Things have been pretty cheery on this blog for the last couple of weeks, haven’t they? Well, if you’d like to stay in that mood you may want to skip this post. There have been some rough patches in beagle land these last 24 hours.
First, we’ve been experiencing a little of Percival’s PTSD from his horrible early life in a research laboratory. Percival has night terrors. He wakes up inexplicably in the middle of the night frightened and barking–and he was also de-barked by the barbaric lab so the bark is really like a seal’s bark. Needless to say, it wakes and frightens the entire household, especially considering his favorite spot to sleep is on the bed, next to Chris. When Daphne rushes to Percival (in the dark) to see what’s happened, it frightens him more and he growls. Then she barks, then he snarls and it just escalates until we’ve had to pull them apart by their collars. Not pretty. They are both trying to figure it out and we will work it out, but in the meantime, we’re missing out on a little sleep. They seem fine and playful with each other during the day, so we know this is temporary. And Percival’s foster mom tells me that the night terrors decreased greatly once he was settled in with her and we expect the same here. We’ll do what it takes. (And if anyone needs evidence that I’m willing to do whatever it takes to help a dog, I submit Exhibit A: a little thing I call my memoir, “The Dog Lived (and So Will I).”
Then this morning, tired, and off our game, we took Daphne in for her spay surgery and to have those lumps removed. The vet also asked if he could do an x-ray since he felt some small hard lumps in her belly area. Since we know nothing about Daphne’s past, this seemed like a good idea.
Dr. Davis (my vet of 20 years now; you read about him in the book) called at 3pm to tell me she’d done fine in the surgery and was coming around. But…(there’s always a “but” isn’t there?) he didn’t like the way two of the lumps looked, so they were sent for biopsies. We’ll know the results on Tuesday. What we do know now though is what those small lumps Dr. Davis felt were. Some fookin’ as&$#@* had shot her full of buckshot some time ago. 10 pellets could be counted in the torso x-ray he took–and they’re scattered about, not all concentrated in one area (which likely means she was far away when shot). This explains why she occasionally yelps when picked up in a certain way or touched in certain areas. There didn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to it so we figured they were more like warning yelps. Well, they’re not. It happens when we touch her where one of the buckshots is lodged. They’re too deep in (and embedded) to be removed and don’t seem to be causing her pain at this point (short of what I just mentioned), but man oh man does it make me angry someone did this. It’s amazing that Daphne is as sweet-natured and trusting as she is.
She’s home with me now, groggy and on pain meds. Her belly has stitches from the spaying (and yep, she needed it…5 years old and not spayed and suddenly homeless on the street means she may well have been used for breeding), her chest has stitches from the big lump removal, and her right side has stitches from two other lumps being removed. My poor girl!! I’m lovin’ on her a lot and she’ll get a reprieve from Percival tonight. Only the third night of their courtship but she and I will be downstairs on the couch and Chris and Percival will be upstairs on the bed. We’ll all get through it and back to the happy times very soon (assuming all is well with Tuesday’s biopsy report).
Here’s my girl sleeping it off in her inflatable “cone.”
Please keep Daphne and Percival both in your thoughts. And please, for the love of all you hold dear, shop cruelty free. Think of Percival the next time you want to buy a product from a company that tests on animals. It’s not worth it. It’s really, really not. (Check out Leaping Bunny if you want to check on which companies are cruelty free.).
We all thank you.