A PET dog is lucky to be alive after skewering himself on a stick ‘like a kebab’ while running around on the Ridgeway.

Doug, a two-year-old collie retriever cross, was out with his owner, Tony Holland, on Sunday morning when he got caught on the stick, which pierced him behind his back right leg and through the other side of his abdomen.

Tony, who lives in Ashbury, knew there was a problem when Doug wouldn’t run back to him.

“We were just out on our normal weekend walk on Sunday at about 10.30am. We were the furthest away we could possibly be from the car,” said the 49-year-old.

“I was calling him to come back to me and he suddenly appeared out the hedgerow about 250 yards away. I was calling him and whistling and he wouldn’t come back.

“I feared he had broken something because he was standing still. As I got closer I could see something coming out from his back right leg.”

When Tony realised what had happened he called his partner, Sarah Loney, and she contacted Drove Veterinary Hospital as well as friends around the village for help.

Zoe Lilly and Mike Haines came to help with a sledge to carry Doug on, and farmers Sally-Anne and Bill Spence arrived with a quad bike shortly afterwards.

They then put him in the car and took him to Drove Vets, in Croft Road, where he underwent several hours of surgery to remove the stick.

“I was numb because I didn’t know the extent of it. I just knew I had to be calm and logical because he couldn’t do anything,” said Tony.

“Our friends in the village have been absolutely fantastic. Within a couple of phone calls there were people rallying around to help. I can’t thank them enough. The vets have been fantastic too.”

Tony, who is director of Rumbold Holland in Elgin Industrial Estate, also thanked Steve Elliott for helping Sarah while Doug and Tony were out in the Ridgeway.

Lynne Gaskarth, veterinary surgeon and partner at Drove, said: “Dogs get stick injuries a lot when they are biting and chasing sticks but Doug managed to kebab himself on the stick. He is lucky to be alive, he could have bled to death on the Ridgeway.”

The stick went into his abdomen but missed his bowel, spleen and major arteries.

Lynne added: “This is an extreme case. We want to highlight to the public this is the damage sticks can do. Doug wasn’t chasing a stick at the time, this was just a bad accident, but we want people to be aware of the danger.

“It is also a good idea to have the phone number for your vet on your mobile just in case.”

Doug is on morphine and antibiotics and is expected to remain at the vets for the next few days.