Turkey Neck

Thank God For Turkey Necks

It was a gorgeous late May evening in Priest River, Idaho.  The sun had just dipped behind the mountainside, leaving dusk to transition into evening.

The stars twinkled dimly above us, preparing for the night shift. The
temperature was a perfect crisp 64 degrees, encouraging an extended walk for myself, my husband Mike, and our 3 dog family: Monte, our 10 year old 100 pound standard poodle, Marli, our  11 year old100 lb. pitbull/Rottweiler mix, and Greta Marie, our 5 year old 12 lb. miniature schnauzer.

We had been walking about an hour and a half when we headed back home, relaxed and peaceful, excited to prepare for a weekend getaway. My husband moved to the left, while I moved to the right to let a speeding truck pass between us.

A blur of blonde and black, came sailing through the air from the back end of the pickup. I turned to see a set of pearly white teeth attach midair to my poodle’s back, and without a sound, the three of us, me, Monty, the attached dog, succumbed to momentum, rolling together on the gravel edge of the road.  Without even a second of
hesitation, the dog clamped down on Monty’s neck.  I could see that our perpetrator was a small, 60 lb., intensely determined pitbull mix. I scrambled off the ground, still not releasing the hold I had of my poodle’s collar. 

I pulled Monty toward me and gave the pitbull a quick
sharp jab to the ribs, along with a guttural and firm “NO!” fully expecting the dog to suck in air and release his throathold. Nothing
happened. I did it again with extreme firmness. The pitbull
reacted by tightening his grip on my thrashing and crying poodle.  The dog attached to Monty’s neck had no intention of allowing him to live.  A fear came over me that I have never known before and never want to know again.  Mike tried unhinging the dogs jaw with his fingers, and could not get them unlocked, alarmed further when the dog reacted by grinding more on Monty’s throat.

The owner of the dog, had stopped his truck in the middle
of the road and ran to assist us. He was a large man, probably close to 300 lbs, with huge hands.  He tried pulling the pitbull off of Monty, which triggered him to move his throathold from under Monty’s jaw to his jugular.  I didn’t think Monty could breathe.  He had stopped struggled, and all four legs stopped midair. I put my hands on his sides as I straddled his middle, and the men worked by his head. I locked my eyes on his, willing him to breathe, hoping he could live through this horrendous experience.  Monty looked back into my desperate, crying eyes, sending me not fear, but acceptance, trust and love.  I was helpless to help him, and squeezed him tightly so he could feel and see me.

Mike and the owner struggled urgently with the
dog, leveraging over 500 pounds of human male muscle to pry and pull on the pitbull’s locked hold. Nothing was working, and I feared the worst. The owner laid his entire body weight on his own dog, and sacrificing his own hands to free Monty, he was able to pain-stakingly pry the pitbull’s jaws apart for a brief second.  “Pull!”
he told me and I did! I pulled my poodle with all of my might and at last Monty was freed from the pitbulls jaws.  Monty scrambled to his feet and started to run. I called him back to me, amazed at his
obedience. He hid behind me, battered, shaky, and bewildered.

We checked over Monty’s injuries, fearing the worst, while the pitbull’s owner fought to secure his dog back inside the cab of his truck.  We were amazed and grateful that our poodle appeared to have no life-threatening injuries.  His neck skin was ripped and bloodied, but not bleeding, and he was breathing fine. Monty’s loose neck skin, something he has been teased incessantly about for his entire 10 years, had fronted the attack meant for his jugular. Mike and I hugged our poodle with a renewed appreciation for his life.  “Maybe turkey necks aren’t so bad, Mont!
Thank God for turkey necks!” I whispered in Monty’s ear with a kiss.  He wagged his tail at me, eyes shining brightly, and slobbered two fat sloppy kisses across my neck.


This is a true story that took place May 30, 2014.

All rights reserved. Reprinted with owner permission.

Copyrights reserved. DuAnn Chambers 2014