Miracle Mack: Kendall’s tough terrier defies the odds

Mack’s been getting lots of cuddles from his human, Fiona Paterson. Photo: Sue Stephenson

THE first thing you hear when you arrive at Fiona Paterson’s Kendall home is the warning sounded by Mack, her Jack Russell Terrier.

The pint-sized protector’s bark is to let you know he’s back in the neighbourhood and well on his way to a full recovery from traumatic injuries.

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As dogs tend to do, Mack saw an opening early on Sunday morning, 16 June, and took off across the road in front of his Laurel Street home.

Noone saw what happened next, but they heard it.

“I went bolting out in my pyjamas,” Fiona said.

“The people across the road were inside but thought he might have been hit by a trailer.”

Mack managed to stand up, which is remarkable given the extent of his injuries.

A wheel had gone right over his belly, leaving black tyre marks on his fur and skin.

He was taken to Camvet in Laurieton where vet Gavin Rippon and practice manager Shelley Smith decided to operate that afternoon.

It was the first of two surgeries.

“At first I just thought, ‘oh, he’s just got a bit of soft tissue damage’ but they X-rayed him to double-check’,” Fiona said.

“That’s when they found all the internal damage.”

Ms Smith said Mack had a lot to overcome.

“He was very badly injured with lots of internal injuries including a lacerated spleen and lacerated liver, and all his intercostal muscles were torn from his ribs,” she explained.

“Plus there was the very obvious trauma to the skin on his abdomen.”

For the next three to four days it was touch and go with the entire Camvet team pitching in to treat his pain and wounds.

Fiona, who everyone in Kendall knows from the Post Office, said it wasn’t until Mack was on the road to recovery that she learned he hadn’t been expected to survive.

The Camvet team now proudly refers to him as one of their success stories.

“I’ve never seen a dog so happy to go to the vet for a check-up,” Fiona said.

“He thinks he owns the joint.

“Gav is very happy with him and can’t believe how fast he’s healing.”

According to Fiona, Laurel Street is one of Kendall’s rat runs.

Even on a weekend, it is a convenient shortcut to Batar Creek Road, which leads to the showground and over-55s sub-division.

The vehicle that hit Mack didn’t stop.

Fiona and her family like to think the driver didn’t realise they’d hit a dog, as the thought of someone consciously refusing to help is tough to comprehend.

“It’s my fault that he got out, but common decency says to stop.”


Tough as a terrier. Photo: Sue Stephenson

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