Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Dog Named Blitz - Chapter Three: "Puppy Troubles" Part 3

For background on this serial, please click here. You can also start at the previous section

As I closed the garaged door and entered the house, I was not met with the usual "Hey, I'm down here, come feed me dinner!" bark that met me each and every other night. What I heard was a whimper and a cry, and one that told me something was very wrong.

I flew down the stairs and around the corner to encounter Blitz in front of her gate, with a dual treble hooked fishing lure hanging from her mouth. In scanning quickly behind her, it was obvious that she had dug her way through the sheetrock and into adjoining closet where that amazing nose of hers pointed her to the lure, which at the time was attached to a fishing pole. She evidently got hooked and thrashed around the room, tearing the lure off the pole and leaving blood stains all over her puppy pads and the floor.

For the first time since I took her into my life, when I looked at her I didn't see a rascally yellow dog. The brown eyes staring back at me reflected pain and hurt. I had failed her in the promise I made at the gas station on the first day I picked her up. Failing in spades.

A quick examination showed that one hook had passed through both her top and lower lip, preventing her from opening her mouth very wide. It was obvious that this was a situation that required immediate medical resources, so I scooped her up in my arms and we flew up the stairs to make the run the to vet.

Luck was on our side for as the garage door raised to allow us to go, I noticed my wife driving into the neighborhood on her way home from work. I held on to Blitz and met her at the end of the driveway. "What happened?" she asked with shocked concern. "JUST DRIVE TO THE VET," I yelled as I climbed into her car, cradling the dog the best I could.

Our luck continued as we arrived just as the vet was closing, and the doctor on call agreed to immediately address Blitz's injury. Given how the treble hooks had embedded themselves into her mouth, it was obvious that the only way these were going to be removed would be to put the dog under. After a little anesthesia and a couple of clips of the pliers, the bad part was over. The doctor warned that she'd be groggy and likely very sore for the next couple of days, and to go easy on her. She'd likely also be fussy about food as her mouth would be hurting her. From my perspective, I knew she'd have some physical recuperation. But my concern was about her mental recuperation. Would she trust me again? Would she still be that yellow ball of energy? As I tucked her into her crate that night, I kissed her groggy little yellow head and wondered what I'd find in the morning.

Mornings always stared in the same way since Blitz came to live with us: the minute she heard me up in the morning she started barking her head off. Part of it was due to the expectation of getting breakfast, and part of it was just being able to see me again. The racket she made would raise the dead, and it made for a accelerated trip to the bathroom in the morning. Likewise, on those mornings when I would be suffering from a big evening the night before, it really made for a tough way to start the day.

Despite her surgery the day before, the sound Blitz was making from the basement belied nothing wrong - nothing at all. As I entered the laundry room and turned to her crate, I expected to see a sore little dog. Instead, I was met with a tail-wagging, butt shaking, grinning yellow bundle of energy that seemed to say to me, "Hey! Good to see you! When do I eat? I'm STARVING!"

She showed no ill effects. None. This would be the first example she would give me for her tolerance for pain. There would soon be others.

Meal time usually came with a routine. First, I'd start with a song. I had songs for a bunch of things for the dog. They usually were an alteration of a existing song which was modified to talk about the dog. My favorite was a modification of the old Sweet song, which came out "It's, it's a dog named Blitz - YEAH IT'S A DOG NAMED BLITZ!" Kenneling up at night was done to Camptown Races - "It's time for dogs to go to bed, doo-dah, doo-dah." There were about a dozen more.

The song for meal time was a modification of Hank Williams Jr.'s song for Monday Night Football. The first stains I'd kick out of "Are you ready for some breakfast?!" resulted in an anticipatory frenzy. I'd then make her sit, as I had done since her earliest days with me. As she grew and learned, upon command she'd actually slam her little yellow butt so quickly on the floor that it'd be audible. Then the magic command of "OK" was given, and the feast was on.

Blitz still owns the land speed record for devouring a bowl of Eckanuba. Ten seconds was literally her average, along with the requisite hunt for any kibble that my have escaped the bowl or were dropped by me. A robust belch meant the hunt was over, and heading off for "walkies" was next. And for the both of us, walkies was rarely boring.

To go to the next chapter, click here

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