There was suckage in Casa Burnout last week, but let me assure you that it all turned out fine.
Wednesday was a regular day, albeit one that was a little extra aggravating on the work side of things. I got home, made stir-fry with Red (side note: peanut oil really is better for crisping up tofu), and chilled out. Oh, it was peaceful and I was happy. La di dah.
Then Lucy came in from outside tracking blood all over the floor.
Now, this has happened twice before, so my panic instinct has been blunted. The sight of blood doesn’t faze me, and she didn’t seem distressed, so I got the bag of medical junk from the bathroom and we went to work. Red located her cut (a small one on one of her rear legs, just above her paw), then held her while I cleaned it with peroxide and wrapped it up. It kept bleeding, so we re-bandaged it with extra gauze. That seemed to do the trick, so we settled her on a blanket and loved on her for a while:
She really is a good girl about having her injuries dressed. She didn’t snap or growl at us, even though I’m sure we hurt her. She’s so gentle and sweet-tempered and I always feel bad when I have to break out the peroxide and medical tape.
Anyway, we were having a fine time down there on the living room floor when OH MY GOD WHY ARE YOU BLEEDING LUCY PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD STOP BLEEDING.
Our amateur wound-dressing efforts had failed, and how. At this point, the decision was made to head for the emergency vet. Our partnership has been a profitable one for them, so why fight it. We tugged an old sock onto Lucy’s foot, covered it with a plastic newspaper bag, and hustled her out to the car. It was 9:00 by this point and I was nearly in tears. Red and I both felt like shit for not going to the vet immediately instead of trying to handle it ourselves.
Picture us, dear readers, as we made our pathetic entrance to the vet half an hour later. I am panicked and blinking in confusion at the fluorescent lighting, Red is trying to be stoic, and Lucy has managed to put a hole in her plastic bag and is squelching blood all over the floor.
To top it off, the second they got us into an exam room, she peed everywhere. Combined with the bloody paw prints, the place looked like a crime scene. A sweet tech took Lucy away to fix her up and I started crying for real.
An hour and a half later, Lucy was stitched, bandaged, and feeling no pain. I’ve seen her more drugged before, but she was definitely stoned out. The vet assured us that the cut was minor, only four stitches were needed, and Lucy would be fine. I finally stopped crying, and we bundled her back into the car for the trip home. Sometime after that, we got her settled on her bed and covered her with a blanket, then tried to sleep ourselves. We both woke up several times to make sure she was still breathing.
It will not surprise you to learn that I called out of work the next day, and that Red went in late. He scoured the yard for pieces of glass or metal that might have hurt her, but couldn’t find anything. We have no idea how she might have done it, but this seems to be her injury M.O. Other people’s dogs eat chocolate or socks. Ours has a knack for hurting herself outside.
Once he went to work, Lucy and I napped. She was very good about staying on her blanket, and I bedded down on the couch so I could keep an eye on her. We went outside once or twice, and I must commend the vet for finding the perfect bandage covering: an IV bag. Seriously, you guys, if your dog is anything like Lucy, beg your vet for a few of these beauties. They’re tougher than newspaper bags and last longer. Lucy didn’t even bother chewing at it.
Since I had this unscheduled free day, I decided I might as well make good use of it. With the able assistance of my buddy Captain Picard and his crew, I cleaned up the kitchen and made Lucy a batch of Vegan Flower’s Oats & Molasses biscuits. Because I was still feeling awful about Lucy getting hurt, I cut them out in tiny heart shapes (ever-so-slightly smaller than the shot-glass cookies):
Sometime around noon, Lucy decided she felt well enough to flout the doctor’s orders and hop up on the couch while my back was turned. Strict rest and no jumping, my ass.
Since then, Lucy has gotten a little better each day. It’s futile to keep her from jumping onto the couch or our bed, so we just let her do it, because one jump is better than the three or four subsequent jumps that would follow if we shooed her off. It’s hard to tell if she’s pulled out any of her stitches (black stitches on a black dog—really? no one thought Day-Glo orange might be useful?), but she’s getting around fine and mostly leaves her leg alone. She even tolerates taking her antibiotics, most of the time.
If you’re keeping score at home, this makes three extremities that have been stitched or stapled, plus one elbow (that was a benign tumor, though). We’re keeping our fingers crossed this is the last. In the meantime, Lucy will be ruling her kingdom from the sofa, snacking on homemade treats and gazing longingly at the snowy yard.