I’ve written this mostly for my healing. . . but this is what happened with my pups yesterday.
We started our hike from the horse parking lot at Yellow River to meet a friend that was down the trail at the field and really at the beginning of the trail with 3 bigger dogs and 2 medium sized dogs. Nyla and Cosby were doing their normal marking on the very beginning of the trail about 50 to 100 feet in on the right. Out of the corner of my eye I spot a creature going into the trail from the right (which has a park road entrance not more than 75 feet away on the right) to left and thought it was my friend’s goldn color collie mix. Once my pals got down the trail, they went crazy sniffing on the left side of the trail and took off into the woods. I called for them to leave it (some of the training we had worked on at home, but not enough on the trail) and to come on.
About 10 seconds later my friend’s dogs greeted me and then we heard the screaming of Nyla or Cosby. I screamed that was not good and “something must have gotten them”. My friend said their scream was on the move. I ran, as much as I possibly could, down the trail and up an embankment. I was calling for Cosby and Nyla, but I wished now I would have been more commanding and scared the beast or beasts away. I am frantically calling and looking around for my little pals and see and hear nothing. The area wasn’t more than 75 by 100 feet. . . not a large space, but I saw nothing moving and never saw what we think had to be a coyote. Nyla and Cosby had chased it and it must have tuned around and saw 2 morning snacks, perhaps a meal for its young. The creature was only doing what instincts told it to do.
Finally, my friend said she sees Cosby up the trail and near the parking lot, so I head that way. She said she had Cosby secured in the car and we think he was not harmed. I was screaming do you see Nyla? What about Nyla? About that time, I hear another blood curling scream from my little girl and then nothing. . . absolutely nothing, but I’m screaming for Nyla. Little Bear (collie mix) and Savannah (corgi mix) seem to be on the scent and I continue calling for Nyla and I’m hopeful. Finally I see her. . . She’s on her side and I scream out “oh my god, is she dead? Oh my little Nyla”. I pick her up and run back to the trail and I’m calling for my friend to get the car. She’s breathing, so there is hope! We gather dogs and finally get the car moving and some air, but the air conditioning is not working. There is no air movement and it’s so humid and hot and all I want is some air for Nyla. She struggles to breath and I turn to see Cosby is in the back window pacing, so I think he must be ok. He comes down to the back seat and is looking out the window. I think he is fine. Nyla wants down to the floor board and I think that is a good sign, but there is no damn air there! I keep fiddling with the controls and trying my best to keep Nyla comfortable. I keep telling Nyla I’m sorry this has happened and I love her so much. Cosby comes to my lap and I try to coddle him and he screams out and I find the wounds on his side. He was in the grasp of the beast and had gotten away. Now he gets away from me and to the back seat where he won’t have someone grasping his painfully bruised chest.
We finally get to the Village Vets and Cosby has come back to my lap, so I take him in first and hand him to Kristie, my bike pal Ed’s daughter, who is the most awesome caring and loving vet tech ever. Her daughter has ridden with Nyla and Cosby and follow us on Facebook. I warn that Nyla is much worse off and the second tech comes out to get her. They carry them back and Claire says she will take her crew home and be back. It was so hat and muggy and there was no way to leave them in the car.
In the meantime I look at my iPhone and see it’s 10:35 and just 28 minutes since we had started the hike. I text many of my friends that ride and hike with Nyla, Cosby and I ask for prayers (of course, I leave out so many). My friends Lella and Sue say they are on the way. In the meantime, Kristie texts her dad, who Nyla absolutely adored and was with me the day I found her, and he is there in the waiting room to support his beloved little trail pals. I spotted Nyla coming down the mountain bike parking lot road at Yellow River and called for her and she loved me from that moment on. . . she knew she found her new mom. It was just minutes later that Ed showed up and Nyla was in love and knew she and found her new best mountain biking friend (even though she probably had never seen a trail before). I’m quite sure if you are reading this, I’ve told you the story of how her owners gave her to me and for the next year and nine months we hiked and mountain biked at least 3 days a week on average with so many friends.
I posted on Facebook for prayers and it was comforting to know so many people loved seeing my posts of the pals. Thank you!!!
So they eventually let me back to see the pals and I see that Crosby is fine, but Nyla is struggling. In the meantime, they they are trying to stabilize Nyla to go to Sandy Springs where they have a surgeon on hand and call her condition guarded at best and really critical. About an hour later they call me back and the Doctor McC says Nyla is in cardiac arrest and should they do CPR? I ask what are the chances and they are grave. I choose to let my little girl go with no more pain and suffering as we thankfully can do for our pets. It is so hard to give up a fight for this little creature that loved running on the trails, but making her fight for her life wasn’t an option in my mind.
It is so quiet without her in the house, but her spirit is with us. We won’t be scared off the trails by the coyotes who have just as much right to the trails as we do. We will be making more noise to scare them away, as they are very afraid of humans.
Cosby is moving around much better today and will be as good as gold soon. He loved to go, no matter where. . .
I am so blessed to have so many friends be by my side, call, text and be there with me through this. Thank you all . . .