A depressed Skagit - not even wanting to face us this evening...
As I was walking toward my car after coming out of a store today, it was painfully obvious what my entry would be about tonight.
I first noticed the doggy gate that separates the back of my Subaru from the front all ee-aw (is that a word? I really like using it lately-in case you don't know - it means "crooked") and Skagit's doggy lampshade (Elizabethan collar) was wedged, unnaturally, suspended - between the roof and the gate. I knew something had gone wrong...and I was thankful when I saw there wasn't a limp dog hanging from it. My little dog-Houdini escaped to the front seat and was chewing everything she could get her paws on.
It donned on me as I jumped into the driver's seat - scooting Skagit and the half eaten package I was going to send to Mom today out of the way - that there are so many situations in life that we aren't prepared for because of the things people fail to tell you.
Last Thursday I took Skagit to the Vet to get her spayed and also to get her front dew claws removed. Since then, life at the Moore house has been very exciting.
I have to start by saying this is all quite humorous and that is the way it is meant be read. Skagit is the best little buddy I could ever ask for. I spend more time with her than anyone else in my life (including my husband). She is doing the best she can this week, but these stages of boredom are getting very difficult, and it is only day 5!....out of a 10-day stint before she gets her stitches out.
I was sent home from the Vet with a paper that says that Skag can go outside only to go to the bathroom for the next 7 days...no walks in the woods, running, jumping, playing with other dogs, etc. When I saw that on the paper I just figured we'd get into another routine and she would be fine. Wrong! I have spoiled her with morning or late afternoon hikes since we brought her home over three months ago and she's missing that ritual terribly. The first few days were ok, especially since Jeff was home sick, but standing here on day five of this trying week of Skagit's recovery, there are some very important warnings I would like you to know if you are planning on spaying or removing the claws from your doggy anytime in the future...since no one told me:
It is best to choose any other season than winter to spay and remove the dew claws on your dog. The Vet sent me home with some baggies to put on Skagit's feet (over her bandages) in order to keep the bandages dry but they got stuck in the deep snow the first night. It is best if you do this during a dry time of year.
Be aware that your dog will get depressed during this week of recovery! The second day of being cooped up Skagit started bringing me her leash every morning. This just ripped my heart out... She has continued to do this throughout the week - but she has also moved on to another whole stage of depression - the "I'm now ignoring you" stage (as you can see from the picture above).
Watch out for those Elizabethan collars (it is worn so that the dog cannot lick their wounds or rip open their stitches)! Depending on how close your dog likes to follow you around, you may start to notice bruising on the back of your legs (I currently have several on each leg - since Skagit is truly my shadow)...Hopefully your house doesn't have too many tight/narrow corners. I feel so bad for little girl. I can't imagine what her neck looks like under that thick hair - due to the unnatural jerking to the side that her collar hits each time she rounds a corner...
No one warned me that a dog can not really fit into their crate while wearing the lampshade collar, either. This has been the hardest of all. When I'm trying to get some work done on my computer, and she starts pacing the room and tugging and pacing and tugging at my clothing, there is no where she can go.
...Which brings me to some of the tricks I tried this week to keep her busy. I stopped the local pet store and grabbed a big fat cow bone (with marrow) - made in Montana. Thought that might be a good treat. Wrong! Since she had to use her paws to wrangle the marrow out - it caused her wounds to bleed. So I put that away and gave her one of the achilles tendon jerkies that I got for her. That worked a bit better but she went through one in like 15 minutes...so if you are anything like me you will start getting feeling guilty for stuffing her full of preservatives after about the third achilles tendon. So, these treats and diversions were temporary but lasted for a couple of hours.
After I was out of my bag of tricks all she had left was me! This afternoon Skagit literally jumped on and crawled up my body several times (as if to say - "did you forget about me? I'm your four-legged friend that you used to go to the woods with!"), barked at me, misbehaved (by grabbing and chewing on things that she shouldn't be), ran off while outside with a little freedom, or whined.
With all this said, I am pretty impressed that a 6-month old lab can be so well-behaved for being in this situation.
I just wish we could either get her a mild sedative, or she could understand English. That would make it a lot easier.