Heard on the Hill

Rep. Billy Long fractures shoulder chasing daughter’s poodle

‘I fought the dog and the dog won,’ the congressman joked

Tex, a 6-month-old poodle belonging to Rep. Billy Long’s oldest daughter, Kaleen. (Photo courtesy of Rep. Billy Long’s office)

Rep. Billy Long returned to Capitol Hill last week with a new accessory — a sling. While he was in his hometown of Springfield, Missouri, for the holidays, the congressman fractured his shoulder while “wrangling” the family puppy.

The incident occurred on Dec. 20, while Long was dog-sitting his daughter’s 6-month-old poodle named Tex. In an email exchange with Heard on the Hill, the congressman remembers picking the canine up from “doggy daycare” and sitting “with him for over an hour, and within two minutes of picking him up to go inside, he bolted under the gate” and into the middle of the street.

The 64-year-old Long explained that Tex “doesn’t know a car from a pork chop, so I just knew he’d get killed on my watch, and I wasn’t going to let that happen.”

After several attempts to catch Tex and return him to safety, Long said the final maneuver, the one resulting in his fracture, failed after he pivoted from a “crouched position.” 

The Missouri Republican described what sounds like a scene from an action film, as he called for help from people on the sidewalk and yelled,“Get the dog. He’ll get killed — don’t worry about me.”

He was then transported by ambulance to a local emergency room and underwent four and a half hours of surgery on his shoulder. 

“The dog got by without a scratch,” a spokesperson for Long said, and on Monday the congressman joked, “I fought the dog and the dog won.”

Long is unsure when he can leave the sling at home, but his next medical checkup is a week away.

Emily Kopp contributed to this report.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone.