Thursday, January 13, 2011

Faith's rescue

I posted this on my Freedom blog but thought I'd post it here too.

I have never been superstitious about the number 13. Its a number. Today, however, I think I'll associate it with good luck, not bad.


We started off the day fairly normal. The kids left for school, Rodney and I had our coffee and breakfast together, the dogs went outside, and we started getting ourselves ready for the day. It was only 14 degrees when we woke up so we were bundling up extra tight before we headed out.

I went out to feed the little orphan calf, who, by the way, I've decided to name Damit. (I know I spelled it wrong but this way it isn't actually cursing). The reason I've named him this is because I was constantly going, "Damit, stop it! Get your head out of my butt, Damit. Damit, that hurt!" and so on.

So, back to my story. I was doing my chores... emptying the huge block of ice from the goat water bucket so that I could fill it with fresh, unfrozen water, giving the bunny feed and water, trying to make Damit eat some sweet feed instead of just milk by shoving it in his mouth, "Here Damit, eat this".

I noticed only Sophie and Charlotte were with me so I started calling Emma. It was only a couple minutes and she came bounding through the yard. It occurred to me that Faith was not with her but this isn't too unusual, it generally takes her a few more minutes to get home from wherever the heck they go, so I just kept right on about my business.

Since I was already bundled up, I decided to make the most of the morning and take my camera out to shoot some pictures. This is when the plot thickens.

I was going to go out in the woods. My mind had been made up that I wanted to hike through the trees before all the snow was gone. But, a little voice said, "you'll have to go through the goat pen to get out there and Damit will follow you the whole way and it's not going to be fun. So I made the very conscious choice to walk across the pond dam.

Sophie, Charlotte, Emma and I headed out. They are always so excited to go anywhere, even if it's just to the mailbox.


The pond was frozen over. I thought maybe I'd see some ducks to take pictures of but there were none. I threw some rocks out onto the ice, it makes the coolest sound when it hits and I wanted to see just how thick the ice was. Emma started eyeballing the rocks I was throwing as if she might be contemplating fetching them so I figured I'd better stop or she might just go out there.


We walked a little further, my mind on a million things when I spotted Emma out on the ice. "Emma, come back! Don't go out there!" I started to freak a little because Emma is not one for listening. "Momma has a cookie Emma!"

This is how well she listens.

Then it dawned on me she was headed towards something. I couldn't make it out. At first I thought, "oh no, a duck is frozen to the water or something". So I used the lens on my camera to zoom in and see what it was.


The picture is blurred because as soon as I realized what it was, I went into rescue mode. Faith had fallen through the ice. She was barely above the water could not get a grasp on anything to get herself out.

I don't know if I've ever blogged about my inability to handle emergency situations or not but, I'm telling you right now...it hasn't gotten any better with age. My brain went to another place and my body went with it. I started running, no particular direction, just running. I started to rationalize that I was panicking and trying to calm myself so I could think of what to do.

Call Rodney, Call Rodney. It took me what seemed like an eternity to figure out how to even make a call but I finally got him on the phone. "Faith, gasp gasp, is in the pond!!" He said, "I'm coming!"

He was just down the road in the tractor so I knew he would be there quickly. Then I thought, "Call 911, Call 911". I really had no idea at this point how we were going to get her out. The 911 operator took my frantic call and said somebody was on their way.

Then it dawned on me, finally, "we need the boat, we need the boat!"

I called Mom and Dad and took a few years off of their lives. My voice in a frenzied pitch, "Faith fell through the ice! We need the boat we need the boat!!"

She was barely hanging on. I kept saying her name, screaming her name, telling her not to give up. At one point I contemplated going in after her but that same little voice that sent me to the pond, said "don't you dare!"

Mom and Dad showed up in the Yukon and Rodney showed up with the boat on the tractor (he handles these things much better than me). He and Dad put the boat in the pond and then Dad pushed Rodney out onto the ice. We had no ore, so Rodney used a piece of metal that he plunged in the ice and dragged himself and the boat to where she was and pulled her out.


Once he had her in the boat, he couldn't pull himself the rest of the way to shore because of the thickness of the ice. By this time the rescue workers had arrived and had a rope that they used to pull to boat to shore.

We wrapped her in my coat, loaded her in the Yukon and brought her home. I called my vet to find out the best way to warm her. They told me to put her in a luke warm bath then get her dry and gradually warm her up. At first it seemed perilous. She was ridged and shivering, unable to even keep her head out of the bath water. I had to make smart decisions to keep her from going into shock (although she might already have been) and get her body temperature back up.

Once I got her somewhat dry, I wrapped her in a towel and blanket and sat and held her closely. We rocked in the rocking chair and I assured her that everything would be fine. She shivered for a very long time but I had learned from searching google that this was actually a good thing. When the shivering quieted a bit, I laid her on the couch with a heating pad. This is when I took her temperature. It was only 93〫. I got a little more aggressive with the warming until she was back up to normal temp.


Once she was warm through and through, I gave her a little something to eat and let her have a nice long nap in front of the fireplace.

I'm gonna start listening a whole lot more closely to that little voice. For some reason it seems for me to want to keep Faith around, that's for sure. I've always said that things happen in threes. This should be number three. I rescued her from being abandoned. I rescued her from the well. Now, I've rescued her from the frozen pond.

Thank you to my husband and my parents that jumped to her aid. And thanks to the rescue workers for their efficiency and speed in getting here... all for the life of a little, blind dog.

2 comments:

The Heartbeats said...

I think Faith is a cat! I also think Faith has a really great name! Bless her heart!

Priscilla said...

OMG!!! Bless you, bless your family, bless your dogs!!
I'm so glad that Faith was rescued!! I'm just reading your previous post...Too many things have happened for you. You must have been so scared! I would be too!
I'm just so glad she is safe and sound with you now.