Monday, April 07, 2014

Playin' with the dogs

So on Wednesday night, Rocky broke a nail.

Now, I should probably explain that Rocky is our smaller, auxiliary dog, and when I say "broke a nail," I mean "snapped it in half at the quick, so it was hanging off and the rough edge cut the next toe over and wouldn't stop bleeding." I suppose it sounds a little more impressive when I mention the details, doesn't it?

We tried to deal with it ourselves, but this cheerful little, personable, loving dog snapped at us when we even came near it. So that was a problem.

So I spent the next morning calling around for a vet who could see him and not charge us $500, and got lucky with the Ponderosa Animal Clinic, who said they could fit him in at 12:30. And I figured I could give up my lunch hour and deal with this problem (at 1:15, when I was still in the waiting room, I'll admit that I was a little less enamored of the plan, but that comes later).

The clinic was closer to work than home, but I have a forgiving boss (who happens to have two dogs herself) and got permission to keep Rocky with me after his appointment, and we went for it. At noon, I rushed home, grabbed the dog, some chew toys and a small bowl for water, and jetted back.

The first problem came up as we entered the clinic. Rocky apparently had flashbacks to the pound, because he was fine as he limped up to the entrance. But when I opened the door, he went exactly halfway through it and stopped dead. His head slowly tracked side to side, and I tried to urge him forward.

"Come on, Rocky. Let's go, boy." Nope. Not a chance.

I stepped over him through the door. "Come on, Rocky." Not only wasn't he going to move, but he dropped to the floor and just lay there. He had no intention of going even one step farther. Fortunately, figuring that he was going to end up in the Cone of Shame, I'd taken off his collar and replaced it with his harness, so I could just pull him forward and he automatically lifted up on his feet again. (Even more fortunately, it was 40 pound Rocky, and not 120 pound Boris, our larger, primary dog.)

After entirely too long in the waiting room (did I mention that?), we got in to see the vet, a tiny little old lady who never looked at me, even when she was telling me what to do with him once we got him home. Rocky got a combination of shots that made him a little groggy, but it still took two of us holding him down while she cleaned him up and bandaged him. Once she was done, she didn't think he was going to need a cone: as she explained to the back of Rocky's head, "since his foot should feel a lot better, he probably won't keep worrying at it."

So, $160 later, I got him loaded into the car and drove him to the office. I'd also brought along a kid's gate that we use to keep the dog out of various rooms, and I set it up to keep him blocked in behind my desk. And he flumped down on the floor, quietly ignoring everybody who tried to tell him what a handsome boy he was. (He either had developed an inflated idea of his own attractiveness, or he was still feeling the effects of the drug. One or the other.)

A couple of hours later, I had to load everything back in the car and pick up the Trophy Wife for her doctor's appointment (the main difference being that I didn't need a leash to get her there... yeah, she's going to kill me when she reads this), and I stayed in the car with Rocky while she went in on her own.

At which time, I discovered that mild downers made Rocky prone to getting car-sick. Fortunately, there was a roll of paper towels under my seat (I have no idea where they came from, but they had a Christmas pattern on them, so I like to think it was Santa).

Once Annette came out, we got Rocky home, my son went out with the upholstery cleaner and Rocky immediately perked up and jumped on Boris.

We taped an old sock over the bandage so Rocky could go outside, and he's been doing fine. He charges around the house at full speed (just occasionally on three legs), and it hasn't rained, so we haven't had any problems with the bandage getting ruined. (Yes, that's him to the right. His foot isn't swollen - there's just a lot of loose space in the sock. Weirdly enough, our feet seem to be larger than his.)

Even more amazingly, he hasn't been gnawing at the bandage, so no Cone needed.

Of course, it also meant that he got out of his bath this weekend, and he's probably going to get a little ripe by the time we can wash him again. I wonder if I can just spray him with Febreze. Or maybe sprinkle him with baking soda.

We'll see.

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