DOGS -- I've had some close calls in falling among forest downfall and having sharp broken branches nick my skin. I've recognized the potential for me to be impaled in a fall while hunting or hiking, as well as the danger to my dog while hunting forest grouse.
While researching a story on Conservation Canines -- the dogs that are being taught to sniff out wild things like wolf scat for scientific research -- I noticed the handlers were equipping their dogs with Kevlar vests to protect them from impalement. Smart prevention for working dogs.
But what are the odds?
I've asked a houndsman who recognizes the possibility, but his dog's haven't had a problem, so far.
But my friend John Eliason wasn't so lucky during a recent forest hike with his German shorthair, Sadie:
All was going well until Sadie torpedoed into a branch sticking up from a downed tree. She received a severe, deep cut and an impalement. I really thought she might expire right in front of us, but I scooped her up and carried her out of the woods. The ER vet patched her up and 4 hours later she was whining and sleeping, sleeping then whining.
The vet thinks Sadie will recover well, and indeed she is already showing signs of too-rapid improvement. Scary incident, I have to say. We lucked out, especially Sadie!