Abi’s hug for pet dog after husky attack

Three-year old Abi O’Donoghue had a big kiss and hug for her own pet dog Blackie on arriving home from hospital.

Speaking yesterday, her father Cathal O’Donoghue described the happy return of his daughter to her family home at Ballynacally in west Clare four days after she was the victim of a vicious attack by a husky.

Mr O’Donoghue said that Abi had been inundated with presents and cards from neighbours and friends on leaving University College Hospital Galway.

He said: “She is in very good form.”

Abi sustained 60 stitches to injuries to her head and body after being attacked at her aunt’s home on Saturday.

On Sunday, during a 90-minute operation, medics applied the stitches to wounds at the back of Abi’s head measuring 9cm and 7cm along with a wound behind her left ear and left arm.

Reflecting yesterday on the attack, Cathal said: “If the attack had gone for a few more seconds or if the dog had bitten her an inch to the left or right to where she was marked, Abi would be dead.”

Mr O’Donoghue said that he did not know how Abi would react around her own pet dog, a cockerel spaniel, Blackie when she returned.

He said: “Blackie was out waiting for Abi and when she got out of the jeep, she had a big kiss and hug for the dog. She said ‘I missed you Blackie’. We are very happy to have her home.”

Mr O’Donoghue said that friends, neighbours and staff at both Ennis and Galway hospitals “have been fantastic since what happened”.

Mr O’Donoghue said that Abi was now looking forward to celebrating her fourth birthday on May 13 with her siblings: Jonathan, 6, Kelsey, 5, Jake, 2, and baby Ruby along with other relatives, friends and neighbours.

After the operation on Sunday, Mr O’Donoghue said that Abi was sitting up in her hospital bed “singing ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ to the nurses. She is as tough as nails and has great spirit.”

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