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While a lot of us expect our dogs to run after squirrels, not many of us expect them to successfully scale a tree in pursuit. But that’s exactly what Nationwide pet insurance member Trisha Rowley’s dog, Olive, did while on a morning walk through the park.
The tricolor Cavalier King Charles spaniel managed to get nearly 14 feet up the tree before flipping and falling, earning her a nomination for the 2020 Hambone Award.
“All of a sudden she books it and climbs up a tree chasing this squirrel,” recalls Trish. “She jumps up and is able to get on a branch and she kept going further and further up.”
With a small crowd now gathering to try and help, Trish tried to get Olive to stay still while someone ran to get a ladder. But before help could arrive, the scared pooch slipped out of the tree, landing on all fours in the grass below.
“She was crying and I could see something was wrong with her back right leg,” Trish says.
A nearby vet was able to treat Olive’s dislocated hip right away, but not long after, Trish awoke to a crying pup.
“Olive was asleep on my pillow and around 3 a.m. she just started crying really loudly,” says Trish. She took her right away to Blue Sky Veterinary Services in San Diego, Calif., where Olive underwent surgery.
“They were so great!” Trish exclaims. “They were able to do the surgery in the next 24 hours. A staff member even cancelled her pet’s surgery so that Olive could be treated first. They were just the best!”
Thankfully, the surgery was a success and though she now has a slight limp, Olive was pretty much back to her fun, loving and mobile self within 10 days of the surgery.
This experience has taught Trish to be more aware of Olive and her surroundings and recommends other pet parents do the same. “Squirrel hunting is real,” she says. “It’s funny at first but just be mindful of your pets because it’s all fun and games until it’s not.”