My husband is an avid fly fisherman, I would actually say expert fly fisher- and it is a thing of beauty to watch him throw the fly and see the line bend and watch the little fly go right were he wanted it. It’s pretty cool. So a regular family activity is fly fishing, and we all walk up and down along the river bank, wading in to cool off, or go out in our little boat on the lake.
On our recent vacation up to the Glacier area, we got to explore some new river banks with beautiful large flat rocks on the shore, not so easy to walk on. Our dog Scout loves to stand next to my husband while he fishes and he is a great fishing buddy. Our other dog Amigo, likes to explore and hang out with me so it usually works great. I was photographing Amigo swimming and I heard Scout yelp. He was trying to walk up the beach (slower than usual) and I noticed the fishing line was following Scout! The wind had taken my husbands cast and he hooked our dog Scout!
I quickly made my way over and my husband said, hold Scout, it’s bad. I looked and the hook had gone all the way through the thin skin and out the other side, just above Scouts leg, not too far from the groin area. Yikes. My husband thought quickly and first pinched the small barbs off the hook. I held Scout’s head and petting him, talked to him, trying to keep him and myself calm. He did whip his head around a few times, almost threatening to bite, but didn’t, he was just scared and in pain. My husband slowly, with a few winces from Scout, worked the hook back through Scout’s skin, like a pierced ear. The last pull was quick and painless and the hook was OUT! Whew! I thought for sure it was going to be an emergency trip to the vet. It didn’t even bleed where he got hooked.
What saved us was having a good leatherman type tool with thin pliers and some patience, and staying CALM, giving Scout breaks as he slowly worked the hook out. My husband usually fishes barbless unless he plans to keep a fish. In future, he will never fly fish with barbs if Scout is with him as he is getting older and can’t move as quick. Scout was fine and acted like he didn’t even remember being hooked, after a couple of treats. Amigo was fine but was quite upset while Scout was getting the hook removed, responding to his brothers anxiety and pain. It was very sweet.
We take our dogs safety very serious, especially when outdoors, but life does happen, it’s just good to always be prepared!