Home From Surgery
We had been at the office for two hours. When we arrived I carried him in and we walked into the exam room that was readied for us. The doctor cam in and I pulled off the homemade bandage of gauze and vet wrap (always in stock here at the farm) and showed them the ugly scene. Gibson panted loudly but seemed to be dealing with the pain best he could.
This morning while I was loading chickens into the back of the pickup truck to drive to the butcher for processing he cut his toe pad to the bone on the tailgate. I had my back turned to the dog as I was loading the squawking birds into a crate and he felt assistance was in order. I didn't see him jump up right as the tailgate was coming down. It all happened in a nano second. I had him at the vet's office an hour later, soon as they opened their doors.
He needed surgery, and fast. The toe pad was a weight-bearing toe and as both a working farm dog and athlete - stitches were needed. The vet said I could leave him here and return in a few hours but I asked if I could stay. Gibson has never left my side, and I wasn't going to start now. I asked if I could stay and be there for the surgery and the wonderful folks at Cambridge Valley Vet said I could.
So he was sedated with an injection on a blanket of the office floor. The technician left us alone with the lights out so he could slip away into a deep sleep and I held his head and sang. Part of me was terrified he'd die right there, seeing him go so limp and breathe so slow. I'm more prepared for most human beings I know to leave this world than I am for this dog.
When he was out I carried him to the surgery table and myself, two technicians kept a hold of him while he was shaved, cleaned, and the deep wound was sealed up with stitches. The doctor was wonderful and Gibson didn't seem to notice the injections of localized pain killers or the needles sewing him back together. He was bandaged and the Vet went over the care plan to his recovery, which will take a few weeks. Then I was given that room again to be there when he woke up.
He opened his eyes like they weighed thirty pounds each and thumped his tail once. I was never happier to see him. His eyes dilated and his breathing sped up, but he was back. It wasn't long before he was able to stand, walk, and control his body again. I carried him anyway, back to the truck, and had a pocket full of antibiotics and painkillers. No chickens were slaughtered. My checking account was, though.
I came home and set him up on a fleece. I called Ben Shaw to apologize for not making the appointment and I called any friends expecting poultry, told them what happened, and made plans for next Tuesday instead. Sometimes life just happens, and things change. This was one of those days.
Gibson will be okay and I'll figure something out. I always do. I posted a special on events and logos over on Facebook (3 Paw Special) in hopes to drum up some business. I just wanted to update you on the emotional morning and the luck and blessing that is a good country vet just a mile away. Gibson will recover and be his old self by October or sooner. Right now though, he's sort of a pathetic mush of drugs and limping.
I guess one dog's surgery is a chicken's reprieve? Silver linings are out there for someone on this rainy day.