Fate had been kind to little Baboo.
Though 14 years old, blind, deaf and a bit feeble, the Yorkshire terrier enjoyed a pampered existence in a Pompano Beach oceanfront highrise.
Wednesday, fate dealt an even kinder hand to the beloved Yorkie.
The 11-pound pooch slipped through a balcony railing. He plummeted eight dizzying stories. The unforgiving concrete of a pool deck waited below.
But Baboo landed on a lounge chair instead.
Friday, he was home and taking his usual early walk. The 80-foot fall left him with no broken bones, only a punctured lung.
Owners Paula and Ron Szczapinski are amazed at their dog's good fortune.
"He is really a special dog," said Paula Szczapinski. "We love him so much and are so happy to have more time with him."
Szczapinski had left Baboo, whom she affectionately calls BooBoo, in her Ocean Monarch condo around 11:30 a.m. Workers were on scene. While they milled about, the blind dog somehow made his way to the balcony and toppled over.
Neighbors notified Szczapinski, who arrived to find her precious pup lying motionless on the pool deck. "When I approached him he somehow managed to stand up," she said. "Everyone screamed in shock since he had been lying there not moving until then."
Szczapinski scooped Baboo up into a beach towel. She clutched him close while a friend drove to the Imperial Point Animal Hospital in Fort Lauderdale.
"I was sure he had to be dying, so you can imagine how traumatic that was," she said. "Other than losing my parents, it was the worst day of my life."
Veterinarian Bob Buzzetti rushed to treat the stunned Baboo. "When the dog came in, he collapsed and was almost motionless," he said.
But Baboo's heartbeat was amazingly steady. Buzetti inserted an IV, sent X-rays to a radiologist, and received the welcome diagnosis: no damage other than the punctured lung. Therapy and an overnight stay at the vet's is all it took for Baboo to go home Thursday.
"It'll be a couple of weeks until he's back to normal," the vet said.
About five years ago, Buzzetti treated a cat for a bad fall. But a dog dropping eight stories? "That's a long way," the vet said.
Baboo's not discussing his ordeal. But despite his silence, his owners are elated to have him back. "We're so thankful to have a second chance with our dog," Paula Szczapinski said.
Richard Dotson, who lives on the condo's top floor, was among those Ocean Monarch neighbors left astonished by Baboo's miraculous luck. "It's the first time I've ever heard of anything like that … a dog falling onto a pool chair."
Staff researcher Barbara Hijek contributed to this report
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