-- A dog named Espen is now being called a "miracle" and "wonder" by family after surviving being impaled by a more-than 5-foot steel rod in the backyard of his home in Springfield, Virginia.
The 5-year-old Yellow Labrador Retriever came into Hope Advanced Veterinary Care in Vienna, Virginia, Monday night with a 63-inch piece of rebar that had penetrated through his chest and out of his abdomen, according to the center's spokesman Brian Wilson.
"There was certainly concern he might not make it," Wilson told ABC News today. "Any time you have a penetrating wound like that, you never really know what it could have possibly hit or cut inside. He was very lucky that it missed his heart and vital blood vessels."
The steel rod had punctured Espen's lung and diaphragm and had also nicked his liver, according to an X-ray photo, Wilson added.
That same night, veterinary surgeons Dr. Julia Hawthorne and Dr. John Kiefer from Veterinary Surgical Centers were able to successfully remove the rebar and Hope Center veterinarians Dr. Cady Johnston and Dr. Scott Moore led the post-surgery recovery, making sure "Espen was as comfortable as possible," Wilson added.
Espen was reunited with his family Thursday night, Wilson said, adding that though the Yellow Lab may need a few check-ups, they expect him to be fine.
"I just started crying because all he's been through and everything," his owner Delia Muscarella, 16, told ABC affiliate WJLA. "Knowing that he's made it, it's a miracle to me."
Delia's mother, Stacey Muscarella, added that it was "terrifying" not really knowing what was going on because they had been out of town when Espen was injured.
Espen was with a pet sitter at the time and had gotten out of sight in the backyard when the sitter a loud cry, then discovering Espen standing with the steel rod through him, according to his owners and the veterinary center.
"The way it looks to us, is he was running," and he may have accidentally injured himself, Stacey Muscarella told WJLA. "We don't know, we really don't know. And nobody will know, because nobody saw it."
It was not clear where the rod came from.
Stacey and her daughter Delia now call Espen "Miracle Dog" and "Wonder Dog," she said.