I hate for my first post in awhile to be a bummer, but I almost lost The Nervous Red Dog yesterday. We were at the dog park---getting ready to leave actually, when the NRD was set upon by a pit-boxer mix whose owner was not big enough to control him. The dog was un-neutered , which always seems to create drama at the dog park either from its own actions or the reactions of neutered dogs to unneutered males.
I try to keep Chester (the NRD's name) away from them because I know he is liable to start something with an un-neutered male. In this case, some mutual posturing escalated into snarls, and then a full-on attack. Chester went down pretty quick, and was belly-up, backed up against a fence with his underside exposed to this big-headed beast. The dog went for Chester's neck but missed and grabbed onto his shoulder and front arm instead. He tore a huge wound in Chester's armpit. I ended up on the ground keeping the attacker away from Chet as best I could.
When the fracas was over, I could hear what I thought was a small dog squealing. I thought another dog had gotten in the middle of it, but it was actually the Nervous Red Dog, scared and in pain. I inspected him and found a few puncture marks, but when I rolled him over I found the hideous wound to his armpit, which was so big I could see his musculature underneath the skin. Luckily for us, there is an emergency animal clinic not far from this particular dog park, and I rushed him over there immediately. (I want to thank the gentleman who assisted me in getting to my car while carrying my 60+ pound dog by opening the gate and fishing my keys out of my front pocket to unlock my car. You were a great help and I appreciate it immensely) .
The vet was able to see him immediately, and confirmed my fear that he needed surgery to repair the damage. For a guy without a job and limited savings, it wasn't the best news I'd heard in awhile. Add to that the possibility that he'd lose his leg and I was pretty much in shock. So I had to leave him there while I did things like go clean out my savings to get the cost of the treatment and go home alone.
They also kept postponing his surgery for a few hours, which made for even more nervousness on my part. Originally, he was to go in at noon, then they changed it to four, then six. Finally about ten PM the doctor called me with the results. He got to keep his leg, and got all stitched up. Cost----two month's rent and then some. Of course there was no question that I'd pay it, even if I had to sell the car or rob a liquor store or something. I don't know who felt more alone last night, me or him. I think it was me, as he was flying high on some very good (and expensive) doggie drugs.
All this experience taught me was that I'm going to be a real wreck if The Nervous Red Dog decides to leave the planet before I do.
So now we are home, and the poor guy looks pitiful. He's got to wear that awful "Elizabethan Collar", that cone thing that keeps him from worrying the wound. Two weeks. He's got to eat several pills twice a day, and I've got to keep his wound clean and dry. He is under house arrest for a couple of weeks too, except for brief forays into the neighborhood to answer nature's call.
On top of all that, he's shaved around his shoulder area on his right front leg, so not only is his funny looking pink skin showing, but he's got a lot of stitchwork to admire. Think Karloff in Frankenstein (Universal, 1931). The vet says that he should be good as new in a few weeks, so that's something to be thankful for. Plus he's home, miserable as he is. And even a house with a dog that's not feeling very good is better than a house with no dog at all.