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English Lab shot by arrow on the mend by Friday morning

Jacob, just a few hours after undergoing surgery to remove an arrow from his mid section, was in considerable pain. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)1 / 2
Jacob's owner, Kirsten Evavold, at left, confers with Dr. Mia Long on her lab's prognosis. Long estimated it would take a few weeks for Jake to fully recover from being shot with a bow and arrow. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)2 / 2

"Jacob's Miracle" could be the title to a schmaltzy made-for-TV movie if it wasn't so heart-wrenchingly true.

Jacob showed up at his owner's door early Thursday morning yelping. An arrow had nearly pierced through his midsection. He was bleeding profusely. The tip of the arrow could be seen trying to poke through his skin.

Jacob's owner, Kirsten Evavold, doesn't believe what happened to her English Lab on their Arcade Loop subdivision between 1st and 2nd Crow Wing lakes was a hunting accident gone awry.

Two local men quickly became suspects.

A trail of blood was visible leading up Evavolds' back steps and across the road where the dog had last been seen only 30 minutes before, out taking his morning constitutional and romping around while Kirsten jumped into the shower.

She threw on her robe and slippers when she heard her dog trying to get her attention. What she saw made her stomach churn.

"He nearly bled out trying to get my attention," she said.

Jacob made his own way up into the Evavold pickup's back seat. A frantic Kirsten lifted his back legs to get him inside and raced to The Ark Animal Hospital in Park Rapids.

Dr. Mia Long and her staff placed the dog on a makeshift gurney and raced him into the clinic where he was sedated, X-rayed and underwent surgery.

"I made a small incision and poked the arrow through the skin," Long said. "We unscrewed the broadhead and pulled it (the arrow) back out."

Drainage tubes were inserted. The procedure took two hours. The heavily medicated lab was gently placed on his blankie in a kennel behind the operating room.

He'd been shot in a residential area of Hubbard County.

Jacob hovered in critical condition Thursday as Long tried to console Kirsten. Covered in blood, she called her husband Bob during the operation. She could barely get the words out in between sobs.

"He was very lucky," Long said Thursday afternoon of her patient. "It missed the vital areas. He's a big strong dog. We'll do everything we can to keep him alive."

Jacob was lucky, indeed.

The Evavolds' neighbor's dog was shot with a gun Sunday night. It died two nights later.

Kirsten is wondering if there is a connection.

The Hubbard County Sheriff's Department quickly focused on the two men, for both incidents. The men allegedly told them one had shot the first dog; the other, in a show of one-upsmanship, had shot Jacob. By press time, no arrests had been made and this account of the events could not be confirmed.

"We don't know yet if it was hunters or somebody unhappy with the dog," Sheriff Frank Homer said.

"People shouldn't be shooting at houses," Kirsten said tearfully. "What if it was somebody's kid, somebody going to work in the morning?"

Long said during hunting season, it's always wise to keep pets close to home or inside.

"This is the first one we'd had shot with an arrow but we get many dogs shot with rifles during hunting season," she said. "We try to get the message out."

But Jacob pulled through the night and Friday morning the news was even better.

"Jacob's sitting up. He's got a happy tail," reported vet assistant Tricia Hayes.