Workers at a Vancouver-area nursing home were shocked when they discovered that a white toy poodle had fallen from the sky and landed on the grounds of their care home. The dog was badly injured, with multiple broken ribs and inch-deep talon wounds. The suspect: A bird of prey that got a little too greedy.
No one saw the dog drop, but “the veterinarians just feel that thats the only way that the type of wounds that she has could have occurred, said Shannon Broderick, manager of the SPCAs Sunshine Coast branch.
Eagles and other raptors in the area generally eat fish or rodents. At 18 pounds, the dog was a good deal heavier than even the rabbits some of the larger birds pluck off the ground. The pooch’s relative heft is probably what caused the bird to lose its lunch, albeit in a frighteningly literal sense of the phrase.
The dog, who ended up with the name May because she was found in early May, is recovering well.
In an odd way, it was the six-year-old dog’s lucky day when the bird picked her up. Veterinary staffers say May was likely a stray at the time. She had no tags, badly overgrown nails, and decaying teeth. No one has come forth to claim her.
Of course, May’s day didn’t really become lucky until the bird lost its grip and dropped her not on a highway or a picket fence, but on the grassy grounds of a care home full of nurses.
The eagle may be regretting not doing more bicep curls before trying to muscle a creature that size, but May isn’t complaining. The only rough patch ahead is upcoming dental surgery, which will cost upwards of $4,000. (!) After she has recovered, she’ll be put up for adoption.
(The SPCA is raising money to cover the medical costs. You can donate by calling 604-740-0301, or visitng the SPCA website.)
Last month another white toy poodle, this one in Kenyon, Minn., went through a similar near-death-experience at the hands (talons) of another raptor. The eagle had swooped down and grabbed Peanut up in its claws, said owner Renee Schmidt. The little dog was yelping and twisting, biting at the birds legs trying to get free. It was awful. The eagle ended up dropping Peanut from about 30 feet in the sky. Peanut was badly hurt, and needed immediate surgery, but survived and continues to recover.
The lesson here: If you have a small dog, watch him like a hawk when you’re outside. (Just not with the same motivation…)