The grapevine is not exactly a reliable place to get a story from so it is no surprise that many details of the accident have been altered during the retelling. Part of the problem was that I only had my side of the story. I could only report what I had heard and saw. Now that some time has passed and I have heard other perspectives from that day, I would like to share the story as accurately as possible.
Luna was running at an LGRA event close to the NJ/PA border. Luna and the other dog weigh about the same and this was their second time running at an event. At an LGRA event, four dogs wearing basket muzzles are released from a starting box and run straight for 200 yards after a lure. This is a race so whichever dog crosses the finish line first is the winner. After crossing the finish line the lure and dogs come to a stop.
This was the second race of the day for Luna and the other dog. Luna crossed the finish line first, but was going too fast to stop at the lure. She ran past it, then ran back to attack it, placing herself perpendicular to the course. The dog in fourth place did not stop in time and ran face first into Luna's right side. Both dogs went down and rolled for several feet. The other dog got up, but Luna did not. I'm going to stop here as far as the crash because I really don't want to describe how Luna looked.
Before Pam and I took off for the vet, someone shouted to us that the other dog's basket muzzle was shattered. I had assumed that the dog's face would have been cut up or there would be some kind of injury since the crash was so violent. In reality, the other dog was fine. She had no cuts of any kind. It appears that the basket muzzle actually saved her by taking the full force of the blow. Based on how the muzzle looked, we guess that the other dog hit Luna with the lower part of the muzzle and the force blew the top off. This probably saved the other dog's face and eyes from being injured from the plastic shards.
The vertebra that were affected are located between Luna's shoulder blades and under a lot of muscles. This is both a blessing and a curse. It's a tricky location to do surgery, which thankfully we were able to avoid. On the other hand, it is a well protected spot which was probably helpful when we loaded her into the car and now during her recovery time.
I cannot emphasize enough that this was an accident and no one is at fault. Luna and I forgive the other dog because we know she did not want this to happen. I am thankful for the amazing people who helped us in the field, at the vet's office, and since we've brought Luna home. I hope this has clarified any points of confusion, but if not, please let me know and I will do my best to answer.