Home News Local News HOME AGAIN
- Trish Yerges
SUMMERVILLE Wesley McDaniel is a young man of few words, but if wet eyes and a big smile are any clues, then you'll know that Tuck has finally come home.
Tuck was released Friday afternoon from the Animal Health Center in Island City, where he had undergone nearly a week of treatment for severe road burns and brutal lacerations.
"I was so happy and Tuck was, too. He wagged his tail and whined at me," Wesley said.
Tuck was taken from the family's yard April 21 and apparently drug behind a vehicle. He was found the next day miles away on Cricket Flat.
His return home after his stay at the vet was a relief to the whole family.
"That first night home, we stayed up all night long, sitting around Tuck in the living room,'' Wesley's dad, Rich, said. "We didn't get much sleep and neither did Tuck, but we were all so happy to be together again."
Tuck might be home, but he isn't out of the woods yet. He has a long recovery ahead of him. The McDaniels will be taking Tuck back to Dr. Tyson Shirley every other day over the next month or more to have his bandages changed. He still needs anesthesia and sedation to go through the painful bandage-changing routine. A cone has been placed around Tuck's head to prevent him from biting the sutures loose and licking the heavy scabs that cover his numerous road burns.
Heavily padded bandages cover all four of his feet and ankles where the flesh was torn or worn away. Even on morphine, his feet are tender, his steps slow and deliberate. Two different antibiotics and a topical ointment for burns were prescribed to promote healing and ward off infection.
At home, the McDaniels provide Tuck with a plaid doggie pillow where he can lay down and give his wounded feet a rest.
If the perpetrator is ever found, Wesley has some questions for that person.
"Why did you do this? What would make you do that to a dog?" Wesley said.
And he pointed out that Tuck is not just any dog. He is one of a breed known for its gentle and trusting disposition, and obviously vulnerable to stranger-danger. Wesley never thought something like this could happen in a small town like Summerville, he said.
His eyes became glazed with tears again, and he went quiet. He could not find the words to express the shock and anger he still feels. Instead, he leaned down and stroked Tuck's resting body, appreciative of the courage his buddy showed.
"Tuck's love made him hang on and be strong for me," Wesley said.
Tuck hung on to life while he lay bleeding and abandoned alongside the road. A 30-foot rope was tied so tightly around his neck that his rescuer, Gene Rysdam of Elgin, could barely get a finger under it to cut it off, Rich said.
After Rysdam freed Tuck from that strangulating rope, Tuck took a desperate breath of air. He lapped water from a cup that Rysdam offered him, a signal to Rysdam that the dog wanted to survive this. Remarkably, the critically injured Tuck was able to jump into Rysdam's pickup, after which he was taken for immediate medical care.
Though the perpetrator is still at large, the McDaniels are thankful for the outpouring of concern for Tuck. They hope that the media coverage of Tuck's experience will help the authorities find the person who did such an abominable thing to their loving pet.
"We want to say thank you to everyone who had anything to do with helping Tuck and our family. It's been overwhelming," Rich said.
Wesley has received support from his friends at Imbler Middle School, and like the rest of his family, he's overcome by the show of love from the community.
"I'm impressed that people care so much about my dog."