Monday, July 03, 2006

Smash's big hurt

Why we sometimes call him Lazarus

One afternoon, while I was working in my barn and Smash was playing with his dog friends up the road, he came running up to me in obvious trouble.

In fact , I did not recognize him at first. Who is this red dog? I asked. Then I realized it was Smash covered in blood.

My first thought as I climbed down from where I was working was that he had killed and animal and got covered in its blood. But I soon saw to my horror that he was the one doing the bleeding.

He ran to the house and I followed him. I caught up to him near his water dish and then saw there was a huge gaping hole in the top of his snout just below his eyes. Blood was spraying form two arteries like the black knight in Monty Python's the Holy Grail.

He was too excited to let me hold him. I caught him again in the yard and inspected the wound. He was bleeding so profusely that I had a hard time seeing what was the source. I tried unsuccessfully to put pressure on the arteries to stop the bleeding. When I tried he squirmed away.

I finally got on the phone and got direction to the emergency animal clinic but by this time Smash had run off in the woods. I could not find him.

I began tracking the blood trail but after a couple of hours, I realized I must have been tracking it back to where he got hurt in the first place rather than where he was hiding. I had to give up the tracking when heavy rain started to fall after dark eliminating any signs I could track.

I was very upset that not only had my dog been hurt, but I could not find him. I became very angry as well.

That night I hardly slept at all. I prayed that God would give me some sign that this was what was supposed to be and that every thing was going to be alright. What I really wanted was my dog back, but form all that I had seen and the amount of blood on the ground and on my coveralls, there was no way that little dog could have survived. I assumed he had gone off to die after using his last bit of strength to come home and say goodbye.

Don't worry this story has a happy ending!

The next day I was too depressed to go look for his dead body, but just as I was getting ready to do so, my neighbor called saying he had my dog. I still assumed he meant my dog's dead body, but then he said he is making bad noises.

I quickly ran to the neighbors house and there was Smash running and jumping with the other dogs. He ran right up to me making an awful snorting sound as the air went in and out of the hole in his snout rather than his nostrils.

I thanked God that he was alive. It had to be a miracle! From what I learned in my first aid classes, a human could not have survived that much blood loss - much less a 30 lb dog.

And he was no longer covered in blood. I still don't know where he hid that night. Maybe his dog buddies took care of him. All I know is that I was very thankful to have my puppy back.

After some surgery to close the gap some, Smash still has an extra nostril on top of his snout. We call it his snorkel.

We don't let him run loose just yet as I want to work him through this wanderlust phase. And it is great to see him excited about learning to walk on a leash instead of dreading it.

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