(PUPPIES) A Washington family was heartbroken to learn their 7-month-old puppy, Scamp, died after being hit by a car. Ready to bury Scamp the next morning, the family found the dog alive. Say what? Read on to learn how this Yorkshire terrier essentially came back to life. — Global Animal
Scamp and his caretaker. Photo Credit: Tony Overman/AP

The Olympian, Lisa Pemberton

Reta McKinlay said her heart broke Dec. 3 when her grandchildren’s 7-month-old pup escaped through a fence and was hit by a car on Bald Hill Road.

Quantcast“Scamp was bleeding; his eyes were fixed,” said McKinlay, 49, of Yelm. “We didn’t feel breath on his chest or on his nose.”

Since it was late, her husband carefully wrapped the 8 1/2-pound Yorkshire terrier-Shih Tzu puppy in a blanket. He set the dog under an overturned wheelbarrow, to keep animals away from the body.

After that, they sat down with their 6-year-old twin grandchildren, Kaiden and Chevelle Woods, and explained that the puppy had gone to heaven.

But it turns out the below-freezing weather might have saved the pup’s life.

“My husband went out the next morning to bury him, before the kids could see, and he was sitting up underneath the wheelbarrow,” she said.

No one is sure exactly what happened, but the frigid conditions might have worked on Scamp the way cold water can help delay brain damage and save the life of a drowning victim, McKinlay said.

Regardless, the couple rushed Scamp to Olympia Pet Emergency in Lacey.

“He did present with head trauma on the left side of the face, with bruising around the eye, cheek and lips,” said Mae Solari, a specialty services coordinator for the Puget Sound Veterinary Referral Center in Tacoma.

“The patient was stabilized with emergency treatment, IV, catheter, fluids, oxygen and was transferred to the regular vet.”

Scamp was taken to Lacey Animal Clinic and then to Puget Sound Veterinary Referral Center’s 24-hour critical care center.

“He had a few broken teeth, but other than that, he was pretty sound,” Solari said. “He did eat for us a little in the hospital, and we sent him home at about 4 p.m.” last Tuesday.

On Wednesday, after they felt certain Scamp was going to be OK, McKinlay and her husband called the twins and let them know the puppy was alive.

“We just said miracles happen, and maybe we were wrong and maybe because everyone was sad and praying, maybe God decided to let him live,” McKinlay said.

The children were ecstatic.

“They were talking to him on the phone, telling him how much they love him,” she said.

Since coming home, Scamp has been on pain medication and confined to a quiet area of the house. It’s too early to tell whether he suffered permanent brain damage – McKinlay said a vet told her his head injuries were similar to shaken baby syndrome.

But she said she was encouraged when Scamp’s ears perked up after hearing the twins’ voices on the telephone.

“He knew who they were,” she said.

Solari said Scamp’s recovery is a lesson that “there’s always hope.”

“He had such a guarded prognosis,” she said. “And nobody knew whether he would come out of it or not.”

Despite a stack of vet bills nearing $3,000, McKinlay said Scamp’s return is a Christmas present for the entire family. It also is a lesson in faith, she said.

“We’re just happy for the grandkids,” she added. “When people sometimes want something, little miracles can happen.”

More The Olympian: http://www.theolympian.com/2011/12/12/1911241/