Thursday, December 06, 2007

The toughest guy I know.

Awful. Yesterday was awful. It was supposed to be a fun day (read: not packing) running errands around town. We (Joe, Skooter, Benson and I) were getting evacuated out of the house because the pest control guy was coming to spray the house for fleas. Joe and I had decided that our agenda would include Berta's in Old Town for lunch, Hillcrest to trade in some clothes at the Buffalo Exchange, Mission Valley, Dog Park, and then Costco. We chose these places because they were all dog-friendly and the dogs deserved one last fun day driving around dog-friendly San Diego.

Anyways, the day started off kinda rocky. The flea guy arrived to our house and says, "Oh, I forgot to ask if you're pregnant." Apparently, if they sprayed for fleas, Joe and I had to leave the house for 24 hours and not the 4 hours that was initially suggested when I called to schedule the appointment. We had to reschedule for next week.

By this point, I was still itching to get out of the house and we had made up a fun agenda that we decided that we would take the dogs with us anyways and run our errands. Berta's was yummy. Joe got a new pair of jeans at the Buffalo Exchange. Next stop, Mission Valley.

Mission Valley, for those of you who haven't been there, is a mall. The shopping area is directly above the parking garage. In order to get to the mall area, you park underneath and ride up these (slightly inclined) moving sidewalks and viola! You're in the middle of the mall.

As we entered the mall, Skooter's back toe got caught on the moving sidewalk (I guess they're called inclinators). He was stuck. The inclinator was still moving and you could see the endless, black inclinator tiles as they passed underneath his trapped paw. Skooter didn't make a sound, no yelp, no cry, nothing. I was stunned. Joe dropped down really fast and pulled Skooter 's toe free from the inclinator tile. He put Skooter on the floor and Skooter still had his happy and enthusiastic "I'm ready to shop" breathing pant. We didn't realize that he was bleeding until he moved his paw. There was blood everywhere. Joe scooped up Skooter and ran him into the bathroom. We were trying to examine his paw but couldn't see the damage because there was blood everywhere. I called the vet while Joe washed out his paw in the men's bathroom. From what we could tell, Skooter's nail ripped out and one of his paw pads was sliced by the escalator. The next thing you know, we're in the car, hauling ass to the vet.

When we got to the vet, they had to sedate him because the pain was in full force now (mind you, he still wasn't crying but he definitely wasn't letting the vet touch his paw). They took x-rays and cleaned out the wound the best as they could. The x-rays showed that Skooter was missing a knuckle. The force of the moving inclinator pulled out his an entire knuckle on his back right paw. They have to suture his paw pad but couldn't yesterday because there was still microscopic dirt that they weren't able to get to because his paw pad was sliced so badly by the inclinator. So they sent us home with Skooter's foot as an open wound. We have to go back to the vet today so they can change Skooter's bandage and see how much salvageable tissue is left. They might be able to save his paw pad on the toe if they see enough healthy tissue today. If not, then his paw pad will never grow back-- it'll just be a really thin layer of skin. His toe nail is gone forever. He essentially declawed himself. His activity is strictly limited for the next 14 days.

So why is he the toughest guy I know? Well, first of all, he didn't make a peep. He didn't cry bloody murder when his paw got stuck... not one noise. He put on his tough guy face and was still like, "Mom and Dad want to go shopping and I won't stop them because my toe was just pulled off by the inclinator." Secondly, in the car ride to the vet, despite the fact that he was bleeding over everything (Joe's clothes were bloody and the dogs' car blanket was bloody), he would still give you kisses if you put your face down next to his. He's a tough guy with a soft heart! What a combo (and Ladies, some of you didn't think that they really existed). Lastly, in the car ride over, he still wanted to perch his head out so he could see out of the car. Apparently, who feels pain when there is a road trip involved?

The vet techs said that dogs try not to show any signs of pain because it shows the pack that they're weak. Skooter, you are not weak. You may look handsome and fuzzy and you may prance when running from room to room but-- You. Are. The. Toughest. Guy. I. Know.

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