Tuesday, February 24, 2009

It's A Dog's Life!

I must admit that I am a dog lover. I got my first puppy, Pepper the Pomeranian, for my birthday when I turned 4 years old. I don't remember much time growing up when we didn't have a dog of one sort or another. I know that dogs aren't people, but they do sort of morph into the family, don't they?

MW wasn't raised with dogs like I was. So, he naturally didn't have quite the affection for them as I do. We have had several dogs since we've been married. Some he hasn't cared for so much. Two of them, I have had to intercede for their lives because he was going to send them to meet Jesus. Both were Cocker Spaniels. We got them because I had one growing up who was a dear, sweet thing. She wouldn't even dream of snapping at someone, even if that someone was a child who was pulling on her ears. We were told this was very rare for the breed by both vets and dog groomers alike. But, alas, some lessons are learned the hard way. Both of the Cockers MW and I owned were true to the breed's snappy reputation. One bit me. One bit Little Britches...in a couple of places. I begged for her life as MW went for the gun. Both ended up at the Humane Society.

Now we have Layla. She is the BEST dog I have EVER, EVER had the pleasure of owning. MW loves her. Little Britches loves her. I love her. And she loves us all. She has become part of our family. She is so gentle and loving. She is well mannered and obedient. My mom and sister were amazed at what a good dog she is when they were here this weekend. Layla is the most unique dog I have ever owned. She is very intuitive. It seems like she knows when I'm feeling blue and hormonal because at those times she doesn't want to leave my side.

Last night when I brought her in from outside, Little Britches said, "Mom, Layla's in heat again! There's blood on the rug!" I knew that couldn't be the case because she had just come out of heat like a month ago. Thank God THAT is over! So, I called my girl into the laundry room and started checking her paws. Sure enough, she had caught something that laid her pad wide open. It was bleeding something awful. I kept pressure applied to it to get it to stop bleeding. When it wasn't helping I started to become unnerved. MW walked in the door about that time. I thought she probably needed stitches, but the vet was already closed. We live in a town of 10,000 people. There is no such thing as an emergency veterinary hospital anywhere near in these parts. So, MW, using his logical male brain said that we should just put her in her crate for the night so she wouldn't be putting any pressure on it. By this time the blood wasn't flowing like the Mississippi River, so that's what we ended up doing.

We checked it out this morning to see what we should do. It wasn't bleeding...until she walked down the stairs on it, anyway. It was still laid back pretty good. It's pretty deep, too. I don't handle these things very well, by the way. So when our vet opened up at 9 am - I was on the phone with them. Come to find out - you can't do anything with a paw pad wound. Go figure. Stitches won't hold, they told me. The receptionist said that the only thing the vet could do for her was to glue her pad together...and there is a good chance it wouldn't hold, anyway. At least they were honest enough to save me a vet bill. She told me that we could try to glue it down with super glue or Liquid Bandage ourselves if it we wanted to. So, guess what is on me and MW's agenda this evening?

All of this D.R.A.M.A. reminds me of another episode we had back in the day with Holly, the first Cocker Spaniel that MW got for me. After MW and I married and I had been puppy-less for several years, I was needing something to nurture. So, MW, being the loving, caring, wanting to please his wife, husband that he was, had arranged a Christmas surprise for me. Knowing my love for the Cocker Spaniel, he had searched the whole state to find a litter of puppies in the coveted breed. One Saturday he told me that he was taking me to get my Christmas present, but that it was a surprise. After a two-and-a-half hour drive we arrived at our destination. We walked into the home of a complete stranger and there in the living room was a new litter of the cutest, sweetest, Cocker Spaniels I'd ever laid my eyes on. I picked out a beautiful little blond colored female. We named her Holly because she was a Christmas present. She grew up to be a very well-behaved lady who also had a very nasty streak. She was true to the breed standard that we had been so aptly warned of. Hence, the almost going to meet Jesus by my usually very even tempered MW.

Anyhoo...back when we were still childless and only had the one dog, we had taken Holly for her annual veterinary visit. When we left the vet's office I had MW run me across the street to the mall so I could run in and pick up my contacts that had come in. The plan was for MW to drop me off, I would run in grab the contacts and he would wait for me in the car with the dog. Holly, on the other hand, had a different plan in mind. As I am walking into the mall and MW is driving away, Holly decides she'd rather come with me than wait in the car. So...she jumps out the window. Her leash got caught on the shifter in the middle console, so she is left hanging out the window while my husband was pulling away! Thank God she did get caught and hung or she could have ended up under the wheel! When I come back out to the car, she is a bloody mess. We take her home and put her in the bathtub. BUT THE BLEEDING WON'T STOP! I was bawling like a big, blubbering, idiot. I remember saying (sobbing), "If it's this bad just dealing with a DOG'S wounds...I don't think I can HANDLE having CHILDREN!!!). So...we head BACK to the vet's office from where we had just come. They said it was a good thing, too, because she had cut an artery in her lip and there would have been no way to stop the bleeding without stitches. She had also completely ripped out one of her toe nails. Ay, Ay, Ay... That's not as bad as what happened to my girlfriend from high school's cat once, though. It got into the dryer on laundry day and exploded! It must have used up it's eight other lives already 'cause that was the end of Kitty.

So, my dogs have kept me on my toes with bandaging, nurturing... I am SO thankful that Little Britches hasn't had any major injuries. Although, you'd almost think his leg was falling off when he stubs his toe, or something like that! At least we've had no stitches or broken bones or burned down apartments...oh, wait, that was ME. And that's another story for another day.

So, for now I must be going. I have math to check and wounds to tend. Hope your day is pleasantly uneventful.


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