One of my worst nightmares… having the pet sitter email and say, “I don’t know what is wrong with Shiva (Hubby’s dog) but I see a trickle of blood and he won’t let me touch him…”.
THAT DING, THAT EMAIL…
I had been readying the car to drive back home when I heard the ‘ding’ of my phone inbox. Usually that ‘ding’ makes me happy.
Not this time.
The email said that the pet sitter thought it might have been a mountain lion that got him (OMG! IS IT THAT BAD?!, I SCREAMED INSIDE MY HEAD) … or that she had noticed one of the trees was down (actually happened a few weeks ago) and that maybe he was under it when it fell (OMG! IS HE BROKEN?!). She said he was crying but he wasn’t panting. Then she added that maybe it wasn’t as bad as she thought… (our pet sitter is very competent, but a bit of an alarmist).
I asked her to please put Shiva in the house.
I told myself that the pet sitter would have been hysterical if it was really bad… and she would have offered to take him straight to the vet. So, it was probably OK?…
I cut and pasted the best part of the email (Shiva hurt … but probably not as bad as she initially thought) and sent it to Hubby. I wanted Hubby to be aware, but I didn’t want to worry him.
I got into my car and flew home.
ALL THE WAY HOME…
All the way home, I thought of how much Hubby loved this dog – his first dog.
Often lately, Hubby would exclaim how much he loved Shiva and how much he would miss him when he leaves us.
Shiva has started to slow down now that he is around 10 (we think, he is a rescued dog) and Hubby has been quite saddened to see Shiva grow older. In fact, on Sunday, Hubby made a special trip with Shiva to Tahoe to go hiking – or do the best Shiva could do on a hike.
Hubby said Shiva was thrilled.
Oy. Shiva had to be OK. Hubby wouldn’t be OK if Shiva was sick and Hubby 300 miles away with no chance of returning before the end of the week.
5 HOURS LATER
Upon approach, i could barely stand to go the 10mph required up our communal dirt road. When I finally reached our driveway, I raced to our gate – only to note that it was broken and improperly set on its hinges. Hmmm. I wondered how that happened… Hubby’s dog was way too tiny to have tangled with the gate. Odd.
After struggling to open and close the 16′ metal monster, my tires spewed gravel as I bee-lined to the house.
I OPENED THE FRONT DOOR.
As I jumped out of my car, I noted that Scout, my dog, was very subdued.
Scout wasn’t wagging her tail. She didn’t bring me one of her stuffed animals to fawn over… she showed no excitement at all upon my arrival.
Something was odd. Why was she so upset? Did she witness something awful? This was how she acted when her brother was poisoned…
I opened the front door and called to Shiva. He yelped back. I raced over to him as he laid very dramatically across a few pillows on his bed.
Shiva wagged his nubbin tail. A good sign.
I very carefully examined him.
Scouty stayed far back. Unusual.
NEED CLIPPERS AND A PROFESSIONAL.
Shiva seemed to be in one piece, apart from a hole in his chest muscle. I couldn’t figure out if it was a bite or a puncture.
I called the vet because I needed expert help – with a set of clippers and the necessary drugs.
They told me to come down right away.
Shiva was able to get up and limp-hobble to the car. He wouldn’t use his right front leg… except I could move it all around and he did use it to push off of when he rose.
Very dramatically, Shiva jumped into the footwell of my car and plopped down with his little chin resting on the seat.
Either he was very sick or he was milking it very well…
By the time we got to the vet, Shiva had perked up. He was excited to be there and he wagged his happy nub.
He seemed to forget to limp…
The sweet vet took Shiva into the back to clip the wound area and make her assessment.
(While waiting, I read the 2 year-old Good HouseKeeping Magazine that was on the bench inside the exam room.)
When they both appeared half an hour later, Shiva had a large bald spot on his chest and a grin on his face.
“He’s fine… a puncture and some muscle soreness, but nothing else. I’ll send him home with antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and a pain killer. We’ll remove the staples in 2 weeks.”
Me: Any idea what did this? Wire? Fencing? A nail? A tooth? Dog Fight? Raccoon?
Vet: None. The wound doesn’t really fit any one category. I have no idea.
Me: OK… I’m glad he’ll be fine.
WE GOT HOME AND I PAMPERED SHIVA
On the way home, I called Hubby and told him that Shiva was fine…
When I came into the house, I got down to eye level with Scout who was curled up on their pillows. She didn’t wag her tail, she didn’t look at me, she showed no excitement upon my arrival – AND it was dinner time. Usually, she is all over me at dinner time…
Me (looking directly in her eyes) : Scoutypants, what happened to Shiva?! Do you know?
Scout (looking directly at me then away): It was awful. I was so scared.
Me: What was awful?!
Scout looked very upset.
Me: Oh honey, he’ll be fine. He’s OK!
Scout didn’t look like she believed me.
–I couldn’t help but think about the horror she endured when she watched her brother pass away in front of her (he was poisoned when we were not home).–
Scouty got up, walked over to Shiva, sniffed him and licked his staples. She then looked at me and then sat back on her pillow – still very upset.
So, I have just spent an hour sitting between them and petting them both.
Shiva was very happy. Scout wasn’t convinced. Poor baby.
Whoever says animals don’t have depth of emotion needs to come over here…
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