Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Good with the Bad

I was pretty sure I broke my tailbone. It was the Vet, Dr. Love's fault. I noticed in the morning yesterday that poor Honeybun had a very nasty looking blob at the base of her dew claw. It was red and swollen. So I quickly called the wonderful vet, Dr. Love, who is about 45 minutes away, but so competent and so much less expensive than my Charlotte vets, that I am willing to do the drive. I raced out there. As long as we were there, I asked Dr. Love to express Honeybun's anal glands, which for some inexplicable and nutty reason, she cannot do herself.
"Well," he said, looking at the swollen blob on her dew claw, "Rather than fiddle with this, the best thing to do with dew claws is just remove them if they become a problem. Dogs don't really need them."
"Why do you think God created them, then?" I asked Dr. Love.
"I plan to ask the good Lord that if I make it to the Pearly Gates," he said, "That and also why He made anal glands."
"Oh, which reminds me, she needs those expressed too."
He then scheduled the surgery for Monday, and sent a technician out, a young man, to trim Honey's nails.
"I run her and the pavement files them," I said, "I don't know that they need trimming."
He trimmed one, and blood spurted out. Poor Honey never growled, or did anything but look mournfully at me.
"Can you stop the bleeding?" I begged. The tech ran out for some powder, which he dipped the mournful Honeybun's paw in and the bleeding stopped.
"Don't trim any more," I said.
So we left, and I felt so sad for Honeybun, that I first stopped and bought her some grilled chicken from Chick FilA. Then, since it was on the way home, I thought I would treat her to a walk on the Catawba Riverwalk in Rock Hill. She loved it, and it was so hot, that we ducked down to the river. Honeybun lay down in the water, and looked blissful.

When we returned to the car, I could not help myself. I always have my kayak in the car, because one never knows when an irresistible river will appear. Where I was then was a very fast section of the river, and there was a kayak launch. Most folks launch and then head downstream over a series of Class 1 and 2 rapids. I decided I would see if Honeybun would fit in the bow of my new kayak, and I would go upstream. I was pretty sure I was strong enough to battle the current. If not, I had my phone. It can dial any emergency number I might need. When I hit rapids, I would turn around. Honeybun loved it. She lay her head on my lap, and occasionally lifted her head, nose twitching, watching the world float by. She seemed utterly content and happy lying in the bow of my wide and cool kayak, tucked away from the sun with my legs on either side of her. When we hit the rapids, I swung the boat downstream, and we had an exciting fast ride back to the launch area. I did that a couple of times. It was great fun and something I have always wanted to do.

Honeybun swam to cool off when we returned to the launch site, and I reloaded the boat and returned home. Now I had to bathe the river water off of her. She was very good about her bath, though when she got out of the tub, she shook water all over the floor. Now it was Lucky's turn for a bath. He likes baths, so he went running with me to the bathroom. When I hit the wet floor, both legs flew out from under me and I came down HARD on my tailbone. I almost passed out. I bathed Lucky while wincing...and then walked gingerly to Asherel's room.
"I broke my tailbone," I told her.
"Did you go to the doctor?"
"No, they can't do anything for it."
"So why are you telling me?" she asked.
"For sympathy," I said.
She laughed. No sympathy there.

So anyway, it is all Dr. Love's fault. If he hadn't made me feel so sorry for my dog telling me she needs surgery, and if his tech hadn't clipped her nail too short and made me feel even sorrier, I would not have taken her for a walk and then kayaking, and she wouldn't have needed a bath, and I wouldn't have slipped and smacked my coccyx on the hard, wet floor.

But except for the broken tailbone, the day with my dog was sheer delight. This morning, after a rather painful sleepless night, it seems not as painful to move! Perhaps it is just a bruise! I can actually walk without pain. I have to sit and bend a little gingerly, but I now think maybe Dr. Love didn't cause me to *break* my tailbone...just bruise it badly. It really was mostly a wonderful time with my sweet dog and probably worth a bruised tailbone. And the prayers and kind words of friends when I told them I thought my tail was broken were so encouraging...Sometimes, we just have to take the good with the bad...but keep our focus on the good.

Ecclesiastes 9:2-4 (NIV)
All share a common destiny---the righteous and the wicked, the good and the bad, the clean and the unclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not.
As it is with the good, so with the sinful; as it is with those who take oaths, so with those who are afraid to take them. [3] This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all. The hearts of people, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live, and afterward they join the dead. [4] Anyone who is among the living has hope---even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!

-save a dog-

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