Morning run nearly ends in tragedy

Drew Hiatt and Molly
Drew Hiatt and Molly

Sulet Hiatt and her dog Molly were walking back to the car in the high school parking lot from their morning run on the track Thursday when Molly sniffed out and scarfed up an unexpected treat quicker than Sulet could analyze what was happening, let alone react.

Within seconds, Molly was fighting for her life, writhing and thrashing on the gravel, mouth foaming copiously … gagging, coughing. In a full blown panic, fighting for air … for life.

Molly, 3 1/2, has been a cherished member of the Russ and Sulet Hiatt household for three years since they brought her home from Sara Tadlock’s puppy patch. From the beginning she just fit in, going everywhere with Russ and or Sue, adoring of and friends with the grandkids … she even instinctively knows and respects that the cats in son Drew’s home not only belonged there, but practically owned the place. They were not to be trifled with, and Molly didn’t.

It was Drew Sulet turned to in her call for help, knowing he was likely already up and at his desk, working from home for Stat Sports, dressed. Whereas Russ was probably just getting up to start his day.

She was right … Drew was out the door and on the way before she could end the call. Within minutes he was at his mom’s side in the high school parking lot near the softball field. Barely noticing the bites and scratches she was inflicting in her struggle to pull in just enough air to keep fighting, Drew laid her in the back seat, still thrashing, biting out at everything and nothing, yet just managing to keep forcing in just enough oxygen to sustain her.

He raced to Bonners Ferry Vet Clinic just a few blocks away … office dark, an hour until opening. He pulled north on Highway 95 and raced past Three Mile and out to Dr. Burt’s practice … he opened at 7:30 a.m., about 15 minutes away.

While they waited for Dr. Burt to arrive, Molly, who’d been thrashing and foaming, the whole way, biting and clawing, fell still, her tongue rolling out, dry … the battle for air all but lost.

Mother and son glanced at one another, and mom heard “we’ve got to get this out now,” as she somehow shifted from the front passenger seat to reappear in the back seat, holding Molly as Drew shoved his hand, palm down, into her throat until he touched the obstruction. He shifted, pushed his middle finger under, pulled it toward him and felt it dislodge and fall into his hand as he pulled his hand from Molly’s mouth … then heard the beautiful rushing wheeze as Molly drew in both air and life.

Drew held a chunk of chicken bone, just a sliver. An unexpected treat just big enough to nearly end a fine morning in tragedy.

Within moments, Molly had calmed, her breathing slowed. Tired beyond belief but softly licking the hands she’d just bitten in her panic, remorse and thanks both mixed in equal measure conveyed with but a glance; “I’m sorry” … “thank you” … “I love you … can we go home now?”


One thought on “Morning run nearly ends in tragedy

  1. What a story!!! What relief and a good reminder. Not to be afraid to take quick action. Not to throw trash and other things like this on the ground. Molly looks like my wire-haired pointing griffon, who can snarf things like this faster than you can see. Regardless of what kind of dog she is, she’s beautiful. And alive, thank goodness.

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