The Miracle Dog …. and His Teeth

teeth, baby teeth, saving teeth, dog

Photo, “Keeping Time,” by Susan Licht, https://www.instagram.com/susanlicht/

Yes, I still have my dog’s puppy teeth. I’ve never admitted this to anyone until two weeks ago, when our son’s dog, Jax, got hit by a car.

Jax is an 80-pound, 4-year-old silver lab, although more dark gray than silvery. He boasted large paws and a strong body even as an 8-week-old, picked up at a CA breeder’s ranch in the middle of a wildfire. In some ways, Sonny claims, Jax is a “rescue” dog.

Raised with three wild and wonderful young boys, Jax and his playmates tumble and rumble and bark and collapse in happy exhaustion together daily. dog, swimming dog, family dog

The lucky lab runs in their neighborhood hills leash-free, so he’s never walked compliantly on a leash. He’s a competent swimmer, though.

Two weeks ago, my DIL (daughter-in-law) invites Jax to join her for her daily 5-mile walk along a windy narrow sometimes-busy street. An unusual-for-CA rain begins, and although on the sidewalk, DIL holds Jax’s leash tightly in her hands. 

Car headlights bounce off the street’s sudden puddles, and Jax …well … Jax loves chasing lights: flashlights, lightening bugs, cell phone lights – they’re all toys for chasing.

Showers turn to serious rain, and the lights grow brighter in the puddles. Suddenly Jax jumps to catch one, pulling his leash out of DIL’s hand as he heads for the bright puddle. Directly in front of a moving car.

Jax is flung up, over the car, and splat down on the street.

Unmoving.

The car speeds off.

DIL screams.

Jax doesn’t move.

DIL grabs her phone from her jacket and dials 911, but realizes in seconds that no ambulance will race to take her dog to the ER. No paramedics will bring him back to life.

So she calls Sonny. “Jax!” she screams. “Hit! Dead! Come!”

Sonny, in his home office, makes the 8-minute drive in 3. He parks his car on the side of the road, where cars have stopped, since a woman is praying over her dog.

“Please Jax, Please!” she intones.

Jax doesn’t move.

Sonny opens the door to his car and shouts: “Jax. COME!”

Jax’s paw twitches.

“Jax. NOW!” Sonny commands.

Jax’s body shutters, shakes, and then on wobbly legs, the dog stands up, looking for his man. His best friend. Like a drunkard, he walks slowly toward Sonny, then jumps effortlessly into the car.

DIL picks up two canine teeth, remnants of the accident that remain in the puddle, gleaming like diamonds. Then Sonny and DIL race Jax to their vet, who after x-rays, thorough exams, blood work, and many tongue licks in between, declares: “Jax is a miracle dog. He’s got a dislocated thumb, a few cuts that need stitching, and two missing teeth.”

Jax thanks him with a lick.

“And,” the vet adds, “one long wet tongue.”

dog joy, puppy loveI hope Sonny saves those teeth. Twenty years later, when he discovers the jar in the back of his drawer, he’ll remember the miracle of Jax.

145 thoughts on “The Miracle Dog …. and His Teeth

  1. I felt for everyone in this story, especially your daughter-in-law, to be in such a terrible and seemingly hopeless situation. I have to imagine the driver was well aware that he had hit some living thing.

    You did a brilliant job of painting the picture of Jax struggling to his feet.

    Jax’s dog life sounds ideal. I’m sure glad that his family will enjoy him, hopefully for many more years.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hopefully Jax is like a cat and has nine lives. He’s already proven that he has two! Yes DIL was quite shaken for a number of days. She’s even given Jax extra treats (even though he’s on a diet)! ❤️

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  2. Pam, I was holding my breath throughout and felt myself becoming increasingly tense and worried. Thank goodness Jax survived (how!!!) – ‘miracle dog’ is definitely how he should be known from now on! Your poor DIL and I totally understand her reaction of wanting to call 911. Wow! It was as if I heard Sonny’s call for Jax and hooray, he moved! A heartstopping, heartwarming story. A day none of you will forget. The real shame of all this is on the driver who failed to stop. Beggars belief!

    Liked by 2 people

    • As far as the driver who didn’t stop, DIL think she sees his car every once in a while and points and yells. But there are many many Toyotas out there! I think we should just count on karma! 🙏 After this all happened I realized there should be a 911 call for our pets. 💜

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  3. Writing this with tears in my eyes. Pam, you painted such a picture of Jax and your family that now I feel as though I know them. Such very good people. Now that I know Jax is ok, I am hoping your DIL is too.
    Sending you lots of love, Bernadette

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What a fantastic story. It brought tears to my eyes.
    My first dog, an irascible English setter named Jeffrey, was hit by a car at the bottom of our long driveway – I was with him and the driver stopped, picked him up, and drove us both up the hill to home, where he asked if he could take the dog to the vets (he was still alive). I will never forget his kindness – he was horrified at what had happened and didn’t want me traumatized! Jeff recovered.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for sharing the story about Jeffrey, and the wonderful man who stopped to take blame but even more, to help. I think (hope) there are more people like that driver than the one who ignored Jax’s plight. Fortunately, both Jeffrey and Jax were/are survivors!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, so write, Jeanette. I mean right! A type of Bible story about the power of love between man and beast. Not that Jax is a beast. More like a silly goofball with a heart the size of San Francisco. 🙂

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  5. I am a dog lover and have had many in my life, including my own Miracle Dog, Brandy. You grabbed me immediately and I had to read it to the happy ending. I have seen this happen right in my own yard where a dog was lying in the woods and neither I nor my husband could get him to stand. Hours later when the owner came to get him, the dog we thought was dying, stood up and made his way to his owner. Dogs love unconditionally and the bond that grows between the dog and his owner is beyond words.

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  6. Like other commenters mentioned, I held my breath hoping for a happy ending. What a rebound! And what artifacts in a jar, a treasure with a story.

    Welcome back! I see you are re-emerging as I’m pausing (PAWsing) for a few weeks.
    Happy Thanksgiving, Pam!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Happy Paws, Marian. Hope you have a warm, cozy, happy Thanksgiving. I have no doubt that you will. And about the ‘artifacts’ in the jar. i was thinking of writing about Jax’s miracle (since it had just happened) but then my friend, Susan Licht, posted her jar photo on Instagram, and I knew I had to write about Jax. In Susan’s jar, though, it’s her (now 35) son’s baby teeth. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Smiling at your response, Andrea. Of COURSE we have our precious dogs’ baby teeth. Some people scoff at me (even some in my family) but these ‘artifacts’ (as one reader calls them) are evidence of our best friends’ babyhood. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  7. What an amazing story. When he was hit, I was crying, imagining my feelings if my wonderful Lab were hit (though he rarely goes anywhere without us at his side–he’s beyond fearful).

    My Lab has cancer with a short lifespan predicted. I can’t imagine life without him. Can I ask what breeder you got yours from?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh no, Jacqui, I’m so sorry that your Lab has cancer. I hope his life is as long as possible with no pain. My friends (our daughter’s in-laws) just said goodbye to their standard poodle, whose cancer started in his toe. Any time we say goodbye to our best friends is a difficult and challenging time. I still “talk” to our Golden, who’s been gone 7 years now. Gone but obviously not forgotten.
      Jax came from a breeder in Santa Barbara, I believe, but their ranch did literally burn down in a wildfire. I’ll ask my son though if they ever resumed breeding silver labs.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t want to make the story so dramatic, but that’s exactly how it all played out! Sorry for the tears, but we who love animals and who care for others – well, we can’t help the tears. Thank you for yours! ❤

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  8. I love dogs–any size but I love the ones the size of Jax. I am so happy he survived the car accident. There’s nothing like hearing his “master’s” voice calling to revive him. This will be another family “legend” to be told over the years. May Jax live a long and happy doggy life!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. The resilience of animals is amazing, and the power of that human-canine bond is so strong. It may be that only that one voice could have brought Jax to his feet again — and thank goodness for it. It’s a story to be remembered, even for those of us who don’t know Jax personally.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Miracle, indeed! And YAY!!!

    Sonny opens the door to his car and shouts: “Jax. COME!”

    Jax’s paw twitches.

    “Jax. NOW!” Sonny commands.

    Jax’s body shutters, shakes, and then on wobbly legs, the dog stands up, looking for his man. His best friend. Like a drunkard, he walks slowly toward Sonny, then jumps effortlessly into the car.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Oh my goodness! (I’d like to add a few expletives directed at the driver who didn’t stop…)
    Jax IS a miracle dog. What a story! Poor DIL must have been beside herself to have this happen on “her watch”. So happy all Jax lost was two teeth…

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Oh Pam, the story of Jax literally had me in tears. -huge hugs- Some of our smaller friends are miracles. My boy Golli was hit by a car when he was just one. Broken hip and brain damage. The vet didn’t think he’d make it, but Golli knew me, trusted me. No way was I letting him go. His hip mended, and he’s blind in one eye and most of the other, he walks in circles when he gets flustered, but he’s in his teens now and can do almost everything his brother Harry can do. Miracles do happen.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for reading about Jax, Roy even if you’re not a dog lover. (But really, REALLY? Not a dog lover? Maybe too many have chased you on your runs….?) 🙂 Jax taught us all a deep lesson. Love will wake us up and keep us going, no matter our condition. ❤

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  13. Good Lord! And the car drove off..ARGH! So glad he survived, but must admit to you, I also saved one of our puppy Bichon’s teeth. So tiny. I lodged it in my favorite puppy pic of her and several years later noticed that the tooth had broken in two. (Well, we’d moved, the framed photo was jostled.) Still, the two halves are under the glass–a testament to the size of her when her adult teeth came in. She is now almost 16. Those teeth aren’t looking so sparkly white any more, but she still has them all.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I can’t help but feel sorry for the driver of the car who kept going. That guy (DIL is pretty sure it was a male driver) probably thinks he killed a dog (even though it was not his fault) and is living with daily nightmares. If he’d stopped, helped, he’d be a much happier person now.
      But a great story of your Bichon’s teeth. Saving teeth is a great way to save memories. And yay for 16 years young!

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  14. Amazing. You had me holding my breath, Pam, and thinking. “Something has to happen here. Pam wrote this; she wouldn’t leave us with a dead Jax. She wouldn’t do that to us.” And Wahlah, the happy ending appears. A miracle dog. I’m suprised people didn’t get out of their cars and cheer. Great story, Pam.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. As you can imagine, this gave me goose bumps, Pam. This is the worst nightmare for a dog owner. Yet, the happy ending is amazing, precious, and a miracle indeed. Luckily, the giveaway was that you mentioned Jax in the present tense early on in the story, so I counted on a happy ending.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are a clever reader, Liesbet, probably because you’re a clever writer. I had first written this in the past tense, but then I figured many readers wouldn’t read to the end, fearing the worse. So I changed the tense. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  16. Your story had me in every emotion! I was devastated that the driver just LEFT after hitting such a sweet animal, but relieved to the point of squealing to know that he is okay! Glad that all he lost was a few teeth. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Ok… so I don’t usually like to read posts that will make me cry. But given my love for animals (especially dogs) this one did. He is truly a miracle dog and the person who hit him should be ashamed. I hope Sonny will always keep the reminder of Jax the Miracle Dog! ❤🐕❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much Barbara. Yes, I cried at first too and then I cried that Jax responded to our son’s order to “COME!” Jax and Sonny – true love in a deep bond kind of way. And yes, life is so precarious, which perhaps makes it that much more precious

      Liked by 1 person

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