It’s a bit of a long story… There is a business called Feduro on my bike route just a short way from my house. When I ride by I always greet the security guard and occasionally stop for a short chat.
Last Sunday, he either pointed out or I noticed a dog with an badly injured foot. There are two stray dogs that the guys at the business kind of take care of, but this dog had been hit by a car the day before. I highly doubt any of the guys would have the resources to take the dog to the vet, and she needed help. This is behind the business where large trucks are always coming and going, and the street is bumpy and in poor condition so I sure don’t know why anyone would be speeding through here, but according to the guard this is what happened. And, to make things even more complicated, this dog had five puppies that were born on the 19th, so at this point only nine days old.
The vet was closed, so I planned to take the dog to the vet on Monday morning. When I went to get her, she snapped at me and even the guard wasn’t sure if he could get close to her. I went to the vet for advice, and they sold me tranquilizer drops and a muzzle. She loves food though, of course, so she snarfed down the medicated food and while she was eating, the guard managed to grab her by the scruff of the neck and put a rope around her neck, and the muzzle on her face.
We were supposed to wait 30 min for the medication to take effect but she seemed to be doing OK and not fighting us, so I put her in the back seat of the car. I also collected the puppies in a basket in case she needed to stay at the vet for a while.
She was good as gold at the vet, standing patiently while he carefully examined her and her injured foot, which had to have been painful. It turns out she didn’t break any bones, thank goodness. All she did was lose a considerable amount of skin from the top of her foot. Of course this is a significant injury but with his advice and my nursing experience, we could handle this. He gave me vitamins for her (she was anemic, probably from blood loss with the injury), and also a course of antibiotics that shouldn’t be a problem for the puppies. I also had instructions to clean, apply cream, and bandage the wound daily.
It is now Friday. Monday and Tuesday it took the security guard to catch her while she was eating so I could dress her foot. Wednesday he wasn’t working, and she wouldn’t come close even with the food in my hand, but Wednesday evening I did manage to catch her. (I also got her a collar and leash to make things easier). Once you get a leash on her, she is very good and hasn’t snapped at me at all. I think she understands I am trying to help her and after I finished on Wednesday she let me pet her, and she licked my face. I just about melted on the spot!
Thursday and Friday evening I have also managed to catch her with a bit less difficulty each time. I think she is coming to trust me and not see me as a threat, even though I work on her foot which I’m sure is still plenty sore. It is getting better though. The wounds looks clean, and she is starting to grow skin in the mid portion of the wound though the top, and especially the bottom over the foot are large and will take some time. She is also getting to know Joel which is very helpful because he can help me with the dressings while I do the work.
The problems now are –
- I am leaving on the 22nd. I am going shopping for a different wound product tomorrow, hopefully something more gentle than pulling gauze off every day, and maybe something easier for other people to do and something that doesn’t need to be changed as often. I can’t imagine she will be healed when I leave though, so I’ll have to figure out what to do.
- She needs to be spayed but we must wait another month. I have enlisted Joel to take her to the vet for this.
- Those puppies need homes! There are two white, a male and a female, two brown, also a male and a female, and a male mostly black one. Who knows who the father is. The mother seems to have a very good temperament, especially for a street dog not used to being handled. She weighs 11 kilos, so not a very large dog.
I know, you just never know what I’ll end up getting involved in around here. I just can’t walk on by a suffering animal though, especially when I have the ability to help. And, if we hadn’t gone out to tend to her this evening, we wouldn’t have seen this gorgeous sunset.