EAST PROVIDENCE — The long, harrowing and unique trip made by “Suzie,” the Bichon Poodle mix, came full circle and ended happily late Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 2, when her owners picked her up at the East Providence Animal Control Center on Commercial Way.
Suzie’s story is almost unbelievable and so, too, is her survival.
After getting caught in the front-end of a car, the white, five-to-seven-old dog, survived a harrowing, 11-mile ride down Route 44 from Taunton to East Providence some 10 days ago. The EPACC staff avoided referring to her by the cliched moniker of “Lucky,” but there’s no question she is the most fortunate of canines.
“It’s the first time we’ve ever seen anything like this,” said a still-amazed East Providence Animal Control Officer Will Muggle. “Considering the speed the driver said he was going and the distance he traveled, for her to survive is definitely a miracle.”
Late Tuesday afternoon, at about 4 o’clock, the search for her owners came to an end. The Taunton residents knew of her distinctive black and white, skull and crossbones collar. They also had the serial number for the electronic tracking device implanted under her skin, though it was not turned on. Officer Muggle said he was able to trace the device to a location in Kentucky. However, it was not registered by either the breeder or the owner. Officer Muggle said the dog likely came from a so-called “Puppy Mill.”
The owners said they searched the area around their house frantically over the last several days and were about to give up hope before they saw Suzie’s story reported on one of the local television stations. A digger who often had free reign over the owner’s yard, they said they will be much more careful in allowing to play unattended in the future.
The following is a recap of events:
A motorist driving a late-model Toyota Camry at or around the posted speed limit, 50 miles per hour, said he saw the dog darting out across the busy highway near Segregansett Country Club as he was heading to work one day, but had little time to react. Unaware that he had made contact with the canine, he jammed on the brakes to stop his car, surveyed the area and wishfully assumed the dog had run off.
Instead, it was stuck in the recessed air in-take section of the nose just below the car’s front grill. Wedged there and between the car’s bent license plate frame, she hung on for dear life the rest of the way.
It wasn’t until the driver came to a halt at the stop light at the intersection of Route 44 West and Pawtucket Avenue just passed the Seekonk-East Providence line was he made aware of what had transpired.
A driver of another car alerted the Toyota operator of what he had stuck in the nose of the vehicle. He immediately drove to the East Providence Police station located a couple hundreds yards away on Waterman Avenue.
Once there, Officer Muggle was summoned to the scene where he led the effort to extract the dog from its precarious predicament.
“The driver of the car was pretty shaken up about the whole thing,” Officer Muggle added. “He was very upset about it. He came back the next day to check on her to make sure she was alright.”
When freed, the obviously-jolted canine was first transported to the East Bay Animal Hospital located nearby in Seekonk on Fall River Avenue. Stabilized there, she was rushed off to the Bay State Animal Hospital on Route 6 in Swansea for further tests.
She had a “nasty” concussion, according to Officer Muggle, a small cut above an eye and a slight tear in her intestine, but other than that was eventually released back into the EPACC’s care quite fortunately unscathed. She went through a prescribed dosage of pain medicine and antibiotics and is pretty much back to full health, very active and extremely lovable.