Isn't this picture pitiful? Yesterday, we took the dogs to an off-leash dog park in town. It's at beautiful University Lake (which is more like a large pond). There is a large open space just for running, playing, romping, frisbee and of course Lola's favorite, fetch. For those of you who've seen Lola play fetch, you can vouch that, never has another dog bested her at getting to the ball first. There's also a great walking trail all the way around the lake.
So, there we are, playing fetch, meeting other dogs, chasing tails and sniffing butts (well, Heather didn't sniff any butts). After some hard running fetch we noticed a small bit of blood in the snow (yes we still have snow in April here; in fact, it snowed a little today!). Lola had a few paws bleeding. This is not good, but it's not new either. She runs so hard, giving 110%, that she sometimes tears up her little hound feet. We stopped fetching.
I rubbered on her for a moment and noticed blood on my hand when I pulled it away. She had a wound on her side, too! It isn't uncommon for small short-lived scuffles to happen at dog parks. One dog overwhelms another who then growls, barks or snaps briefly, and it's over. Lola was even involved in one just after arriving (our problem child).
But, there was this one dog, Basil. And, he kept antagonizing Lola, barking at her from close behind whenever she was waiting for me to throw the ball. She would get aggrivated, and then correct him by barking back and growling back in his direction. She even chased him away a time or two, but he persistently came back. It is more aggrivating in hind sight than it was at the time.
Upon, finding a puncture wound on her side, we called it quits and left. We decided to take her to the Vet ER only a block from out apartment. And, because it was a beautiful and warm day yesterday (in the low 40s), the ER was quite busy. So, we waited (and watched half of Wall-E in the waiting room) and waited more. The doc finally got to Lola, heard our story and hardly checked her over, "I'll have to shave and clean the wounded area before we can tell what we're dealing with, but I'll give her a little pain medicine in the mean time."
Because Lola wasn't an emergency, she got put down a ways in the pecking barking order. We reluctantly left her in their able care and with Dakota still in the truck went home, one family member short. They called an hour or so later after the doc had had a closer look.The bleeding feet were no big deal, just some rough play resulting in some minor cuts. A little ointment and a few days to heal. Her side wound, according to the doctor, was clearly from a bite. More than just a puncture, she said Lola had been bitten and the skin pulled away, separating it from the underlayer. She needed to cut the skin a little more in order to properly clean it and then suture it back up. We were warned that it would be expensive.
They had to keep her overnight, mostly because the minor surgery wouldn't be happening for a few hours. So, we went to bed, again one member short. It felt wierd at home last night without our little fountain of energy plunking around the apartment behind me.
We called in the morning, and the doc said Lola did great. Before both going to work, we went and picked her up. For payment, oddly enough, they didn't want any money. They said they'd be fine if I just cut off my leg and handed it over to them. I thought that was a deal, so I went for it. (What? You don't want an arm too?) The leg I've been walking around all day is actually a prosthetic one, made of metal from the space ship, like Lt. Dan.
Here's a little ethical(?) question. Before leaving her at the Vet, we had to sign a paper stating whether or not we would want them to do CPR on Lola should something happen. Honestly, there was no easy answer for us. The form said that it can cost $500 just to start CPR. This made me ponder how much a dog is worth. Now, don't get me wrong. If you know me, you know how much I love my dogs. And my other thought was, if we get to the point where CPR is required, let's just let nature take its course. In the end, we signed that yes they should do CPR, but mostly because there was virtually no chance of them needing to.
At work I go over Living Wills/Advance Directives with people on a regular basis. I'd never thought of needing one for my dog.
Anyway, Lola is back home, she's a little mopey, but she's got her own little pills of doggy pain killers. Maybe I could sell them to my father-in-law! Just kidding. (But really, Randy, we'll talk later!) So, send your good vibes Lola-ward, we're going to be leaving her later this week with a house sitter for a few days as we travel back to NC. Hopefully, as her fur grows in, my leg will grow back.