In the last week, I planned on accomplishing a myriad of tasks: I had posters to be designed for ACM, videos to be edited for work, studying to get done for the Tuesday Exam Day of Death.
Instead, I got Echo.
Well, to be fair, that’s what he looks like now. When I first met him, it was more along the lines of
His previous owners were abusive, and through a complex series of events involving the Cookeville PD, he was given to us to find a home. All fiscal and common sense dictated that there was no way I should be adopting a dog. So I named him and moved him into my room.
It was only then that the leg decided to suddenly swell like a balloon. We had noticed the limp when we rescued him, but it had been minor until now. He came down overnight with a fever and chills and suddenly began sleeping the entire day away. No vets were open on the weekend, so we elected to take him in first thing Monday morning. Many lay opinions were tossed about, and my sleep Sunday night was filled with dread at the costs of X-Rays, splints, or at worst, amputation. The leg continued to swell.
Eric and I drove to Knoxville and got to the vet as it opened Monday morning. Yet we still sat in the waiting room for the better part of an hour. Echo anxiously eyeing other dogs; Eric anxiously eyeing the clock; and me anxiously looking around for a pricing chart on limb removal.
!http://i.imgur.com/KIxRGK9.png(Amputations cost an arm and a leg… ☜(ﾟヮﾟ☜))!
Finally, we made it back to a patient room, and after some poking, prodding, and a very bug-eyed temperature reading, found a perfectly healthy bone with no fracture. It was just a massive infection. “A hefty dose of steroids”, we were told, “and he’ll be on his way to recovery by morning”
We had to leave him at the vet overnight and at some point during his stay, the leg popped. I cannot imagine the horrifying cries of the vet techs that must have perished in that great pus flood. The swollen balloon-animal proportions that his leg had acquired were gone by the next morning; all pressurized fluid blasted from the two gaping holes on his inner thigh.
Currently, these holes are still unbandaged (as per vet instructions), leaving the cavernous interior entirely exposed to the world. The prior balloon of pus and infected tissue is now an empty chasm. If you look inside you can see muscle and flesh wiggle as he walks. Even the dog is beginning to grow concerned at the amount of time I’m spending trying to keep pace with his walk, my head shoved between his belly and the floor. I tell myself I’m only checking to be sure the wound is staying healthy and infection-free. (But in all reality it’s just fascinating to stare into the void of his leg at the world beyond.)
He’s currently on antibiotics every day, as well as under a strict hydrotherapy regimen. This means that twice a day for ten minutes I have to massage the leg while gently running cool water over the area. This may as well be a death sentence, for all the dramatics that precede each trip to the sink. Trembling sets in as I clear the area and start the water. Whining begins once I pick him up. And the desperate attempts to leap from the water-basin of death to the ground below do not cease for the entire process.
So here I am.
Cleaning the oozings of a half-trained dog, who has yet to realize that me closing the bathroom door is not a punishment, and who has cost me more in the past week than I planned on spending this semester.
But I wouldn’t trade him for anything.
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