Monday, December 3, 2012
Having dogs in one's home is much like having toddlers--especially with dogs like Bingley who enjoy toys and leave them scattered all over the living room and dining room floors. But, when a dog is sick or injured, the concept of dog as very young child can rise to a whole new level. It's always a little stunning to come home from the vet's with a dog woozy from sedation and a little bag full of medications to be given in precisely the proper amount at the proper times. For example, Bingley has a liquid anti-inflammatory that must be extracted from the bottle via syringe, with markings for weight on its side. Mastering how the top of this bottle opens was a challenge. But, after a few days, I have learned the drill and Bingley is receiving his anti-inflammatory in the proper amount at the proper time. "Bagging" his bandage for walks was another matter. I assumed (wrongly) that rain was the only moisture that required his bandage to be bagged in order to keep it dry. But, evidently, just walking on damp grass compromises the bandage's proper degree of dryness. This was discovered when his first bandage was changed on Saturday. But--bless my wonderful vet's team--Bingley was outfitted with a super strong plastic bag, complete with torn panty-hose tie, which he now sports every time he sticks his nose out of doors. It was also discovered that he had not been put on an anti-biotic, so that was rectified. And, with Bingley's delicate tummy, you can imagine the result. Diarrhea! I'm being generous with the Pepto, but it's very touch and go--mostly go. At 1:45 this morning, Bingley woke me up with a pleading whimper. I staggered around, pulled a long coat over my nighty, bagged his bandage, hooked up his harness and leash and discovered, yes, indeed, he was desperate. When we returned, Miss Magic was awake and made it clear that she, too, had to be walked. I really worked on trying to be grateful that my dogs let me know their needs rather than just relieving themselves in the house. The complication is that the recent rains have made the backyard a mud flat and I cannot let Bingley out there because I can't clean off his paws when he is lacking one paw to balance himself. Today, rain is predicted, but later in the week, we are supposed to start a sunny, dry period. Hope, hope hope. I'm marking off the weeks. Two weeks of anti-biotic. Seven more weeks of splint, bandage and bagging. As my research adviser kept reminding me when I was designing, running the study, and writing my dissertation, "This is a finite process." I keep reminding myself of that.