Christine Matschoss with her 14 year old harlequin poodle Caleb which has been left partially paralysed after being attacked by another dog on Lammermoor beach in early December.
Christine Matschoss with her 14 year old harlequin poodle Caleb which has been left partially paralysed after being attacked by another dog on Lammermoor beach in early December. Chris Ison

Owners love for dog helps him recover after vicious attack

EARLY in December, a ferocious attack on Lammermoor Beach left a 14-year-old dog completely paralysed and his owner with two wounds on her leg.

But with patience, love and around the clock care, Kaleb the poodle took two tentative steps this week

Christine Matschoss was walking Kaleb on the beach, just as she did every day, when a bull mastiff cross and a border collie charged them from 100m away.

As she tried to lift her defenceless dog out of the way, his collar slipped off and the mastiff went straight for Kaleb's throat. 

"He just crunch, crunch, crunched and shook him like a rag doll… I thought he was dead," she said.

It was only then the dog's owners realised what was happening.

"I told them you should have your dogs on a leash," said Christine.

"I said 'you've killed my dog, I hate you', and he just kept saying he was so sorry." 

When Kaleb looked at his owner, she realised he wasn't dead, and with help from a stranger at Lammermoor service station, took him to the vet.

X-rays showed no broken bones, but Kaleb was unable to move.

Two days later, he was in no pain, but there was no improvement.

But rather than give up, Christine took her companion of 13 years home.

She nursed him around the clock as he lay in a nappy, fretting if she wasn't close by.

Over the ensuing weeks, and against the vet's prognosis, Kaleb began making very slow improvement and regained some use of his back legs.

Christine uses a canine life jacket to help with hydrotherapy at the beach and in a wading pool.

"He took two wobbly steps and then fell over… he's so unco-ordinated, but he's moving," said Christine.

"But it's going to be very slow and he'll never be the dog he was."  


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