The Fourth of July cookout was going nicely when suddenly the yard was filled with the frantic sound of a dog screaming in pain. Will and I ran out to the back gate to find Jasper, a seven year old Basenji, frantic and desperate. His paw was stuck under the back gate. He had somehow broken through the bottom of one of the slats, and there was just no way that paw could get back out.
Little Jasper, spoiled, adored, and pampered, was terrified. He was growling and crying. There was no choice but to act. Will tried to calm him down and assess whether we could open the gate. I ran through the garage to the alley side. I could see Jasper's little paw protruding through the gate. A neighbor heard his pitiful cries (okay, I suspect New Jersey heard his cries) and appeared with a hammer. We started removing the slats. We got down to the bottom, and decided that we couldn't pull the nail without possibly breaking his foot. Will took the hammer, and holding the terrified pup, knocked the slat loose from behind. He scooped up the growling, crying dog and ran inside. I hammered the fence back together and followed.
We assessed the damage. Will ended up with a moderate bite on his arm, and Jasper with a badly cut foot. It did not appear to be bleeding, and fortunately does not seem to be broken, Will washed it out with peroxide and applied antibiotic salve. He wrapped the wound in a bandage, I curled up with Jasper to calm him down and keep him from tearing the bandage off. I think he was in shock. After a while, his breathing softened, and he napped. I fed him a hot dog for dinner which he ate hungrily. After another hour, he was up and around, albeit very tenderly on his paw. Will and I sat outside and decompressed. I think we were both on the verge of tears for what Jasper had been through. When I left, they were both curled up on the bed watching television, bandaged paw in bandaged arm. He loves that little fella.