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The Road to Recovery Leads to Pippi

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For Walter Kenyon, winning this year’s “My Dog and the Great Outdoors” contest meant more than just scoring his dog some awesome gear from Ruffwear. It was a way to commemorate a bond with his four-legged friend, Pippi, after having a near-death experience on the highway with her last spring.

walter-pippi-web2It was May 23rd, 2015 when Walter and Pippi took a trip along highway 83 towards Seeley Lake that would change both of their lives. After passing another vehicle, Walter’s truck hit the berm on the on the edge of the highway and as he attempted to steer to the left, he lost control. The truck rolled six times down an embankment, ejecting both Walter and Pippi from the vehicle.

When a first responder found him lying face down on the edge of a swamp, the first thing on Walter’s mind was Pippi. Totally unaware and unconcerned with his own state of being, he told the responder that he needed to find his dog. After many unsuccessful attempts to locate her, emergency personal gave up and Walter was taken to the hospital without knowing the fate of his best friend.

As an MSU nursing student, Walter wasn’t used to having others care for him. He admits it was a difficult pill to swallow when he found himself in a hospital bed with multiple injuries, including 19 broken bones, some of which required surgery to mend, not to mention a few pins and rods. Worst of all was having lost Pippi. Walter’s devastation prompted some of his close friends to return to the scene of the accident and look for his lost dog. Pippi was not one to come to strangers, but as the fates would allow, Pippi responded to the calling of her name and was miraculously found with only a scratch on her body.

It’s been a long journey to recovery for Walter, having to rely on the help of his nursing friends just so that he could walk again. One thing is for sure; his recovery would not have been complete without his special companion, Pippi.