Sunday, December 20, 2009

Expensive tie-out

Jada has been with me for four years and remains catastrophe-free.

I cannot say the same thing for Skye who has been with me for a year on January 14.

Katie, Evalyn and I drove up to the house last night about 11 and as soon as the headlights hit the tree where I'd left Skye tied out on her wire cable, I knew something was wrong.

Skye was nowhere to be seen.

Katie was talking about how she was going to take Evalyn inside and then come back for our bags. I had my door opened and was heading to the tree.

"I'm going to check on Skye then I'll be back to help," I was saying while walking.

I'd left the headlights on and after about ten steps, I saw the situation. Skye was hobbling on three legs, trying to come to me and yelping. I could see her right hind leg was bound in the wire cable and all I could see was red.

She was trying to come to me, yelping and screaming. I touched her head. She yelped louder and snapped at my hand.

"Katie!!" I yelled. "I need help!"

Pause the story.

Here's something about me: I don't handle injury well AT ALL. As a matter of fact, I want to run, flee the scene, let somebody else handle it and then tell me when everything is better. I don't want to see blood. I don't want to see flesh. I don't want to hear screaming and crying and yelping that I can't control.

But it was just Katie and I home. And I will say that Katie handles these things much better then I do.

For example, I approached Skye again, talking to her, and she was trying to get to me but every time she moved, it put more pressure on her leg and made her yelp so loud and crazy. I started backing up, waving my hands (because that's going to help?), and yelling at her, "Stop it! Just stop! STOP!"

"Holly," Katie said. "That's not going to help." Right. Of course, that's right. So I stopped yelling and got my head back in the game. I'm retarded sometimes. But I did just tell you that I DON'T handle these things well AT ALL.

She drove the vehicle over so we could see better. Skye had calmed down considerably and was laying down, leaning into me as much as she could. I was sitting beside her, petting her. Every time I moved, she moved and looked at me with her big brown eyes.

The wire cable wasn't just wound around her leg, it was knotted and twisted. Every time we touched it, she started screaming. Her foot was swollen about twice the normal size. We managed to get her unhooked from the cable and unhook the cable from the tree so she was free now, except for the binding on her leg.

Katie brought a pair of wirecutters and tried to cut the cable. Nothing.

We decided to put her in the vehicle and take her to the house. We drove down to the barn to get a bigger pair of wirecutters. We found some and went back to the house.

The big wirecutters?

Katie muttered a couple profanities as she clamped the cutters down the cable and nothing moved.

I was trying to not feel desperate.

I grabbed the phonebook and decided to call the emergency services of this particular vet I'd heard good things about.

The vet answered and told me to bring her in.

Katie said she'd go with me; I said no, stay with Evalyn.

The hour and 15 minute trip was ridiculous. It was 11:30 by the time I left. Every bump (and there are many!) and every crazy turn (again, many!) Skye yelped in the back and readjusted herself to keep her leg as still as possible.

The whole trip there, I saw NO WILDLIFE and that's amazing considering that when Katie and I had just driven the same road an hour earlier, we passed herds of elk, deer, coyotes and rabbits.

The end of this story is rather anticlimatic. I got to the vet at 12:45 (he was SO NICE!!), we got her inside and two wirecutters later for the vet and lots of grunting on his part, the cable was off her leg. She was really pissed that I put a muzzle on her and was very concerned about getting it off.

"She's not aggressive," I said. "But she did try to snap at me earlier."

"She knows she's in trouble," the vet said.

He examined her leg, (there was no exposed skin) said something about how her foot might fall off, and told the tech to take the muzzle off. As soon as the muzzle was off, she was nearly running circles in the room and jumping on me. He retracted his earlier comment about her foot falling off. She was obviously going to be fine.

Twenty minutes after we got there, we left.

And we passed an insane amount of night creatures on the way home. We got home at 2:45 and were safely in bed at 3 (after she ate a hearty dinner.)

This morning, she's fine. Back to her usual "high-strung" (as the vet tech called her) self and never, EVER!!!!, again will I use one of those stupid $20 tie-outs that ended up costing a little more then that by the time it ended up in 30 pieces on the floor of a vet exam room.

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