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June 2021 issue is now available!


Dog Rescues Farrier


By Nancy Brannon

It could have been the plot line for a “Lassie” episode.

Many farriers travel with canine companions, and farrier Mark Taylor’s dog Freckles has been a loyal “side kick” for almost three years (this coming November), riding with him on every trip to trim horses. Freckles, deemed by veterinarians as part Corgi, part Australian Shepherd, with maybe a little Blue Heeler, is a rescue dog; “He picked me,” Mark said, “And he hasn’t left my side. He’s a great partner.” But Mark never realized how valuable a partner Freckles could be until a fateful day in March, when the rescued dog became a rescue dog.

On Friday March 22, one of Mark’s few Fridays off, he and Freckles were traveling in Mark’s wife’s car to a doctor’s appointment for a checkup. There had been heavy rains that day and there was still a light rain coming down. Mark was driving on Beck Springs Road between Ashland and Potts Camp, Mississippi, through the Holly Springs National Forest.

As he drove around a curve, suddenly the car hydroplaned, started fishtailing, and Mark lost control. The car was headed for a tree, about to hit it on the driver’s side! Somehow the car got turned around and when it hit the tree, it hit on the passenger’s side. The car was airborne with it hit, then slid down the tree and into a ditch.

The passenger’s side window was broken, and the car was totally smashed. Somehow Freckles got out of the wrecked car, miraculously unhurt, and went up to the road, where he stood, waiting for a car or someone to come by.
Meanwhile, Mark had lost consciousness and was down in the ditch in the wrecked car.

Soon, Mrs. Diane Taylor drove by, saw Freckles standing by the side of the road, and stopped to get him. She knew he was not a stray by the healthy way he looked. But when she tried to capture Freckles, he turned and ran back down into the ditch to the car. Diane followed Freckles and saw the wrecked car with Mark inside. She called at once for emergency services and it wasn’t long until the Sheriff and an ambulance arrived on the scene.

Rescuers revived Mark and determined that he had been unconscious for about 25-40 minutes. He had some bruising from the wreck, “not bad,” he said, and was actually able to walk to the ambulance.

He was transported to the hospital, were doctors performed a CT scan, looking for internal bleeding or broken bones. Luckily, there were neither, but doctors did find another “surprise” for Mark. They found a mass on his left kidney.

Several doctor visits later, and an analysis of the mass led doctors to conclude that the kidney should be removed. So on June 6, Mark had surgery to remove his left kidney. The results were: one benign cyst plus a stage-3 cancer tumor. The surgery was a success and all the cancer removed! There was found to be no cancer in the lymph nodes or rest of the body, so Mark is on the road to a quick recovery and will be back at work mid-July.

Blessings come in many forms, Mark has concluded. “Without the car wreck, I wouldn’t have had the CT scan, and the mass on the kidney would not have been found. Without that detection, it could have ruptured anytime! Life throws us some unusual curve balls and teaches us some important lessons. We come to realize how sensitive and how short our life can be.”

Mark was rescued by his rescued dog Freckles!

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