Injured dog recovers, returns home after two months

Tank was accidentally dragged by a truck after his leash became tangled around the hitch during a family hunting trip in early October.

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Tank gets in the holiday mood with a Santa hat. He wears a t-shirt to protect his wounds.

After two months of recovering at the Associated Veterinary Medical Center, the Bond family's dog Tank has returned home.

Tank, a 9-year-old shepherd/chow mix, was accidentally dragged by a truck after his leash became tangled around the hitch during a family hunting trip in early October. He sustained no internal injuries, but his external wounds were gruesome.

Now, after many surgeries and a long stay at the clinic, Tank is at home and happy to be there.

"He's starting to come back to himself now. When you come home and you don't greet him he'll go 'wowowo' -- it's not a bark and it's not a whine, it's just 'hey, you didn't say hi to me,'" said Jason Bond of Kennewick.

Tank's injuries are almost done healing, too. All of his wounds have closed except for "an eight- or nine-inch circle" on his shoulder, which the Bonds protect by having Tank wear a T-shirt and booties on his paws to prevent him from scratching.

After extensive knee reconstruction in which Dr. Dallas Thompson used fishing line to repair the torn ligaments, Tank is even walking up the stairs again.

Bond described how Tank would always sleep with his daughter, following her up the stairs as soon as she said "good night, I love you" to her parents. Initially, Tank's leg was too atrophied to make it up the stairs.

"You could tell before it was depressing him. Then one night we were standing in the kitchen and my daughter said, 'good night, I love you,' and he just got up and walked up the stairs."

Bond expressed deep gratitude for the outstanding care and sympathy of the Associated Veterinary Medical Center, saying he is "completely happy and thankful for everything.

"We will never take any of our animals anywhere else ever again. It's completely worth the 40-minute drive down there," said Bond.

To help pay the high cost of care for Tank, Bond sold the family's two horses and a Ford Bronco he had been fixing up for his daughter's first car.

The Bonds were also given thousands of dollars from friends and anonymous donors after Tank's story was circulated in newspapers and Web sites across the country.

The clinic provided financial support as well; Tank's knee surgery was performed free of charge, and for the last several weeks of Tank's stay the Bonds were charged only for the cost of bandages.

Bond also named his mother as an essential part of Tank's recovery. A resident of Walla Walla, she visited Tank in the clinic every day.

"It didn't matter if she was sick or my dad was sick, she was there every day," Bond said.

Tank will most likely not be fully recovered until the spring, but for now the Bonds are just happy to have him home.

"He's part of my family so I spend a lot of time with him. I bottle fed him from the beginning, so he thinks I'm mom. I can't imagine life without him," said Bond's wife.

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