Owie, my toe hurts

Sammy has had a tough couple of days. The other day he ran outside to chase some deer away from our backyard fence, and when he came back in he was limping. I checked his feet and found that he had torn one of his toenails and the torn part was sticking out at a 90-degree angle. Ouch! That hurts no matter who you are.

Sammy has spent the last few nights being very restless, coming over to wake me up and not wanting to lay down on his bed and go to sleep. I thought maybe he had to go outside, so I tried to get him to go downstairs so I could let him out. Normally, he’d let himself out through the dog door, but we’ve blocked it off the past few days since the weather has been really cold and the “Extreme Weather” dog door doesn’t deal well with extreme weather, unless you’re just talking about rain.

Turns out Sammy just wanted me to wake up and cuddle him and pet him, and generally sympathize with his plight. [What a wimp! You won’t catch me whining like that. ~ Boots] In any case, today I used a zapper to help reduce the pain, then I took advantage of his natural restlessness and took him outside to run around. I didn’t have the stomach to rip or cut the hanging nail piece off, but I thought if he got excited and ran around it might come off by itself. Sure enough, we got back in the house and the split nail was gone, and all that was left was a rather bloody mess.

Sammy seems a lot happier, though, since the hanging nail piece isn’t stabbing his foot with pain every time he moves. Is it just me or are you terrified of trimming your dogs nails? I always figure I’m gonna do it wrong and he’ll bleed to death. :-) There’s nothing worse than hearing your pet scream in pain…

Sammy’s pretty funny as he tends to be a drama queen (king?). Molly pretty much endures any injuries stoically. Our vet friend said most Labs are like that and they won’t let you know they’re in pain until it’s really severe. A dog mommy must be observant!




Passing Strangers

straydogsThese two dogs showed up in our pasture earlier this year, just walked across the driveway and plopped down in the grass. I went out to investigate and they were quite shy, so I went back out with some food. The blonde dog was willing to come near me but the black dog kept his distance. I could tell, however, that they were really skinny. Their ribs were showing so I figured they were lost or had been dumped at the nearby trailhead.

I’m a softie, so I spent the next few hours plying them with food and they slowly moved closer to the house. I eventually got them corralled within the backyard fence and they settled down under the trees. They really looked like they needed a rest and as I was able to get closer to them I saw that they had small cuts and wounds on their feet and legs. Who knows what they had gone through.

I spent the rest of the day and evening feeding them, petting them and introducing them to Sammy and Molly. The introductions went okay, but I found I needed to keep their attention with treats so they wouldn’t start up with each other. At one point I had all four of them sitting in a semi-circle while I threw pecans for them to catch.

I set the visitors up for the night on thick blankets with heating pads on the back porch to keep them comfy. They were way too smelly to keep in the house! The next morning, they were gone. I figure they climbed up on the hot tub and jumped over the fence. These two must have been real wanderers. My dogs would never figure out they could get out that way (I hope!). I shed a few tears and gave up on my fantasy of adding two more dogs to the pack. Once they got to trust me they were really sweet and I was sad that I couldn’t help more.

Okay, this is where the story gets really interesting. About a month later, a teller at my bank told me that someone on her Facebook page posted about two dogs she had found. The dogs had been with her a month, she fell in love and was keeping them, and they got out when her horse kicked down a fence. The teller told me about this because I had told her the saga of my dog visitors. I showed her the picture of the dogs and she said it matched the one on her friend’s Facebook page. I was stunned!

So this woman who had found the dogs was racing around her neighborhood looking for the dogs, enlisting the aid of friends and strangers. I figured oh well, they are wanderers and they are continuing on their journey. About a week later I checked in with the teller and the woman from Facebook had found the dogs. So as far as I know, they are in a happy home across the valley from me. I’m glad I could help them in a small way to get to their next home.