Words by Chris Killion
I was driving in Ohio on a state route with my lab, “Bear”, who was riding in the back of my Toyota Tundra in a Gunner G1™ Intermediate dog crate. We were on one of those country roads that wound pretty heavily and I was going into one of the curves in pouring down rain when I smashed into a kid driving a Chrysler head on, going about 55 mph.
The bottom had dropped out of the sky earlier in the day and it hadn’t stopped since I started driving. The curvy backroad I was traveling on was slick from it, and the other driver had zero tread on his tires – a recipe for disaster. He essentially hydroplaned, which is why I hit him straight on when rounding that corner in pouring down rain.
The two vehicles connected so hard that I felt my whole truck lifted up into the air – by a miracle, we didn’t flip. I had just purchased the new Tundra off the lot two weeks before and in the end it was completely totaled.
The airbag deployed, and the other kid driving had his come out too. He came over to check on me before I could get out. I told him I was ok but asked him to make sure my dog was alive – I’m going to be honest, in that moment I wasn’t sure. He ran back there and reported that Bear seemed fine.
As I walked back there I thought this six-month-old dog is going to be too hurt or traumatized, and he was just about to start his first duck season. But when I opened up the door my boy came trotting out, not limping or anything (and dry, too). The Gunner kennel never moved and there’s not a thing wrong with it.
Later that day I could tell he was shaken, but it’s the most amazing thing to think about – he was in a head-on collision going 55 mph and now I’m out here tonight throwing bumpers to him.
Like I mentioned, this will be Bear’s first duck season, we’ve already done a little bit of upland. I just got him from a nearby breeder last winter. It’s a silver lab, and nobody wanted him. They were going to put him down so I got him – I wanted my next lab to be from a reputable breeder, but I felt so bad for this damn dog.
We’ve invested a lot into Bear in a short amount of time: I’ve done hours and miles of work since I started him on the Cornerstone Gundog Academy training courses. Plus he’s got the eye condition entropion, and because of that we’re a little too familiar with the specialists at the Ohio State vet clinic. Not to mention the bond my wife and I have developed with him.
All that to say… my philosophy on it is this: these dogs are an investment, no matter what kind of dog they are. I’ve got multiple dogs, so I have multiple Gunner Kennels. To me the Gunner dog box goes hand-in-hand with buying a dog, it’s like an insurance policy. This has proven that.
“When I walked back there and found Bear alive, I wanted to call you right away because I was almost in tears. Thank God for Gunner.”
Read more: “Gunner Saved Diesel’s Life“
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