Jango outside the WCVM after his final appointment after surgery (photo by Jeanette Neufeld).

Top dog

Dwane McLaren calls his dog Jango a “firecracker.”

The three-year-old blue heeler is an expert cattle herder, and when McLaren found himself cornered by 14 angry bulls, Jango came to his rescue.

The small dog took on the bulls, and Jango didn’t stop protecting McLaren even after suffering a broken jaw.

“The bulls were 2,200 pounds—and he’s 40,” said McLaren, who hauls cattle for a living. “One [bull] decided he didn’t like me very much, and he started coming after me … [Jango] grabbed onto the back of his ankle and distracted him enough that I could get over the fence.”

McLaren says he’s amazed at Jango’s protective nature.

“For him to know to come and do that—I didn’t call him or anything. The natural instinct to help in a dog is unbelievable,” he said.

After a three-hour struggle, McLaren finally got the bulls loaded in his semi-trailer. That’s when he noticed Jango was bleeding from his mouth. Despite being injured, the dog hadn’t stopped helping his owner the entire time.

“He’s tougher than nails, this fellow,” he said of his dog.

The pair drove their load of bulls from Brooks, Alta., to Swift Current, Sask., where a local veterinarian referred Jango to the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s (WCVM) Veterinary Medical Centre.

McLaren’s parents drove out to Swift Current and took Jango—who wasn’t happy to see his owner get back in the truck’s cab without him—while McLaren completed the haul.

After the weekend, Jango came in for surgery at the WCVM. Fortunately, the break in Jango’s jaw was the best possible scenario, said Dr. Erin Hilberry, a clinical associate in dentistry.

Jango had suffered a rostral mandibular fracture, which meant the tip of his bottom jaw had broken off. His lower right canine tooth—the long pointy one at the front—also came out because the bone around his tooth had broken off.

Read more at WCVM Today.

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