It’s the first time I’ve ever had one of my dogs shot, and it really hits home just how much my critters mean to me.
When I walked out the door to leave for work this morning, there was Hiro, lying under the truck on his side. He’s usually the one I have to yell at to quit jumping on me, so I knew something was wrong. One of his forelegs was three times the size of the other, so that made diagnosis easy enough. A wag of his tail, a quick lick to my face as I picked him up to carry him inside, and I knew the leg was all that was hurt.
A mad dash out the door to make it to work on time and my mind is reeling. I figured he probably tangled with one of the four-wheelers he’s so fond of chasing, or, the horse finally managed to kick him. Then, there was the dilemma of getting him to the vet, something quite difficult to do when working all day.
So, as soon as I got a chance, I called a vet. The cost was through the roof, but he would see me at 4:00. When I went in to ask if I could leave early, my manager suggested her vet, and when I called there, the cost was half and I could drop the dog off and return to work. Sounded like a plan to me.
Hiro took his first ever ride in the truck since I brought him home as a baby, and he was frightened. He was scared to death at the vet’s too and refused to let me put him down on the exam table. Strangely, his heart rate was on the slow side and his temp was normal.
General anesthesia made him relaxed enough to take a few x-rays, which the vet showed me. When I walked into the x-ray room, the vet said, “He’s been shot with a .22.” What? The bullet had hit the elbow joint square on, it fragmented as .22’s will do and pulverized the joint. It was a surprise that the bullet didn’t go through and into the chest to kill the dog, so the vet thinks it was probably a ricochet. Hiro was at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Options. With the joint pulverized, there is nothing to hold the leg on. If nerves are damaged, he’d drag the foot, which would cause other problems in no time. I could spend enough to buy a car on reconstructive surgery on the joint, which isn’t an option. The injury isn’t enough to warrant euthanasia, so the vet said that he would amputate the leg.
That’s a tough one. A 3-legged dog. This little brat of a dog is vibrant and active and all over the place. It’s good that he’s a small dog and will be able to adapt in no time, but being Hiro on only three legs…?
Surgery is scheduled for tomorrow morning. I’ll drop him off in the morning and he’ll stay over night.
This won’t hit me until it’s over. That’s the way it is with me. I’ll fall apart when the crisis is over.
Right now, I think my horse has a horsefly on his rump and needs me too. I just saw him go bucking by my window…