A Great German Shepherd's Story
From Horror to Healing and Joy
compiled by Nancy Allen
Picture courtesy of Rookie's Facebook page
Click on the line above to go to his Facebook page
This information was provided by all the Oklahoma City television stations (KFOR, KWTV, and KOCO) including their websites, NewsOK and Rookie's Facebook Page. If you go to the search feature on the news websites you might be able to still pull up articles on Rookie. My thanks to local stations who have run a number of stories on him. I put this story on my website for all who may not have heard the story, especially out of the state of Oklahoma. It has been really well reported here in our state. However, I felt this story was too important to not be reported on in my website.
Rookie the German Shepherd was riding in a vehicle on December 6, 2012 when an evil and cruel occupant of the vehicle grabbed him and threw him off the S.E. 59th St. Bridge in Oklahoma City down onto Interstate 40 where cars were whizzing by.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper Jennifer Fisher responded to the call from a motorist who saw the incident and she rushed to the scene and arrived about 5 minutes after the call. She was shocked to see Rookie trying to walk over to her. She said at that time she began to bond with Rookie. Without hesitation and with great compassion she helped the dog into her vehicle and rushed him to Deer Creek Animal Hospital in Harrah, Oklahoma. He had lost a lot of blood and his left rear leg was broken in at least 4 place with open fractures. His knee cap was broken in several places also. He had internal injuries and bleeding and was in critical condition. Later he was transferred to Oklahoma State University Veterinary School Teaching Hospital in Stillwater, OK for treatment and surgery the following Tuesday. His leg was repaired with a steel rod, plates, and screws. He will need extensive rehab. He was adopted by Trooper Fisher and her family and went home the week of December 18. I would like to commend Trooper Fisher for being a true hero in going the extra mile many times over to save and adopt Rookie.
He had to stay most of the time in a pen for about 3 months until he healed completely so he would not over stress his leg. I have immense respect and gratitude for all Trooper Fisher has done for Rookie and for giving him a wonderful, loving home. Also, I am so appreciative to the Humane Society of Oklahoma who paid for Rookie's veterinary care which was at least $4000. In addition though, Rookie's new family had to pay for his after care including extensive rehabilitation. There was an account set up for Rookie's care at BancFirst in Oklahoma in his name at that. I donated and many others did also to help Rookie and his family.
Rookie, 4 years old at the time, was also lucky to have such great doctors treat him initially in Harrah and at the OSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital where they performed some really miraculous surgery on him. I saw the x-rays and to my untrained eye they looked totally impossible to fix—like a jigsaw puzzle with the pieces scatter about in his leg. I gasped when I saw the image. I have seen quite a few x-rays in my life after working at a vet clinic for 2 years and seeing a number of x-rays of my pets over the years. I had never seen anything like that.
So, how does this story relate to my Guardian Angel on Duty theme? First of all, I believe very strongly that Rookie’s rescuer, OHP Trooper Jennifer Fisher, was definitely his "Guardian Angel" who took him for immediate medical care and is now his owner. As a nurse and reasoning person, I began to wonder and I now believe Rookie must have had an another Guardian Angel, unseen, who helped cushion his fall. Otherwise, I cannot fathom how on earth an animal could have lived from a fall that far and that hard. Also, how else could he have survived from being hit by a vehicle after falling onto the interstate? And how did he get up and walk to his rescuer? These are all deep mysteries to me.
In a previous story about myself falling in Guardian Angel on Duty 2 (My Dangerous Fall), I believe an angel must have kept me from brain injury and/or possible death when I fell at our cabin. That was absolutely nothing compared to the distance and danger involved in Rookie’s fall. I definitely didn’t fall from an overpass bridge onto an interstate. I feel very strongly Rookie’s life was spared with some heavenly and human help. As an animal lover, I am so very thankful Rookie is here with us today and I pray often he will have a very long, happy life with his new loving, compassionate family. My deepest thanks and appreciation go out to all who helped to save Rookie. I am also very grateful for all the prayers for Rookie’s complete healing and for his new loving family, the Fishers. He has made an unbelievable recovery. It was a very long and hard experience for Rookie and the family, but also like a miracle.
The Guardian Angel theory is held and shared by me, Nancy Allen. I cannot prove it (except for his human angels who helped), but in my mind, a definite great probability.
The Oklahoma Humane Society was offering a cash reward of $7,500 to help catch the person who threw Rookie off the bridge in one of the worst cases of animal abuse I have heard of. I don't know if this reward is still in effect. Also, anyone with information on the case is asked to call the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office at (405) 713-1000.
Update: Rookie went for a 2 week check up at the OSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital December 26, 2012 and according to his Facebook page, his new mom Trooper Fisher said, "Everything looks good, they did a radiograph today and the doctor said it looks like the bone graft is already starting to take." That is fantastic news.
Update 1/10/13: Rookie is doing wonderful. He was on KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City today. Be sure and see the great video below. Thanks to Rookie's new mom OHP Trooper Jennifer Fisher for sending me the picture of him above. And a huge thank you again to her for saving Rookie, getting help for him, and adopting her into a great loving home. He is fitting in there beautifully.
Click on this line to go to his KFOR appearance and then click on the video.
Update 1/17/13: Information from Rookie's Facebook page - "Went back for Rookie's 6 week check-up, everything looks good. The radiographs revealed stable implants and fracture reduction with mild evidence of bone healing of the femur. He will be starting therapy with underwater treadmill and therapeutic laser therapy at McGee Street Animal Hospital in Norman with Dr. Greg Emmert.
There have been several wonderful people that have sent donations to my Troop HQ and I have tried to send everyone back a personal Thank You note. I have also received several emails and calls of people wanting to help out. Although we are not asking for donations we have opened up an account at any Bancfirst under Jennifer Fisher for Rookie."
Update 2/15/13: Rookie was a guest at the Super Plunge for Special Olympics in Oklahoma. He didn't jump in the water, but got lots of love from those at the event.
Update 2/19/13: Great news on Rookie!! Here is a video update from KFOR on Rookie's physical therapy with Dr. Emmert and how this amazing dog is doing in general. Please continue to pray for Rookie's complete recovery and also for his new family who is doing a terrific job of caring for him. Thanks!
Update: 3/6/13 Some worrisome news from Rookie's 12 week check up came to light. Here are some quotes from Rookie's Facebook page. "The news wasn't so good, the bone is not growing so they are taking him back into surgery tomorrow to pull out some pins or maybe replace the rod. He will be in the hospital (at OSU Teaching Hospital) a few days and then it's back to square one for us. He will be created again and the slowly starting on PT again. The date of the surgery was updated to Friday, March 8 at about 11:00. He is not in any pain and eating well at this point."
Update during surgery from Rookie's Facebook page at about 10:15: Dr. Walker just called. They are going to replace the rod in Rookie's leg, but the recovery time shouldn't take as long as last time. They should be done around 4:00.
This evening (Friday) Jennifer reported on Rookie's Facebook that he is out of surgery and great. They replaced the rod with a smaller one and did another bone graft to fill in more of the gap. If all goes well he will get to come home Monday or Tuesday.
Update: 3/11/13 Rookie is home now and doing well. He was just thrilled to see his new mom when she came to pick him up. God bless Rookie and Jennifer Fisher and her family.
Update: 3/14/13 Rookie is doing better and is back to his usual self. Click here for an video update from KWTV News 9 in Oklahoma City on Rookie.
Update: 3/15/13 Rookie started physical therapy again today with Dr. Emmert. According to Rookie's Facebook page Dr. Emmert said his leg was looking good but with the amount of bone they took he will be sore for awhile.
Update: 4/7/13 Quoting Rookie's Face Book page: "There's not much change. He is going to PT and slowly making progress. He goes back to Stillwater to the vets in 2 weeks and we will know how the bone is healing."
Update: 4/17/13 Quoting from Rookie's Face Book page: "We went to Stillwater today, his bone graft isn't taking very well and his lower pin is coming out. They kept him so the head surgeon could look at him to see what we can do next. I'll post more when I hear more."
Update: 4/18/13 Quoting Jennifer Fisher on Rookie's Face Book page: "I heard back from the surgeons today, looks like Rookie is having another surgery maybe tomorrow. They are going to try another pin and bone graft and place a bone stimulator in. They are not sure why the surgeries are not working. This is our last option before amputation. Oh Lord, I hope this works."
Update: 4/22/13 Quoting Rookie's "Mom" OHP Trooper Jennifer Fisher on Face Book page: "Rookie is out of surgery. They put in smaller nails (pins) and once they opened up the bone graft site it was better than what they thought. The bone graft has take. It just hasn't calcified yet. That's why it didn't show up very well on the x-rays. They are still going to use a bone stimulator to help the bone get stronger. Thanks everyone for your thoughts and prayers."
Update: 4/26/13 Rookie is home from the hospital and doing well. He was so happy when he saw his "dad" arriving to pick him up. He isn't really happy about having to wear the cone (elizabethan collar) around his neck again for a few days though. From Rookie's Face Book page.
Update: 4/29/13 Rookie is doing great. He is using his leg more every day. From Rookie's Face Book page.
Update: 5/1/13 Rookie is receiving bone stimulation from a special device. He has to use it at the same time every night for 30 minutes a night for 30 days. He doesn't mind. He just has to be prevented from getting up during the treatment. From Rookie's Face Book page. Go to his page to see pictures.
Update: 5/18/13 Rookie seems to be doing great! He goes back for another x-ray in a couple of weeks to see how his bone is healing. From Rookie's Face Book page.
Update: 6/13/13 FANTASTIC NEWS!!! Rookie's "Mom" just wrote on his Face Book page the best news ever: "Hey everyone, sorry it's been awhile. We have been super busy this summer. I took Rookie back to the Dr. yesterday and everything is looking great. The bone is healing great and is almost all the way filled in. We go back in 6 to 7 weeks and if things still look good, no restrictions."
Update: 8/3/13 According to Rookie's Face Book page: He is doing great, he doesn't limp very much anymore and he loves to run and jump. We should be going back to the Dr. in a few weeks to get fully released. I know I haven't posted much lately but i want to thank everyone for caring so much for this wonderful dog. He is truly a loving and caring dog and he is very protective of us."
Also, on Rookie's Face Book page from 8/3/13 regarding the person that threw him off the bridge here is an update:
"Everyone has been asking about the person that threw him off the bridge. I would like to say that the Oklahoma County Sheriff Department has done a great job on this case. We do know who did it but without the eye witness everything that they have found out is considered circumstantial and they DA would not file the charges."
Update: 10/8/13 According to Rookie's Face Book page: Hello everyone, just wanting to let everyone know that Rookie is still doing great. He is such a good dog and seems to be so happy. He loves going to the lake and riding in the car (he thinks he needs to go everywhere). He loves running and playing outside with the other dogs. With the weather changing you can tell that his leg bothers him at times. He limps on it, but it doesn't seem to hurt him. Rookie's "Mom" posted several nice pictures and he looks wonderful. Go to his Face Book page to see them.
MORE ON ROOKIE
He and all who love him are so blessed to hear how great Rookie is doing. We all give thanks again for Rookie's family including OHP Trooper Jennifer Fisher his "Mom" who rescued him, their family, the doctor's and other medical staff, and all who have prayed and donated to help Rookie get well. It has really been a community effort to accomplish this goal of getting Rookie well. The highest praise though goes to Jennifer Fisher for stepping up immediately and doing what was needed to rescue Rookie. Without her none of it would have happened. Jennifer you are a true hero!!!
I hope and pray that any witness or witnesses to the crime of throwing Rookie off the bridge will please come forward so justice can be done for Rookie and his loving family.
Also, I would like to ask all who will, please pray for a full recovery for Rookie and a long, happy life. Thanks for your prayers!
ROOKIE UPDATE December 8, 2013
Rookie is doing wonderful. He now has a new adopted sister Bell, another abandoned German Shepherd. Click below to go to Rookie's Facebook page to learn more and see pictures.
ROOKIE UPDATE January 11, 2015
Be sure and visit Rookie's Facebook page by clicking on this line.