Sunday, March 28, 2010
Patches and her nine lives
We have a troubled child here at the zoo. Her name is Patches. She has been with us since 12 weeks of age, from a puppy mill. We didn't know it was a puppy mill when we went. Once I got there, I realized it was a puppy mill and I had two choices. Leave (I had my 2 and 3 and 1/2 year old children with me) or stick it to them. So......... the dog I was supposed to get was "sick" and they refused to show the "sick puppy" to me. That's when I KNEW these people were not good. So I played my best cards- I told them I would take the all white dog and if they knocked 50% off her price, I wouldn't report them. I bought the puppy, got home with her and reported them anyway. She was sick as could be - worms, diarrhea, lethargic, you name it. We took her to the vet immediately and they told me she would be fine but she was one sick pup. She has never been "right in the head". She has always had an extreme distrust of strangers, has always loved to play fetch with her special ball, and has had questionable vision, thus making everything new very frightening to her. She has also had an uncanny and aggrevating ability to scale our 5 foot fence so she could be with us in the front yard, and then jump back over when we go in. She is 8 years old and we love her dearly.
The picture above looks like I am holding her head sternly- I am not, I am trying to get her to stop looking around and licking my ears so we could take her picture. The picture below shows her neck and if it makes you woozy, you shouldn't be a human or dog mom. Trust me. This dog has an amazing ability to heal. She also has an uncanny ability to get into TROUBLE. She has run away from dog sitters for 2 days at a time, is a fear biter at the vet, and has been hit by a car with not a scratch or bruise on her. All of this makes us sound like horrid owners, but we are nothing but the opposite. When we learned she had run away from our first dog sitter, I prayed for the last five hours of the car drive home and cried for the entire five hours. After we got home and called and called, she came running out of the woods, covered in ticks, from pin head size to huge engorged ones. We wept and thanked God for her safety, checked her for injuries, bathed her, handpicked ticks off of her and next time she boarded at the vet, in a crate. Now, if she doesn't come to a person upon meeting them, we disqualify them as a dog sitter.
Her last misadventure happened on Thursday between 2:30 and 4:30. Our dogs are often left in the safety of our yard while I run errands. I came home and Patches ran up and Emily said, " MAMA, PATCHES IS CUT UP!!!" I looked down and saw her throat and about died. I stayed calm as usual, assessed how many cuts there were and called my vet. The lacerations were so clean that I knew immediately that they were from something sharp in my neighbors yard- there was not a speck of dirt in them, nor were the edges jagged, so I knew that was in our favor. I rushed her to my vet and Dr. Nguyuen (pronounced Winn) was amazing- she told me they were clean lacerations and I told her, " I will do whatever I need to do, but I am not taking this dog to an ER vet- I trust you." Since Patches will try to rip the hand off any stranger on a good day, I told them to bring me the smallest nylon muzzle they had and told the tech to stay away from the dog, I would hold her for the exam. Glad I did that, when Dr. Nguyen came close to look at her, she went CRAZY, almost came off the table and by the time I got her secure, I was covered with blood and the tech and Dr. N were saying, " Thanks for knowing your dog." I suggested they sedate her with me holding her and then I would leave. I laid on my neice's bed for the next hour and picked her up, all sedated, stapled up, and her tongue hanging out of her pathetic little mouth. Bless her heart.
Fast forward to next morning. She was ready to eat, ready to go out and by day three she wanted to chase her ball and cleared the dang fence when my back was turned. ??????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So she's on leash duty now and I don't know what she's made of, but I wish God had made me out of the same stuff. I don't know if she's one her seventh or ninth life, but I am not worried, she obviously is intended to stay here with us and give us years more of laughter, love, and heart attacks.