Monday, May 13, 2013

Gibson And The Nail

I took Gibson to the vet today. Last night while I was milking Bonita, I heard a yelp of canine panic and left the chore, midstream, to run outside the barn. I know the sound of fear in Gibson, and this was intense. What I saw was a dog running towards me best he could on three legs, the fourth up in the air wildly kicking back like a cowpony. I thought he ran over some broken shard of glass, or stepped on a thorn. When he ran to me I asked him to lie down and he rolled on his belly, showing me the problem. He had a rusty nail sticking out of his paw.

It wasn't in deep at all, barely really. But the bend of the nail made it impossible to dislodge. I took it out and brought him inside. I washed his feet, checked for a wound and bleeding. What blood there was was less than a scrape. This was more an act of drama than injury, but I was instantly worried about tetanus. I called the vet first thing this morning and they said it was rare for a dog to contract tetanus, but they could check him out and give him a preliminary strike of antibiotics. I set an appointment time.

Gibson was a good patient. The vet staff was kind and patient. We were there just a half hour, mostly talking, and Gibson got his shot. I felt somewhat foolish, all this fuss over a nail scratch. But I knew if any sort of blood poisoning, bacteria, or infection happened to that dog I would never forgive myself. Gibson is the closest I've ever been to another animal, human or otherwise. I raised him from a pup and we have never spent more than 4 hours apart from each other. That sounds co-dependant and crazy-dog-lady scary, but it's more a case of luck and lifestyle than anything else. I once worked at a place that allowed dogs so Gibson came to my office. Now I work from home on a farm, which doesn't allow overnight travel or any fancy vacations, so we are here, together.

I love all my dogs, all I ever owned, but Gibson has become the saving grace I needed during the toughest time in my life. The last year since leaving Orvis, the events that lead up to it and all the personal things swirling around it caused a firestorm of emotion and choices that have had a considerable level of fallout. I don't know how I could have gotten through it without that dog. As I write this he is asleep outside the office door. He is worth $77.50 to save from the threat of tetanus. He's worth everything I own or could hope to own.

If a man in a suit said I could keep my farm or my dog, I would hand him the keys and walk away. There are a thousand farms in this region. There's only one Gibson Mackenzie that has ever existed and I'm the luckiest son of a bitch to have him.

He's my fast, fast dog.

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