By Matthew Richey

 

~Trapped 3 days. Chews off own paw and stumbles 3km uphill to get home to me~

This is my dog Naima. She has an amazing story...

She was missing up on the mountain near Dahu, Miaoli, Taiwan, for four days. I looked everywhere in vain. This is the first time she had been gone more than a day so I began to think she was gone. I was truly starting to get really sad about losing my friend...

Then on day four she came home limping with a bloodied foot...or half of a foot....bone and tendons hanging off....blood pouring to the ground freely.

She was caught in a gin trap (illegal) about 3km away down-mountain and her foot was injured and had started to rot away when on the fourth day, the vet estimates that she bit off half of her own paw to free herself. 

She then limped her way 3 kilometers up the mountain home to find help. My compassionate neighbor Bruce Liu found her and took her to the vet immediately.

The vet gave her 10% chance of saving her foot. It’s the foot she loves using to hold hands with me. We sometimes hold hands for 10 minutes or longer. She really enjoys it. It’s the sweetest thing I’ve ever participated in. I hold her paw and she looks longingly deep into my eyes and always delivers gratitude to my heart.

I’ve been cleaning the wound twice a day...bone, flesh, tendons and adding an organic jelly to help rejuvenate the nerve cells. 

I have to admit that the infected smell of dog flesh and using my finger to rub the ointment directly onto bone and flesh has been challenging. 

It makes me feel that our bodies are so easily damageable and fragile. I’m so lucky to have both hands after the 38 years of tomfoolery I’ve participated in. So grateful to have hands to play sax and grapple and type.

So yesterday I noticed that she hadn’t moved her injured leg in the past 3 days so I started massaging it and moving it around like rehab. I then tried to get her to raise her paw to shake like she used to love doing but she didn’t have the strength to lift her leg up. We worked on it for about 30 minutes with me helping her. Then something connected and she started to get control over it herself and was able to shakily lift her paw up to shake my hand.

I made her do it every hour yesterday and this morning she had her paw raised so high that when I saw her she looked like a student raising her hand in class. She’s been giving me five all day long seeing how pleased it makes me...

We find out tomorrow if our efforts have paid off. The vet will determine whether or not to amputate it.

Brave doggie. Trapped 3 days. Chews off own paw and stumbles 3km uphill to get home. Warrior. Respect. Grateful. Got my friend back. And we’re going to save her foot!