Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Home From Surgery

This morning I was laying on the veterinary office floor, my forehead against Gibson's, singing Love Vigilantes to him quietly. Oh I just come, from the land of the sun... I whispered as I scratched the rough mane around his neck. It was a fitting song, at least by title. He was coming to slowly, having just had emergency surgery on his front paw. The sedation had been reversed but he was still high on valium and some other opiates so coming back into the world was taking its time. I waited. I love this dog more than I have any business to.

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.


Blogger Sarah said...

I'm so sorry to hear that.
It never ceases to amaze how these darn animals can worm their way so completely into our lives. And seeing them hurt and helpless does something primal to a person. What we wouldn't do to see them wag that tail, or hear that nicker of greeting just one more time.
Here's our latest misadventure at the vet:( http://srchristoffersen.blogspot.com/2014/12/not-today.html )

I'm glad your sweet little Gibson is okay. Give him a good ear scratch from us.
I'm going out to hug a horse.

August 11, 2015 at 1:28 PM  
Blogger Mel Baker said...

Poor Gibson. Get well soon, dear boy.

Your Tuesday sounds like my Monday of last week. My lab, Beau tried to jump a barbed wire fence and lost. He tore open his side and drained my bank account. Silly dogs - I hope they know how much they are loved.

August 11, 2015 at 2:24 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

Poor guy. He's lucky to have you to take care of him. You guys just can't catch a break can you

August 11, 2015 at 2:42 PM  
Blogger Goose Goose said...

The chickens are doing the chicken dance. Until Tuesday.

August 11, 2015 at 4:10 PM  
Blogger Goose Goose said...

Hey Jenna,
I've thought about another vlog or blog post.
Women in Farming or
Gender in "Whatever".

My neighbor's grandson wants to join us girls for the tea party. The little girls want to have the tea party at a grandma's house. (I don't prefer to spend time with said grandma, so I suggested they have the tea party and I would join them in another activity.) The grandma won't let the little boy, 10 yr old, join them for the tea party. I understand that there are 'girlie times to be girlie' but we're talking the end of summer activity for kids under 12. I suppose my take on it is that they all (boys and girls) are excited about the thought of dressing up for a tea party. Why Squash the Tea Party out of BOYS? Why limit their thinking? Why dissuade WOMEN from farming? (not you but you get the idea) Why not encourage folks to do what they are interested in.

Gender and ability and interest would be a good talk. It would spark a lot of interest and comments, I'd bet.

August 11, 2015 at 4:17 PM  
Blogger Tina Hvizdos said...

My puppy torsioned, his intestines twisted, at 7 months. He required emergency surgery then a weekend stay at a 24 hour emergency hospital. Then return to his regular vet for observation to see if he would eat, and could get his IV removed. The vet said I could stay with him, so I did. I sat in a dog kennel for 5 hours. He ate, he peeded, on me, and was allowed to go home. I know why you did what you did, and a lot of people would do the same thing. It is called giving back to a being who would do the same for you, and probably has.

August 11, 2015 at 6:25 PM  
Blogger Ben Higgins said...

Poor pup! My little guy has split his pad before, not fun. Does Gibson have to face the cone of shame again?

August 11, 2015 at 7:20 PM  
Blogger Robin Follette said...

We sat on the floor of the exam room this morning, rubbing Sebastian's ears and stroking his side as he drifted off for the last time. Our house will never be the same. We were blessed to be his people for 15 years. When it comes to dogs, you do what you need to do and figure out the rest of life later.

August 11, 2015 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger Goose Goose said...

Robin Follette, I am deeply sorry for your loss. ~Goose Goose

August 12, 2015 at 9:01 AM  
Blogger Candie W said...

What a day. Hope Gibson recovers fast.

August 12, 2015 at 10:00 AM  
Blogger Aimee said...

Putting healing thoughts into the universe for Gibson! What a special bond. I would have done the same!

August 12, 2015 at 10:25 AM  
Blogger Tanya T said...

Glad he is ok. And can you tell him to stop hurting himself, yeesh. Poor guy.

August 12, 2015 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger Goose Goose said...

Hey Jenna! I'm reading 'All Creatures Great and Small' by Harriott

-----"But then I might have been in an office with windows tight shut against petrol fumes and traffic noise, desk light shining on columns of figures , my bowler hat hanging on the wall. Lazily I watched a cloud shadow riding over the face of the green hill across the valley. No, no...I wasn't complaining. (about being a veterinarian with animals in the poo and the weather.) (BARNHEART!)

Let's hear it for the veterinarians who help our four legged babies.

August 12, 2015 at 5:42 PM  
Blogger Karen from CT said...

Jenna, so soryr to hear about your boy. Best wishes coming your way for a speedy recovery.
Goose Goose- I love All Creatures Great and Small, the books and the TV show. The show was really a good representation of the books. The family fave? The gardener taking care of Tricky Woo!!!

August 12, 2015 at 11:10 PM  
Blogger Margaret said...

God, that's terrifying. I'm so glad he's doing okay. I'm a mother to a furbaby, too, and the one time she spent the night in an emergency hospital, all I could do was cry. The love we feel for our dogs is unparalleled.

Have you ever considered pet insurance? Mabel costs around $40 a month, and after her trip to the hospital, I got reimbursed 90% after I met the deductible. It really saved my hide.

August 15, 2015 at 10:19 AM  

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