Story by Spencer Harris | As Told by Gunner

My wife, Candace, and I travel often with our dogs. We had just spent a really great day with our two pups at a friend’s farm outside of Aliceville, Alabama – fishing, preparing for the pending turkey season and picnicking. 

Later that afternoon we loaded up our 1-year-old yellow lab, Tuck, and 4-year-old Yorkipoo, Si, in a friend’s Toyota Tundra to head back home. We were first going to drop off the truck and his Polaris Ranger, and were traveling about 60 MPH on a four-lane highway towards Northport when disaster struck.

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The Toyota Trunda after the accident 

As we crested the hill, we slammed straight into a car traveling perpendicular to the highway. That car was coming from a cut-through road and had a stop sign, but its brakes had given out – and both of us were in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

A REAL-LIFE DOG CRATE CRASH TEST

I was driving, and had just a second to see that we were going to hit the car. I tried to slam on the brakes, but the hitched Ranger pushed us right on through. I turned his steering wheel to put the impact on the driver’s side of the truck, threw my arm over Candace, and felt the impact as the Tundra rolled twice. 

When the truck stopped rolling, we had landed on its roof. Outside of minor injuries, we realized they were shaken but okay: we were both able to unbuckle our seatbelts and crawl out of the truck's window.

After we checked on one another, our first thoughts were the dogs: Si had been riding unrestrained in the back seat and was nowhere to be found – the back passenger window had been smashed, and the Yorkipoo (Candace's baby) had escaped through the window. 

Tuck, my lab, was riding in his Gunner Kennels G1™ Intermediate in the truck's bed, which was strapped down by the dog box’s stainless-steel anchor points. I found him safe and unharmed in his crate, which had absorbed the full impact of the rollover and still remained ratcheted to the bed. The door had remained locked and closed the entire time.

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Tuck, Spencer's yellow lab

To make a long story short: miraculously, every member of our family made it out okay from this near-disastrous wreck. Candace was taken to the hospital and sustained only minor injuries compared to what could have been. Si – our Yorkipoo who escaped – was found the next morning near the same highway stretch, by a woman who had seen the viral story on Facebook. He was traumatized but physically unharmed, and he gave us a good scare getting lost. 

DOG KENNELS THAT SAVE LIVES

When I initially released Tuck from his crate, he too bolted from the scene in fright. I found him right after at a nearby lake.

Ultimately, I credit Gunner Kennels for changing Tuck’s outcome. Your kennel saved my dog’s life. There is no doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t have my amazing lab today if it wasn’t for Addison – I'm so grateful for everyone at Gunner Kennels. I will never transport another dog without one.

I just wrapped up his first duck season with Tuck, and am looking forward to many years to come with the lab, chasing birds.

That’s why I originally got a Gunner – I knew I was investing so much time and money into this duck dog, and I knew Gunner was the best product I could buy. 

I don’t want to think about what would’ve happened if it hadn’t been a Gunner.

SMALL DOGS MATTER, TOO

By the way, if you're wondering: yes, Si will now be traveling in a G1™ Small. Gunner gifted him one!

Lab and Yorkipoo