Monday, November 05, 2007

Oh what a relief it is...

Bit of an anxious day here at chez Hayduke...

The Husky went under the knife to repair, among other things, a torn ACL. Although the vet assures us he's fine, we need visual confirmation before relaxing. Thankfully, he'll be ready to come home in about a half hour.

His surgery comes after a week of hobbling around on three legs, a pretty sad sight. Also unfortunate was the timing of the injury, which happened just before our annual excursion to Green Ridge State Forest. As always, the trip was fun, but the Husky has been a fixture for the past eight years and it just wasn't complete without him getting covered in dirt and taking up too much space in the tent. See?

Anyway, I'm leaving for the vet now and after that there's the County Council hearing and the Ravens game -- quite a TV night! Before I go, here's western Maryland showing its somewhat-muted fall colors.

UPDATE: He's home and, aside from a foot-long gash, a shaved leg and a heavily drugged demeanor, appears no worse for wear.

While waiting our turn at the vet, they stuck an orange Post-It note with the letters "DND" on one of the exam room doors. A woman left that room just as we left the other. She seemed more composed than I was at the time, and my dog is still alive.

I'm still a long way off from accepting my dog's mortality.


Anonymous said...

My rule was that I'd never agree to put down my dogs until they no longer wagged their tail (presumably because of pain etc..). But last month I had to say the final goodbye to my best old man (dog), though he'd just wagged his tail when I entered the exam room. It was about the only part of him that could still move.

The veterinarian practically had to peel me off of him, after a very long tear-soaking.

People were staring when I staggered out of the room and tripped on the curb and bumped into my car. I could barely see.

But, hey. I didn't make any wailing sounds! I do have my dignity to consider.

Many weeks go by. I didn't want to move his things, so I cut the dirtiest, smelliest corner off his bed and saved it in a plastic bag before carting it off to the dump. His dishes are still there. I'll get around to taking care of those, gradually.

No matter how much you think you've prepared, it is still a jolt,and the intensity of the grief is still unexpected.

Anonymous said...

Take what you already know and use it wisely - time is precious, spend it generously and regularly with loved ones. Dogs and other non-human members of our families can certainly teach us much in that regard, helping us prioritize matters at times and to see the world in wonderful and necessary ways we wouldn't otherwise.

Besides quality time, there's also exercise, hygiene, diet (including careful consideration of caloric intake, food quality, nutritional balance), regular checkups per vets' recommended schedules, preventive and paliative treatments for aging's ailments, and even managing any sources of stress.

And how about a county ordinance that says either no lawn treatment chemicals sprayed on county rights-of-way by owners of adjacent private properties (probably not feasible as most people and their lawn companies don't know where private property yard ends and the wider-than-paved street right-of-way begins) or requiring more, larger, and more informative lawn signs when chemical applications are applied to protect those using public spaces from unknown exposures? For years, I've seen, too late, a single 3" x 5" sign stuck directly in front of various homes, having already walked half the road frontage in ignorance. School properties and other common grounds, too, could, for the public good, improve the effectiveness and detail of their grounds treatment applications' notification signage.

If there's been justification for requiring the single yard notice for years now, it certainly makes sense to require a few more cents be spent to really let passersby know beforehand what they should avoid. Unlike the hundreds of illegal road signs just plucked up to beautify our byways, these additional warning signs would be a very welcome sight.

Anonymous said...

a foot-long gash, a shaved leg and a heavily drugged demeanor

Sounds he like he takes after you Hayduke!

Hayduke said...

Anon #1: Thank you for sharing your story, probably the best – if saddest – comment I've had on this blog. I guess it's something I've always known, but over the last week or so the strength of the person-dog bond has become even clearer as many people contacted me to check in on the Husky and share similar experiences and concerns.

Anon #2: I don't mean to turn this into a Yay Columbia! discussion, but one of the best things about our pathways is that they are almost entirely shielded from lawn chemicals. That said, when I agree that warning signs could be dramatically improved.