Tuesday, June 15, 2010
As it happens, every once in a while, Lilac breaks a nail because of the disease. Usually, it's a clean break and the nail just comes off. Sometimes, we have to bandage her foot with the nail still attached, but usually when we take the bandage off the next day, the nail has fallen off.
Last Tuesday night, Mr. Taleteller and I took Bunny and Blueberry to the baseball game. We got home, relaxed a little with the girls and then did turn out before bed. It was late, so Mr. Taleteller went to bed while I finished up in the bathroom before bed. I walked into the bedroom and saw the telltale spatter around her dog bed. Closer examination showed that she had indeed cracked a nail. It was still attached, so we bandaged it up loosely and went to bed after cleaning the carpet. Thank heaven for steam cleaners!
So far, there's nothing unusual about this routine for us. Wednesday was my last day of work for the school year and I came home in a very good mood, anticipating all the fun things I'd get to do with the girls while I'm on break. As I walked in the back door, I was greeted by Blueberry and Bunny. Lately we've noticed that sometimes Lilac is sleeping rather deeply and doesn't hear us come in. So, I walked into the living room to check on her. My heart stopped.
She was awake, but struggling to get up. I had flashbacks to her episode last September, and even worse, Treat's episode that marked the beginning of her brief battle with a spinal tumor. I am usually a positive person, but I can tell you that right there in that moment, I was overcome by a lot of less than positive thoughts. I prayed that I wasn't going to start my break by having to let another dog go. I called my husband, who of course didn't answer his phone. It seems every time I have an emergency here, he's in a meeting and not answering. So, I went into auto pilot. I took Bunny and Blueberry outside to the pen so I could work more with Lilac. My brain started analyzing how I was going to get her up off the floor.
Then I really looked at her and how she was trying to get up, and my mind connected the dots. Her bandage was off, left across the room near the fan where she'd no doubt spent part of the day resting. She doesn't have great strength in her back end and now she was trying to get up on one leg and not use the one with the broken toenail. A breathed a huge sigh of relief. I can deal with dragging an almost sixty pound dog out the door as long as we're just going out to try to go potty. I felt myself calm down and then I started analyzing what my plan of action would be. I brought Bunny and Blue back in and gathered Lilac up somehow and carried her, against her will, I might add, outside to the nearest grass I could get to.
She stood on three shaky legs and gave me her most mulish look. We were not in the grass, nor in the area where she likes to go to the bathroom. I sighed and picked her up again, carrying her across the driveway to the grass near the turn out pen. She still refused to go, but she'd had an accident in the house, so I figured that she just wasn't going to go. I carried her back into the house and laid her down on the big comfy bed. I got her a bowl of water with ice in it and her food bowl. She did drink a bit and she ate a few bites of food.
That night and the next day, she had to be carried in and out of the house. She licked at the toenail and turned it around backwards, just after the vet's office closed. I thought seriously about trying to just pull it off, but she will have none of you getting near her feet and it's the one thing that I think she might possibly bite over, so I left it alone. Soon, she showed signs of wanting to move. I picked her up and carried her to another dog bed. She stood and glared at me. I carried her back to the first bed. I swear that she rolled her eyes at me and huffed. The next thing I knew, she gave a little yelp and then hobbled over to another dog bed that was in front of the fan. I looked and sure enough, she'd finally gotten the nail off.
Next, I found myself in an argument with Bunny over whether or not she was going to eat said toenail. I'd saved it on the table because I planned to take a picture of it to show on the blog. All I know is that the toenail disappeared. Either Bunny did eat it or Mr. Taleteller threw it away.
Lilac immediately seemed to feel better after losing the nail. I am hoping that we don't have any more broken nails for a while. She's not the best patient. As a matter of fact, she's downright difficult to please! Thank heaven she doesn't have a little bell to ring!