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Dr. Smith's Journal

I chat about veterinary medicine and the life of a country animal doctor.
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The Cookie Monster

The Cookie Monster

I believe it was Lord Byron that penned the phrase, “Truth is stranger than fiction,” which of course I have been saying wrong all along as, “Life is stranger than fiction.” Whichever saying you hold nearest and dearest to your heart, I would enjoy reinforcing your philosophy with one of the craziest veterinary stories I have had the pleasure and awe in dealing with lately. This is the story of Cookie, or as we like to call him, Zombie Dog.

Cookie’s story starts out as any typical spring day in Kentucky. His rural lifestyle affords him a freedom that city dogs and indoor dogs rarely experience. He gets to roam around the farm. For the past seven years his adventures have consisted of making his daily rounds and smelling where all the night life have left their signatures (or droppings if you prefer). Of course, after he makes his rounds, his day is filled with twenty-three hours of sleep and a full course meal. I know what you’re thinking, paradise! Yeah. Me, too.

Things change for Cookie one morning in the early hours of March. By a set of very odd and perfectly timed events, Cookie runs out in front of his owner’s uncle’s vehicle on a back road in Kentucky. The blow to his head is severe, tearing flesh from his face and rendering him completely unconscious. Knowing how beloved this pet is, Uncle scoops Cookie out of the road and, in a panic, begins trying to revive the dog as best he can. All attempts were unsuccessful.

Cookie is wrapped lovingly in a blanket and taken to a small farm and buried under a beautiful tree with a grand view of the nature Cookie is so close to and has enjoyed in his long life. The accident grieves the Caudill family as they leave his grave site making their way back home, a good ten miles away.

My fellow readers, if you are now crying, I understand. This is a truly sad story. However this is not the end. So I want to warn you, if you are afraid of the dark, have a major heart condition, and/or don’t enjoy roller coaster rides, then maybe you should stop reading at this point. If you are the brave soul that has a basement full of ammunition and food for six months with a reinforced concrete bomb shelter and you long for the apocalypse to get here sooner than later, then you need to read on. The signs of the end are here! Those that were once dead are rising again!

It has been six days since the Caudills left Cookie’s grave site under the tree and they prepare to start their day. They open the door of their house to find... Cookie!

Did you get that? Let me describe it better. This dog comes back to life underground after being dead for more than half a day! He tears his way back to the surface of the earth leaving behind an empty grave and blood-soaked blanket. Enduring unbelievable injury to his head and face and suffering total failure of coordination due to intense brain trauma, the dog walks home. Maybe better to say, he drags himself home eating no food and finding water in little patches along the way. The name Cookie just doesn’t do this dog justice. I’m thinking we should call him Rambo. How about Lazarus? I have suggested Rick or Negan from the Walking Dead, but oh, no. All is not lost, however, because he’s now been deemed The Cookie Monster! That’s what I’m saying!

Back to the story. The owners open their front door, scream for a few minutes believing their brains are in danger, then scoop Cookie up and drive him to my clinic where I am honored to get to meet The Cookie Monster. His right eye is sticking out of his head only attached by a small amount of connective tissue. The right side of his face and lips are missing. His head rolls back and forth because of horrible vertigo because both ear drums are ruptured and bleeding. He is unable to walk because of the resulting brain damage and it's effects. To top all of this off, he is caked in thick Kentucky clay from being BURIED. FOR SIX DAYS! Have you wrapped your head around that yet? Steven King is going to be giving me a call, I just know it. Well, maybe his lawyers will come yelling about Pet Cemetery copyright issues.

Anyway, I clean him up and then patch him up. This includes removing the zombie-looking eye and fixing the zombie-licking lips. We flush his ears with warm saline. No way with those open ear drums am I going to put anything harsh down inside the canals. A good bath and pain medications help him get a good night’s sleep. When he wakes up he is HUNGRY! Boy, does he ever eat. After a good Dr. Frankenstein repair job we send him home with his great (and less creeped-out) family to nurse him back to health.

I am happy to report The Cookie Monster’s full recovery.

Thank you, Dezieray Caudill, for allowing me to share this story. You and your baby boy, Cookie, will always be in my fondest memories.

{gallery}Cookie Monster{/gallery}

All Pictures in this article are the sole property of Cumberland Valley Animal Hospital. All rights reserved. No reproductions without sole permission from Cumberland Valley Animal Hospital or Dr. Keaton B. Smith, DVM

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© Copyright © 2017 Cumberland Valley Animal Hospital. All rights reserved.

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I believe it was Lord Byron that penned the phrase, “Truth is stranger than fiction,” which of course I have been saying wrong all along as, “Life is stranger than fiction.” Whichever saying you hold nearest and dearest to your heart, I would enjoy reinforcing your philosophy with one of the craziest veterinary stories I have had the pleasure and awe in dealing with lately. This is the story of Cookie, or as we like to call him, Zombie Dog.

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