Puppy Thought to Be Dead Surprises Owner Before Burial

 |  Dec 19th 2011  |   20 Contributions


Scamp and Reta McKinlay at the veterinary clinic where he recuperated after the accident (AP Photo/<em>The Olympian</em>, Tony Overman)

Paul McKinlay saw Scamp, his 8-month-old Yorkie-Shih Tzu mix, slip under the fence and run to the dark and winding road in Washington state earlier this month. He ran to get his pup, but then he heard it. The sickening thud, the yelp, then nothing.

The dog he and his wife had earlier this year given their 6-year-old twin grandchildren, who live with them, was unresponsive. Blood. Fixed eyes. No breath. No heartbeat. The woman who hit him was crying. McKinlay and his wife were devastated. They wrapped the dog, Scamp, in a blanket, placed him under an overturned wheelbarrow, and went to tell the twins.

"[Paul] was going to bury him the next morning so we went into the house and just told the kids the dog had gotten hit by a car and that he had gone to heaven like in that movie, All Dogs Go to Heaven, " Reta McKinlay said in an ABC News story. "My grandson was crying. He asked if [Scamp] evaporated like in the movie and I said, 'Yes, that's what happened.'" (A little boy asking about a dead dog evaporating ... how heartbreaking is that?)

The kids went to another relative's house the next day, and Paul McKinlay went to bury Scamp. He lifted up the wheelbarrow, and there was Scamp. But he wasn't still wrapped in the blanket. He was sitting up, clearly injured, but very much alive.

The McKinlays rushed the little dog to the veterinary hospital, where he was found to have a bad concussion, bruises, broken teeth, and a possible jaw fracture.

"My husband has just been emotionally distraught that he left [Scamp] out in the cold, although all the vets say that's what saved him. It stopped his brain from swelling and that's ultimately why he lived," Reta McKinlay said. "They said that being under the wheelbarrow was just perfect, it couldn't have been any better."

Scamp stayed there for days, and got fixed up to the tune of $3,000. The grandkids were thrilled when they learned Scamp was back and going to make it. With a little mending of that fence, I don't think this dog will be evaporating any time soon.

Dogsters, we've written about this sort of dead-dog-turns-out-to-be-alive phenomenon before. Can you imagine? I think I would have to change my pants if that happened to me. How can we make sure our dogs really are dead before burying them or having them cremated? The vets have their ways, but I wonder if there's anything we can do to make sure dead is really dead. (Your English literature assignment for Monday: If you are interested in an Edgar Allan Poe story relating to this, check out The Premature Burial.)

Sources: KATU, ABC News

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