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Scary moments with a stick

I had never – never, ever – heard Denali yelp like that. But yelp he did. Horribly.

And it was all my fault.

My husband and I were in the backyard with our boy, letting him run off some energy, when I decided to throw a stick for Denali. While we all know that he won't bring it back, Denali does enjoy chasing sticks, grabbing them between his teeth and shaking them violently as if they're prey. I brought the stick back behind me and swung my arm. Instead of releasing the stick high and far in the air, I caught Denali.

Right in the eye.

I didn't even know that he had run up behind me until I heard him yelp and scurry away. I tried to go near him but he didn't want me. He didn't want to go near the scary lady who hurt him. Denali winced and squinted his left eye – his beautiful blue eye – as he ran toward my husband. Mark was able to get a close look and determine whether there were any signs of trauma. He didn't see much and soon our boy Denali was sniffing around the yard and eating grass.

We took him inside after a few minutes, though, as the spirit of our backyard romp was dampened. Not so much for Denali but for me. I felt horrible. More than horrible. I was practically in tears and sure that Denali would hate me forever.

As if dogs hold grudges.

It took just a few minutes for Denali to come back to me, lick my legs and allow me pet him. He loves his momma, my husband reminded me. Always will.

Thankfully, Denali was not injured seriously in our little stick incident. We've monitored his eye and behavior since the accident to make sure that there are no signs of trauma.

According to, here are some things to look for: discharge, often in shades of yellow, white and green; tearing; squinting; bloodshot eyes; redness of the pet's eyelid and surrounding area; swelling of the animal's eyelid and surrounding area; enlargement of the eyeball; protrusion (bulging out of the socket) of the eyeball; clouding of the eye; debris or foreign objects in the pet's eye; pupil dilation in just one eye; non-responsive eyes (the pupils don’t respond to light or darkness); glassy appearance; blue-tinged pupils; and blood in or around the eye.

If your dog has any of those symptoms, take it to the vet as soon as you can. We plan to continue to keep an eye on his eye to make sure things look good.