Julie Craig, 39, Willmot, NSW
'Iris!’ I called. ‘Time for a walk.’ I waited for our six-month-old cattle dog to come bounding towards me. Iris was a lively pup and loved chasing our cat Tabitha around the yard. But that day there was no sign of the cheeky pooch.
Suddenly I spotted her. ‘Her head is missing!’ I realised, horrified. I could only see her body next to the brick wall. What’s happened to her? I thought in a panic.
‘Her head is missing!’ I realised, horrified.
As well as being a much loved family dog, Iris was my 15-year-old son Ethan’s birthday present. I hated the thought of breaking the news to him. His first dog, Oreo, was a border collie who passed away from parvovirus a few days after we brought her home. Ethan and my other kids, Kaitlyn, 16, Isabella, 11, Cole, nine, Lincoln, six, and Tru, four, were heartbroken, so we got Iris soon after.
As I got closer, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. She wasn’t headless – she was stuck in the wall! She must have tried to follow Tabitha under the house. She’d found a gap in the wall but, although her head fit, her shoulders were too wide. It was clear Iris was in a hole lot of trouble!
Luckily, Isabella was home. ‘Keep Iris calm, I’ll call the RSPCA,’ I told her.
A few hours later, two men from the RSPCA arrived. They removed part of an air-conditioning unit next to Iris’ head. As she was pulled free, she jumped all over her rescuers to show her appreciation. She wasn’t injured, but she was exhausted and slept for hours.
One month on, Iris is doing well. Needless to say, our playful pup hasn’t been near the brick wall since her ordeal!
Originally publishing in that's life! Issue 4, 2016.