Have you ever had a close call with your dog? Something happens and you think after, that could have been really bad? I’m focusing today on what could have been bad, but turned out okay. I know things sometimes go the other way.

We had a close call with Baxter a few weeks ago. Everything was normal, and then all of a sudden it wasn’t.

We had been out for a walk on our property, and he had ventured into the woods. I continued back to the house, expecting that he would come running up the trail behind me—his normal routine. But he didn’t appear.

I didn’t worry too much, assuming he had found a particularly good scent and would be back soon. We had been at the house for awhile when he finally showed up. My husband let him in and knew right away something was wrong.

Bax was hobbling and seemed very stiff. He had a spot of blood on his forehead, as though he’d run into a twig or fence.

Puncture wound on a dog's forehead

My dog’s injuries

As soon as I took a closer look, I saw that the problem was bigger than we thought. He had two cuts on his neck, one of which was about the size of a silver dollar. He wasn’t bleeding very badly, but the cuts were sore, and he didn’t want me to examine them too closely.

Cuts on a dog's neck

Running into a fence was still a possibility, but it looked more like he’d met up with someone who hadn’t been very friendly. The most likely scenario given where we live was a coyote.

I called our vet, but it was a holiday, so the office was closed. I called my friend who’s a vet tech at our clinic. I described Bax’s injuries and asked her advice. She thought since he wasn’t bleeding badly and didn’t seem to be in extreme pain, we would be okay to wait until the next day when the clinic was open.

We kept an eye on Bax through the day. He continued to be stiff but didn’t seem to be distressed.

Baxter napping on the couch

A trip to the vet

First thing the next morning, we went to the vet. After checking him over, including shaving back some of his hair to better examine the wounds, the vet advised that Baxter should have stitches. They fit him in for surgery that afternoon.

There was only one wound that ended up needing to be stitched. But Baxter got a close examination, an additional haircut, an update on vaccinations and some antibiotics and painkillers.

Dog with stitches in his neck

Back at home, he quickly went back to normal. In fact, on walks he kept trying to return to the woods, apparently looking for a rematch.

We’re keeping him on leash and are making good use of the 30-foot training leash we received from Mighty Paw. It gives him the ability to move fairly freely, but assures us that he won’t be able to choose his own adventure.

Baxter looking into the woods

We’re obviously incredibly relieved that he wasn’t more badly hurt. If he’d run into a pack of coyotes instead of just one (we assume) the outcome would have been very different.

We’re thankful for a great team at our vet who were very gentle, generous and skilled in taking care of him. Most of all, we appreciate having our furry dude at home with us, healthy and safe.

Have you ever had a close call with your dog? Has your dog ever been injured in a fight? (Good news stories preferred, please.)

Julia Thomson is a blogger at Home on 129 Acres where she writes about her adventures of country living and DIY renovating. She and her family live on a 129-acre farm in Ontario, Canada. Follow Julia on Instagram here.