Last week Guinevere took a flying leap off the back porch steps in her never-ending pursuit of squirrel removal in our back yard. Not that this pursuit has ever shown any positive outcomes. When she came back in, she was limping a little and leaving a little trail of bloody spots on the kitchen floor. When YA and I wrestled her to the ground to take a look, it turns out that she had ripped one of toenails partly off below the quick. Ouch.
Neither I nor YA was brave enough to clip off the nail so YA carted Guinevere off to the vet where they applied a little anesthetic and loped it off. Of course that turned out to be the easy part. Guinevere, like most dogs I assume, just could not leave the toe alone. I’m sure after the drugs wore off, it hurt so she reacted as animals do. Licking. And licking. After not long a time, she had licked her little pad raw and she didn’t show any signs of stopping.
At night we were able to wrap her foot and leg up within an inch of its life (antibiotic ointment, bandage, sock, lots of painter’s tape) but during they day, she had the wrappings off within minutes. YA found a cone of shame up in the attic and brought it down to try to keep her away from the foot.
This turned out to be awful for the dog and for me (dog spends more time with me at night). When we put the cone on her, she was beyond paralyzed. She wouldn’t move, wouldn’t lay down and after about a half an hour, she started to breathe a little heavily. Her eyes said “please, please save me” and I couldn’t stand it; I took the cone off, made her get on the bed with me and re-directed her every time she took a lick. This went on for DAYS. And do we even need to say that repetitive noises (like a dog licking its paw) drive me up a wall?
Finally at the 10-day mark, she has mostly stopped bothering the toe. The quick appears to have covered over and her pad is now longer licked raw. I’m not sure who feels better about this – Guinevere or me?
Have you ever had to be cruel to be kind?