Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Injury

Have you ever seen the movie Fargo? Remember the bloody scene in the snow?

Well, yesterday, we came home to our backyard snow looking like that scene in Fargo. There was blood everywhere. Lots and lots of blood.

Okay, maybe it wasn't quite as bad as that scene in the movie.

Oh, and it was dog blood.

Here's what happened----

The girls and I came home later than normal because I had a meeting and they stayed in the aftercare program at their school for the first time ever. When we are not home, we confine the dogs to the laundry room which has a dog-door leading to our fenced backyard. The dog, the injured one, was nursing his wound in the snow when we found him.

I checked him out and found that he had cut his paw. It was deep, very deep. But it was clean and straight. Not at all jagged.

I decided not to do my usual thing---which is to panic---and instead, I remained calm, wrapped his paw in bandages made from torn old towels, and waited for my husband to come home and give his opinion on whether or not we needed to take him to the vet.

In the meantime, I was trying to get the dog into the laundry room so I could check him out and to help contain the blood to the linoleum flooring of the laundry room.

My girls had other "plans." They twice opened the door that leads to the rest of the house just in time for the dog to notice and run into the house trying to escape from my examination. On his first escape, this led to dog blood on the carpet in my dining room, and on the second escape, led to dog blood going up the carpeted stairs to the room the dog perceives as his den, which also happens to be my closet.

Amongst the chaos, I still managed to remain calm. I guess there's a big difference between your child bleeding profusely and your dog bleeding profusely because had this been one of my children, I would have definitely been panicking by now.

And then J accidentally slammed her finger in the door, right at the same time that I was trying to corral the dog, and she started screaming. I got her some ice but then must have said something like, "Here, honey, you hold it. I've got to get the dog into the laundry room," because she then said, between sobs, "Mommy, do you care more about the dog's boo-boo than mine?"

Oh my poor baby!

"Of course not," I said soothingly. "I care much more about yours, honey. Are you okay?"

Later, I realized she had asked me the much easier question of dog versus child. Had she asked me the much more difficult question of child versus blood-stained carpeting, I may have paused and in my hesitation may have mistakenly given the impression that I cared more about the mess than about her poor wounded fingers. Ahem.

Finally, my husband arrived and was able to examine the dog.

"Well, I'm not really sure about dogs, but if this was a human, he'd need a lot of stitches," he said.

So, being of the pioneer spirit, and uhm, wanting to save ourselves the $150 that the vet would have surely charged us for arriving after-hours, we sutured the beast ourselves.

We put down a few towels. Then attached a bright shop light to shine directly on our surgical "table." I held down the dog while D stitched him up. During the procedure, I whispered sweet nothings into the dog's ear like, "It's okay," and, "Good dog," and I think it was the nicest I've ever been to this poor dog. D numbed his foot with an injection of lidocaine, I cut off the fur around the wound, and then D cleaned the site and stitched him up. Six stitches. Then we applied antibacterial cream, wrapped it in gauze, and stuck duct-tape over the whole thing.

It was awesome. We were like rock stars. Pioneer rock stars. Truly, I wished I'd had a camera.

Everyone was calm. The situation was under control. The dog was seemingly pain free for the time being, and we saved ourselves the dough we would have had to pay the vet had my hubby not had the know-how to pull this procedure off.



jakelliesmom said...

Whoa. You had me at "we sutured the beast ourselves." Were my dog in the same situation, the best my spouse could offer might be to do her taxes, maybe negotiate a better lease rate on a new property or audit her financials.

Catherine said...

Um. Wow. I started watching "Fargo" but couldn't stomach it exactly. I'm pretty amazed and impressed.

This doesn't exactly seem the right place to say this, but in response to your comment, I'm sort of from ChicagoLand, definitely living there. I was born around here, but grew up in WI and MN. I came back for college and stayed ever since!

Thanks for coming by. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, did you just say you sutured your dog yourselves!?! I am SO impressed. That numbing stuff must have worked miracles. If I came near my dog with something that looked remotely like a needle and tried to sew her together with it, I would probably have my hand bitten off!

Jenner said...

Ah, the joys of having a husband as a doctor. Yours is more brave than mine--Ed still would have wanted to go to the vet. Maybe once he has a few years under his belt. He is only a 2nd year resident in anesthesia. What an exciting experience. Oh, and I had to laugh about your daughter saying that about the dog's boo-boo. I agree-I would have hesitated if having to figure out the more important thing (boo-boo or bloody carpet). I just hope the carpet wasn't too light colored. Have a great day and stop by my site sometime--I'd love to hear from you.

Kristen said...

Holy Cow are you kidding???

That is awesome! We could have used both you and your husband last summer when my dh swung his golf club and clipped the chin of our Lab. We (not being Dr.'s) took her to the vet and paid the $150 in vet fees!!

Kudos to you!

Ann(ie) said...

WHOA! Pioneer rock stars is RIGHT!! I am impressed! I would have fainted and the dog and I would have shared an ambulance.

Family Adventure said...

I was panicking from the moment you said there was blood everywhere.

I am in awe of your calm handling of this. You pioneer rock star, you!


Cheri said...

Compelling tale. This could have been a scene in Fargo.

the dragonfly said...


Color me impressed.

I had to shave my cat's tummy once (long story) and I had to give her one of the "calming" pills we have for when we have to take the cats on long car trips. And it still took two of us to shave her.



Rose Daughter said...

whoa, you did the stitches yourself? Okay, holy cow, that is balsy. I would never be able to do that.

Poor dog.

Mrs. G. said...

I'm glad child and dog are OK. Damn, I want you and your husband on my lifeboat. I'm impressed. How is the carpet?

Jen M. said...

You guys are rock stars for sure. Amazing!

Lisa said...

So you are like Dr. Quinn medicine woman, huh? You were basically performing surgery....
You are amazing, my friend!!!
And most amazing was that you didn't bite your kiddos head off when she let the bloody dog run all over the house!!!!

Amy Y said...

Wow! I would never have been able to suture an animal (or anything else for that matter)! You are a rock star, Mama!

Thank you thank you for thoughts and prayers... We need all we can get!! It's nice to meet you :)

Lisa said...

Wow. I would have totally freaked out, took the dog to the vet and freaked out there too. You handled that sitch wonderfully.

My husband wouldn't be able to do something like that either. He could curse out a contractor or write up some software program for your dog's manfuacturing plant but um, yeah, that's where it would stop.

painted maypole said...

your HUSBAND sutured the dog? wow. but he is a medical professional, right? yeesh.