The Worst Pet Owner in the World

25 05 2010

Yes, the title refers to me.  Charlie spent part of the weekend running around our 3 acres, but he hasn’t had a proper walk in days.  So today I took him for a walk.  With his day-old stitched neck.  In the rain.  He was wearing a pinch collar.  In my defense, the pinch collar was the only leash option that didn’t come anywhere near his stitches, I put his water-resistant safety vest on him, and he didn’t seem to mind the adventure at all.

In the end, I think I suffered the most.  While trying to keep anything from touching his stitched neck, I clipped the leash to his collar.  To the pinch collar.  To his vest.  I readjusted the vest 20 times in an attempt to get it to protect the stitches from the rain.  I took off the collar.  I unclipped the vest.  I walked with my arm straight above his head to keep the clip on the leash from touching his neck.

Charlie, meanwhile, went about his business of sniffing and peeing.  He probably enjoyed his walk more than usual, since I didn’t dare yank on his leash to drag him away from the smells.

Finally, when it began raining harder, I took a “short cut” home.  This last leg of the trip involved a frantic scramble through bushes that kept coming within one centimeter of Charlie’s wound.

So, we made it.  Cleaned up the blood, dried his fur, fed him dinner, and took note of the lesson I really hope I learned today.

Charlie, sporting a Stoneworks t-shirt to protect the stitches

Yet another effort to protect his wound from his scratching

Among the efforts to protect his stitches that were not documented in this post are the wife-beater tank top and the blaze orange safety vest.  None have been successful at anything but humiliating the poor dog.


Pauvre Chien

23 05 2010

Pity my dog.  Do not pity him because of the wound on his neck; pity him because my deep, abiding affection makes him the victim of many unwanted (unwarranted) ministrations.  Last night, Charlie opened a cyst on his neck, causing clear fluid to run out and enough blood to tinge his white undercoat pink.  The result?  Three frantic phone calls to Jason, who was out for a late dinner with his parents, a phone call to the emergency vet clinic, an hour and a half call to my mother to help me stay calm while waiting for Jason to finish his fish tacos, and two trips to the store for medical supplies.

In my defense, I only called the vet to ask what to use to clean the wound.  I never found out, because, in a surge of panic, the first question I asked was “Am I awful for not bringing him into the clinic straight away?”  To which the receptionist replied, “Yes.”  In shame, I immediately hung up.

Instead of going to the clinic, I went to the nearest store, a discount grocer.  The clerk ringing up my purchase looked at me with concern: “You’re buying a lot of first aid supplies…”  After all that, I had to wait till morning to get the proper wound care items from another store, so I ended up with quite the kit:

rubbing alcohol: $1

hydrogen peroxide: $1

Bactine: $4

Neosporin: $3

5 types of gauze: $10

elastic bandage: $3

medical tape: $2

betadine: $5

sterile saline wound cleanser: $6

Giving my anxiety free reign and full access to my debit card: expensive

And the patient?  Well, he ate heartily, slept soundly, and frolicked enthusiastically about our acreage this morning, snacking on fresh rabbit droppings.  Despite the vet’s dire words about my poor dog’s level of discomfort, Charlie submitted calmly to the shaving of his wound, the flushing out of his wound, and application of a bottle of betadine and whole tube of Neosporin (only brand name medical supplies for this dog) to his neck.

He’s not asking for pain meds, he’s asking to be left alone.  Sadly, that seems to be the one thing I’m unable to give him…

the barely-visible cause of all this drama...

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