We had some high drama here that I thought you might enjoy.

Brody fresh from surgery.

Brody fresh from surgery.

Last week I shot a Purina Cat Chow commercial.  It was the usual agency/client demanding more than they could afford and a director wanting to shoot more than he had time for and me keeping all the water on the table with a fork.  We got everything we were assigned and somehow still came in under budget.  The director credits the cats!

I was home yesterday afternoon cleaning up some bills and wrapping my photography equipment that I’d been ignoring for the last couple of weeks while on the Purina project.  On these occasions I like to invite Brody and Elaine to the backyard for some recreation.  They like to remind the squirrels who they think is really in charge out there, bask in the warm sunshine, pee on my grasses and generally act like dogs.  Meanwhile, I keep my office door open to monitor their activity – just in case Brody decides to take a dip or (god forbid) they actually catch a rodent.

The door is also open because after an hour or so of barking at the wind they will come in for a nap or to remind me that it’s dinnertime.  Most days, Brody begins campaigning to eat around 3:30.  Dinner is supposed to be at 5.  I was in the middle of paying a few invoices when Brody came in and bumped my arm.  It was just after 3:30.  His nose was wet and I thought he’d taken time to get a drink from the water bowl outside – we humans are just walking napkins to him ya know – without looking at him I patted his neck and told him he was early – again!  He turned and left me alone and laid down behind my chair with a grunt.

A minute or so later I finished off the bills and went to print the checks, turning around to look at Brody in the middle of the carpet.  I realized my hand was wet from petting him and upon closer inspection I noticed I had blood on my hand!  Brody was laying there with his head up looking calmly out of the doorway with blood literally dripping off the side of his face.  I went to him and the left side of his neck was a soggy matted fur mess.  I thought the worst, he’s gashed his throat somehow.  He seemed non-plussed.  Couldn’t understand why I was upset and asking him what happened.

We made our way to the sunroom door and I asked him to sit outside – ran into the laundry room and grabbed a rag to sop up the blood so I could assess the wound.  He waited patiently and sat like a good dog while I cleaned the area and discovered he was bleeding from his ear.  I thought, this is crazy amounts of blood for a simple ear wound so kept looking.  There didn’t seem to be anything else damaged.

I applied pressure to the wound as much as one can to a lively animal like Brody and the bleeding wouldn’t stop!  Fifteen minutes into this, spatters of blood covered my shoes, the legs of my jeans were ruined, the patio was stained and our office carpet was in need of a serious shampoo.  I had gone through two rags, a horrible attempt to wrap his ear in gauze and had finally gotten paper towels with an ace bandage wrapped around his head in order to get him to the vet.  All the while Elaine laid poolside working on her tan.

Brody has always loved car rides.  One of his greatest joys is sticking his head out the window and barking at parked cars as we drive by (you never know when one might attack!).  Every time he gets to ride there is much excitement.  Fortunately the ER Vet is only 5 minutes down the road so keeping the windows up didn’t torture him too much but his excitement never wained and he managed to get my triage bandage loose and drip blood all over the backseat!  Dogs are great…

Parking at the vets office I put a leash around his neck and found the blood soaked paper towels on the floor of the backseat area.  We went into reception where there were at least 6 other dogs and a woman with pet ferrets waiting for their appointments.  Brody doesn’t like other dogs, or ferrets I assume, but he didn’t seem to care about them yesterday – maybe he’d lost too much blood.  He sat down as I pressed the soaked towels to his head and waited for a nurse to take him to the back.  It didn’t take long and as Brody disappeared into the back I was left standing among the other owners with bloody clothes, a shirt that was probably now a rag-bag yard garment and a wad of blood soaked paper towels.  Another nurse noticed me and said I could go to the back and wash-up.

After I’d gotten my breath back and began to look at my shoes and clothes and wonder if blood comes out of leather seats I realized I’d forgotten my wallet.  So I went to the receptionist and explained what I’d left at home in my rush and that I’d be right back but she wouldn’t let me leave because she said the doctor had to see me first.  Again, I thought, this is just a nicked ear…  what could he need to see me about?  So I waited.

About 30 minutes later the Vet appeared at the entrance to the O.R. and announced Brody’s name. I raised my hand he invited me to an empty hallway where we could talk in private.  He smiled and said, “Brody’s laceration has ruptured an artery and he’s lost a lot of blood.”  Artery? I thought.  Dog ears are so thin how is there an artery in there?  It did explain why I couldn’t get the bleeding stopped. The doc went on to say that he too thought it was a simple nick and wrapped Brody’s head in a towel but that his bleeding soon soaked right through.  The doc explained that Brody would need surgery and possibly and I.V. to help replace his lost blood.  They’d have to knock him out and then keep him overnight.  He also told me the price tag for all this and I wished we’d been standing in a human ER as I began to feel little faint.  At least I didn’t need my wallet at that time.

The doc is convinced Brody got bit but I did not hear an argument between him and his sister, and he’s usually the one nipping at her not the other way round.  I think he snagged himself on a rosebush or leaped at a squirrel and came down on a tree branch the wrong way.  At least that’s what Elaine wants me to keep thinking…

The office rug will get a shampoo this weekend and Barb is trying to save my jeans and shirt with a good dose of stain remover and cold water.  It is raining lightly today and I’m hoping the weather will wash away the blood stains on the cement and flagstone.  As for my car, I’ve taken a disinfectant spray to the seats and I think it’ll be okay.  Armor All does wonders too.

I went to the ER this morning.  Brody was a good guy for them.  More than one of them knew him and said, “he’s sure got a lot of energy…”  He refused to eat what they served him.  Kept putting his nose under the bowl and tipping it over.  “I’m not eating THIS!!”  When I got him home I put a bowl of food down and he refused to eat unless Elaine and I watched him.  Maybe he thought it was trick.  Odd, he’s usually ravenous and eats everything without blinking.

He’s wearing a festive holiday bandage.  It green with gauze hanging out of the sides.  Kind of the dog version of Dickens’ Jacob Marley who famously has a handkerchief around his jaw.

He goes back tomorrow to get the bandages removed.  The vet had written on the outside of it, “Ear Here Don’t Cut!” in case he’s not the one who goes to remove it.  Then Brody has to wear of a cone around his neck so we doesn’t try to scratch his stitches.  Cait calls this the Cone of Shame.  It should be an interesting week with the cone and the xmas decorations.  We’re thinking we have to baby proof the place – as if there’s a two year old – anything breakable goes up high!

Showing off his Jacob Marley.

Showing off his Jacob Marley.

He’s sleeping soundly and snoring loudly at my feet as I finish this.  I think he’s happy to be home.