Callie Auditions For The Next
Installment of "Survivor!"

Callie, recovering from her close encounter
with a Subaru Outback...
Photo  May 16, 2001

        On May 12, 2001, Aaron and I had been out and about running some errands.  It was a beautiful day -- sunny and warm.  When we arrived home at noon, I let Max and Callie out into the backyard, and put 2-3 parcels into the refrigerator.  Then I turned to the back door to call Max and Callie inside [since they'd been out for quiet a while earlier in the morning].  At that moment  I saw a sight that all of us who are owned by, and love Basenjis, dread most -- my backyard gate was WIDE open!

         Not stopping to call out to Aaron, or even to take a breath, I rushed out the back door and down the driveway.  Once again, I was confronted by a sight that none of us ever want to see... Although only 3-4 minutes had elapsed since I put Max and Callie out into the yard, when I reached the middle of my driveway I could see cars.    Several stopped cars.  My heart sank, and my eyes filled with tears.... I could only imagine that both of my old friends had tried to cross the county road together -- and had been hit.

        As I reached the end of the drive,  I saw a young woman kneeling in the drainage swill on the opposite side of the road.  She was covering a dog with her jacket.   I could see, even from a distance and through my tears, that the dog was Callie.  As I ran across the road I called out to her -- and her head came up to look for me.  But the rest of her did not move...  As I knelt down beside her,  the couple who had hit her approached -- they had been standing off to the side of the road.  Both of them were in tears as they told me how they'd tried to stop in time, but couldn't.... I do not know the couple's name.  I didn't take the business card they tried to give me.  It seemed so unimportant at the time, but now, I wish I had.  I wish  that I could tell them that the story had a HAPPY {yes, happy!] ending...

      Kneeling beside Callie,  I suddenly realized that nearly 13 yr. old Max was still roaming the neighborhood.  I was so panic-stricken that I simply stood up and started screaming his name!   I begged the folks who had stopped their cars along the road to help me find Max.  They did.  To the mother and her 11-13 yr. old son, who took time out of their Saturday afternoon to help me, THANK YOU.  I do not know your names, either, but I won't ever forget you!  Off they went through my neighbors' backyards, calling and searching.  In only a few minutes, I heard the woman shout "Here's the boy dog!"  Her voice was coming from a backyard several houses away -- so leaving Callie in the care of the Good Samaritans, I rushed off to collect Max -- who was oblivious to all of the turmoil and thoroughly enjoying his stroll though someone's rose garden...

        Several people helped me wrap Callie in a blanket, and transport both Max and Callie back to my house.  Max was installed in his basement kennel, and Aaron [who had been playing Nintendo] was hustled out of the house so that we could make the 15 minute drive to the emergency vet clinic.  Aaron flew out of the house  -- no shoes on his feet --  ready to go [and showing a great deal more intestinal fortitude than I was!].   The couple that had helped me put Max back into the house, and provided their stadium blanket for Callie, were Udo Koch and Diane Landaur.  They'd been on their way to work that Saturday afternoon, saw the accident and stopped to help.  Little did I know how MUCH they would help!  Diane grabbed my cell phone out of my hand, and called ahead to the emergency clinic to let them know we were coming.  Then, she leaned into the open window of my Jeep and whispered "Do you think you can drive?"  I told her "no" -- I didn't think so....  So quickly, and without a single word exchanged, we all climbed into Udo's car and headed for the emergency vet.

Udo and Diane waited with us at the vet's office for the entire afternoon, while Callie was examined, x-rayed, started on IV fluids, etc.    And they were there to receive the startling news that  Aaron and I heard from the ER vet...

Callie had NO broken bones, and NO apparent internal injuries.  Her neck and spine were fine.  She was now standing up, walking, and there was no blood in her urine.  While she would not be "out of the woods" for 48-72 hours, it APPEARED that she had avoided  serious injury [or worse] by some sort of divine intervention!   Udo and Diane drove Aaron and me home from the vet's office, and with plenty of hugs and thank-you's,  we said goodbye.  I think that these two  strangers, whom we came to know in our 3.5 long hours in the emergency veterinary clinic, were sent down our county road that day pursuant to some sort of "plan."   I'm not sure what "kind" of plan!  But Udo and Diane -- who have three dogs of their own -- told me that they simply felt compelled to help.  And of course,  Aaron, Callie and I are eternally grateful for that!

To shorten this too-long tale, Callie was indeed a stiff and sore little girl in the days after her boxing match with the Subaru Outback -- but her appetite never wavered, and her progress over the following week was nothing short of amazing!  Her only real  "injury" was to the one part of her body that we failed to x-ray:  Her tail!  Yes, she apparently LANDED ON and BROKE her tail... Thankfully [grin!] it was not too curly to start with [grin!] so accepting the "new and improved" version should not be difficult.... Callie visited our own vet on the Monday following the accident, and received a very thorough exam which confirmed that while she was bruised and sore, she was a VERY lucky  brindle girl!

This story has many heroes!

The first "hero" is Callie herself.  What an indomitable spirit she has!  Throughout her ordeal, she looked at all of the strangers working to help her with such kindness -- never lifting a lip to them, even when it took several obviously uncomfortable attempts to get her IV fluids started!  The ER vet called her "A Little Humvee" [one of those indestructible all-terrain vehicles] -- a nickname that has been shortened to "Hummer" -- and which can now be heard around our house on a daily basis... 

The other heroes of this tale are of course, Udo and Diane, the mother and son who helped to located Max, the young woman who reached Callie first after the accident, and yes, the couple who struck Callie with their vehicle.   Their concern, and their tears, meant so much to me.  In a world that often treats such events as trivial, the fact that THEY did NOT is both personally touching and uplifting. 

I have only two regrets about this incident.  One, of course, is that it happened.  My backyard gate locked from the inside, but failed to "catch" on the outside -- making it appear to Aaron and to me that we'd  closed and locked the gate as always.  In fact, the gate was merely "balanced" in a closed position.  Perhaps the wind blew it open?  Perhaps Max "helped" it to open with his nose?  Whatever transpired, the gate has now been thoroughly secured from the inside to eliminate the chance of such a thing happening in  the future.  My other regret is that I will never get a chance to tell the couple who hit Callie that she is FINE.  I wish I had taken their business card.  I wish one of my neighbors could remember their name.  I  check my mailbox every day  hoping that perhaps I will find a note from them -- and will have a chance to tell them that Callie is doing well.... Maybe they will somehow find their way to this web page?  Stranger things have happened!

After a few weeks of R&R and some reconditioning for her sore muscles, Callie plans to take a few practice tours around a lure course, and,  if she deems it appropriate, will proceed to run for her LCM 3 title in the Veteran Stake  [she needs 42 points to finish].  Callie LOVES to course and I'm thankful that it appears she will have the opportunity to continue to "play the game" she enjoys so much!  My vet believes that Callie's years of lure coursing -- which have kept her in very good condition for her age (she is 10.5 yrs. old) -- played a significant part in how well she survived the collision, and how quickly she's recovered.

This story could have one of several "morals:"  

It is Hard to Stop a Brindle Humvee!

If You Are Auditioning for the Next Installment of 
"Survivor," Make Sure Someone is Operating
The Video Camera!"

You May Not Be Able To  "Box" With God, But You CAN
"Box" With a Subaru Outback!

God Remembered Callie's Penchant for Destroying
Expensive Undergarments, and Decided Not to 
"Call Her Home "Just Yet!


Callie -- ON THE COURSING FIELD -- June 17, 2001! 

 Despite some very warm temperatures, Callie made her triumphant return to the field in Rantoul, IL on Father's Day, 200 1.  In traditional "Callie" fashion, she put in two hard-driving runs in the Veteran stake to earn her points -- but the points were, after all, NOT "the point!"  Her positively joyful "kills" at the ends of these runs very nearly had me, and several by-standers in tears!   Even better, Callie wasn't the least bit stiff or sore -- in fact, I had to literally drag her off the field after her final run.  She was ready to "go again!"  At 10.5 years, I convinced her not to "push" it -- and I certainly won't tell her that this photo shows a BIT of gray around her muzzle...   What are "years" anyway -- when there are so many bunnies left to chase and kill!

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Copyright 2001
Karla A. Schreiber