, through their Lincoln Park neighborhood. Two dogs escaped their yard and began viciously biting Jack everywhere they could reach.
“I started screaming and kicking,” Johnson said. “My husband couldn’t do anything because he had our other dog and couldn’t get close.”
Neighbors rushed out to help, and one good Samaritan drove Johnson and Jack to an emergency clinic. From there, Jack was referred to BluePearl, which has doctors with years of advanced training to handle complex injuries like Jack’s.
Dr. Noah Bander, the BluePearl clinician overseeing Jack’s care, closed Jack’s wounds and attached special drains to help the delicate greyhound skin heal properly. Working with neurologists from Dogwood Veterinary Referral Center, they determined Jack was suffering from a spinal contusion.
“He made steady improvements every day,” Bander said. “In addition to caring for his wounds, we performed physical therapy with him multiple times a day to make sure he didn’t lose his muscle mass and to help regain muscle memory.”
It took more than a week, but Jack was finally able to get up on his own and even began taking a few tentative steps. He still isn’t back to his normal self but he’s continuing to undergo rehabilitation and is making progress.
“We got lucky,” Johnson said. “Jack is a big, strong sturdy dog.”
The owners of the dogs who attacked Jack were ticketed by the local Animal Control, and the dogs may also be designated as “dangerous” under a local ordinance, she added.
Johnson said she’s been overwhelmed by the support she has received, both from the veterinarians tending to Jack and the nearly 400 people who have joined Jack’s Facebook page to offer good wishes.
“It’s gratifying to see people pull together like this,” she said. “Greyhound people are really special people.”