Last month, on March 18th, we were visited by a herd of 8 wild boar who decided to camp out in one of the kennels and eat the dog food. Seets and Peaches were in that kennel. You'll never know what went through my mind that morning as I walked out, saw A'Sietsky on three legs---left front dangling uselessly, charging a 200 lb + wild boar, holding him back, and never flinching, never backing up, never giving up, charge after charge.
I don't recall getting to the kennel, but I remember snatching Peaches out and slamming her into another run. Then I went back for Seets, still meeting the boar's charges. When I came in, he changed tactics, ran at me and slashed through my jeans---and would have ripped open my leg with his 3 inch tusks except.......I was wearing my steel-reinforced knee brace. Instead of hitting my leg, he hit steel. Didn't seem to put him off too much, except he ran back at Seets the next time instead of me, and she came between us to be sure he stayed focused on her. I had no idea how to get her out of the fence without both of us getting hurt even worse. So here comes my knight in shining armor---black armor to be sure----all 18 pounds of the little stray terrier mix I had taken in 2 Christmases ago, and named "the Christmas Stranger"----because you don't turn a stranger away from your door at Christmas.....it could be an angel in disguise. Stranger hopped in front of the boar's nose, bit him, then swirled to the left and right of his head, hopping and nipping and growling, and by george, just stupified the big beast. The boar just stood there, trying to focus on Stranger, and I moved Seets out of the kennel at light speed, called for Stranger, and for the first time in his life, he actually came when I called him. I slammed the door of the kennel in the boar's face, bodily picked Seets up and got her in the van(she weighed a very light 134 at the vet's, having just weaned her litter), grabbed Stranger, and hit warp 9 headed for the vet's. I knew the leg was broken by the weird angle of it, but the x-ray at my vet's told a more serious story. The joint below the elbow--we call it the wrist, or knee--looked like a hand grenade had been set off in it. There was nothing much left except disconnected fragments of bone where the joint had been, and flesh ripped by the teeth and tusks of the boar. My vet immediately got on the phone to the best orthopedic specialist in the southeast, Dr. Michael Neumann, about 200 miles away near Huntsville, AL. Dr. Wyatt, my vet, gave Seets some powerful painkillers and stabalized the leg, and we headed off for the Orthopede's. I called a friend to get Animal Control up to my house to get rid of the boar and his harem of 2 sows and 6 piglets. I found out later that Animal Control NOR the State game warden could do nothing about the animals as they are "wildlife" and cannot be destroyed by officers of the state or county even if they are damaging personal property--like other animals--OR PEOPLE. Luckily, the neighbor had no such qualms, and took out 5 of the 8 with his rifle before I got home late that night. Sietsky was met at Dr. Neumanns office by 4 strong aides with a stretcher, and she went immediatly into surgery.
They sent me home, saying it would be at least a couple of days before they would know if the surgery would be successful or not, and I still had puppies here to care for.
The next day, my kennel helper heard a commotion, went to the door, yelled "HOG" and bolted down the steps to grab the pup directly in the path of the 150 lb sow headed his way. Brittany grabbed the pup, and then--worse nightmare--slipped and fell directly in front of the angry sow. Instantly the sow was on top of her. Brittany shielded the pup with her right arm and side, and threw up her left hand to protect her face---getting a nasty slash on the palm from the tusks of the screaming sow. By then I was at the top of the steps with my pistol, had no shot to take that wouldn't endanger Brittany---the sow was literally on top of her---when a flash of white caught my attention to my right in peripheral vision. It was the Lone Ranger with his Silver Bullet combined moving in unbelievably long strides toward the scene---------HAMMER!!!!! It seemed like time slowed and minutes passed, but in actuality it was about 2 nano-seconds before The Hammer made a 12 foot leap, hit the sow with his full 165 pounds (and he's still 15 pounds off his best weight of 180), rolled her off Brittany, and instinctively grabbed the sow at the one vulnerable space behind the head where she could not turn and rip him to shreds. It had to be instinct.....Hammer's never seen a hog before in his life. He began to put that powerful bite to work in earnest, all the while dragging the sow down the hill away from the kennel, Brittany, and the pups. Angel and Peaches joined him, harrying the flanks of the fighting sow. Realizing the bone and cartiledge was too thick for him to bite through at that position, and reach the kill spot of the spine, Hammer changed holds slightly, just a little lower under the jaw, still keeping the sow from tusking him, but hitting the jugular vein. Brittany and I backed off Angel and Peaches, and with her holding the girls safely, I put the .38 Special 2 inches from dead-already-but-not-realizing-it sow's head and fired point blank into the brain......about 3 inches from Hammer's muzzle. He didn't flinch or let go. I fired two more shots, point blank, to be absolutely sure the sow was dead, and Hammer finally loosened his grip when she was totally still, not a second before that. Then he rounded up his pack, checked each one out completely, including the pups, and headed to the house for a cool drink of water. He was covered in blood.......but none of it was his, thank God. And I must say, he was quite pleased with himself, smiling like the hero and not bashful about it at all.
Brittany was a real trooper through all this, finally getting some attention for her blood-dripping hand, and assurring me "it's nothing, really. It's nothing!" and hanging all over her savior, Hammer, who thought all her attention was wonderful.
The next night, we heard the commotion again, took off down through the woods with flashlight and pistol, fighting briars and fallen trees in the dark, and got there in time to again deliver the coup de grace to the 80 pound piglet Hammer and daughter Deener had brought down. They were both pretty self-satisfied with their efforts.
The boar's still loose. we see signs of him on our walks training pups to leash, but we go with Hammer loose and a pocket full of pistol. He hasn't been back to the kennel. Due to these happenings, I made a visit to Animal Control and informed them Hammer and a couple of his packmates would be loose for the next few weeks, just to make sure we didn't have a recurrance of dog or human injury. They thought that was a VERY good idea.
Seets came throough her surgery well. The Doctor compressed what was left of the bone fragments in surgical steel "compression plates" to hopefully heal into a new and workable joint. A'Sietsky is a big dog though, and about two weeks later, BROKE one of the steel plates and had to go through the surgery yet again. It's been 10 days now since the last surgery. We won't know anything until near the end of May-----if it's worked, or not. But she seems in good spirits despite her confinement.
And I challenge ANYONE to say an offspring of Nik Han lacks courage, or drive, or protection skills in ANY MANNER. Seets saved me from certain harm, injured and damaged and ON THREE LEGS HERSELF. Her courage and working ability can NEVER be doubted. The same goes for the mighty Hammer. Without him, there would certainly have been terrible injuries if not death for my kennel helper, and it isn't wise to say a bad word about him if Brittany is within earshot.
As for my little "terrier in shining armor"----his home, and sleeping spot on my bed, are assurred for life.