Hard to believe, that this little swimmer was near death two weeks ago! In true pit bull style, he doesn’t let much stop him. After getting his stitches removed Friday night, he had a relaxing weekend of much spoiling. Unexpectedly, my husband took Monday off so we could spend a family day on the boat.
It was Buster’s first time. We had no idea how he’d do and were prepared to take him home if necessary. With the eclipse approaching in the afternoon, we opted to go out around 9 AM. Only 3 other people ventured out in their kayaks. To our surprise, Buster not only quickly acclimated to the new, huge environment, but he jumped into the boat with no prompting! Taking his place next to Dad, he rode in the front almost the whole way. When we chose a spot a good distance from shore and the menfolk began fishing. I usually do, too, but was more focused on Bus.
Surprisingly, within a few minutes of sniffing and running from the front to back, Buster looked at me, then dove straight in. We weren’t too worried as he was fully equipped with a doggy life jacket. What did surprise us, though, was how fast he is! I thought he was extreme with land under him. Holy Cow! Within a few minutes, he was just a visible dot on the horizon.
We turned the boat, but it wasn’t necessary. Instinct kicked in and the little bugger swam just as quickly back to his family. I was a proud Momma. Admittedly, I got too excited about his new skill. My husband had to tell me to relax a few times. I just wanted to see him swim more.
Our son had been frantic over whether or not Buster would swim well. His fears are gone after watching those long, whippet legs working in the water!
We always catch and release fish but Buster at least got to see his first Blue Gill and give it what I’d call a kiss before it was freed. Honestly, I was afraid he’d bite it, but he had no interest in it. However, he was quick to acknowledge the kayakers and tried to swim to them once. They were to far away, but he definitely tried. Another quick jump into the water occurred when a bird flew a little too close to the boat. Instinctively, he jumped to greet it and a splash was the result. The bird escaped unscathed.
Our day out was cut short when an impromptu storm blew in. While brief, we were very concerned about lightning. Being in the middle of a lake during a storm isn’t fun. Halfway to the dock, the rain hit- hard. But, we made it back. I definitely had a hard time restraining Buster while we put the boat back on the trailer. I don’t think he wanted to leave.
After arriving back home, he was noticeably exhausted, but sported a wide doggy smile all day. I’m proud of him. His overzealous nature took a back seat to exploring and having his family love on him. I was grateful for the life jacket and that we’d packed extra bottled water with a plastic bowl for him. He worked up a thirst even with an endless supply of water! Although it was exhausting, I’d take him again in a heartbeat. Knowing we came dangerously close to losing him, I cherish everyday I have him in my life.
Friday was one week exactly since Buster’s accident. This week has been much the same as when we had a newborn in the house. Every room I went into required me to bring him along. I carried him. I fed him (by hand). I cleaned up messes. House work was put on hold. Sleep was a privilege. Each waking moment was dedicated his to well-being only.
As Saturday dawned, he seemed to have really turned a corner. He is capable of standing long enough go pee. His last day of antibiotics was on Friday. Though his stomach seems to hae not gotten the memo. I will be thrilled when his #2’s return to normal( sorry TMI). I am still utterly exhausted; however, I can thank him for a two-pound weight loss due to my constant caretaking. The night after we brought him home from surgery was the last time he slept for at least 6 hours straight. Since then, he’s up roughly every half hour, whining, moaning or being restless.
Let me tell you, it is not easy to share a bed with a 55 lb., cone-wearing dog! He slept on his own bed the Saturday after the accident, but then, he insisted on sleeping alongside Mommy as always. The pit bull in him isn’t easily deterred and he’ll be persistent until I let him into bed. He took over my body pillow and I lost count of the headbutts I endured thanks to the dastardly cone!
The cone itself is in horrible shape. Mr. Buster has walked into every single piece of furniture as well as face-first into walls & doorways. My recently re-painted living room looks like someone took a box cutter to the door frames and one wall. In fact, he hit the walls so many times that he literally shattered one side of the cone. Thank God for duct tape! Unfornately for my macho dog, the only tape readily available was hot pink. He’ll live with it. He hasn’t complained yet, anyway.
As for his paw, all 10 stitches are still in tact. The skin looks very healthy & pink, praise God. He will need follow-ups with the surgery center and his vet. Thanks to some very generous donations, these will be covered. I am looking forward to taking him on an actual walk soon and just seeing him be his normal, silly self.
Thursday nights here are usually quiet. I was cleaning the dinner dishes. My husband was talking to me. Our 14-year-old son said he was taking the dog out. Buster can be a handful. But, our son has always had a rapport with him which made walks and such a breeze.
That’s why it was so shocking to hear him scream that we were needed outside immediately. What we found when we went outside was Buster, standing on the porch with blood streaming down his left front paw. Immediately, my husband went into former military, assess and rescue mode. Scooping the dog up, he began cleaning the leg to find the wound. Meanwhile, my son was detailing the incident.
Buster had gone halfway through the yard with him. Recently, major storms have swept through so there are a lot of branches, leaves, sticks, etc. all through our yard. Most of the time, he and Buster just jump over things. The Whippet part of Buster adores jumping and leaping over things. But, this time, Buster caught sight of a group of bunnies. Naturally, he wanted to play/chase them. What he didn’t pay attention to, which is the Pit Bull part of him (react first, think later), were the branches. An ill-timed leap resulted in a sever laceration.
We didn’t get all those details until much later. All we knew then was that Bus was bleeding- a lot. My husband soon realized how deep & wide the cut was. He quickly told me that this was most definitely not a treatable wound for us to care for. Panic set in. Due to debt consolidation, we don’t qualify for things such as Scratch Pay or Care Credit.
My baby needed help, NOW. As my husband wrapped his leg in gauze and bandages, I began calling to find an emergency vet. Finally, I got a hold of University Veterinary Specialists. These angels detailed what we should do. I called my immediate family and my sister basically told me to do what was necessary and then we’d deal with the bills later. Of course, we agreed. Buster is priceless!
Soon, we loaded him into the truck, our son holding the leg up above his heart. The vet was a good 45 minute drive so we had brought along Buster’s lovey and his blankie as well as a plethora of towels. My house already looked like a crime scene and we were trying to keep Buster as clean as possible so they could see the wound better after removing his homemade bandages.
The folks at UVS are angels. They took him from my husband’s arms, whisked him back, and gave us food and beverages to calm us down. I wish our local emergency (people) places were this efficient. Fast forward a bit, the wound was assessed and they determined he cut deep enough that he’d clipped an artery. Surgery was necessary. The option was given for us to stay or they’d board him overnight for free. We all agreed that he could stay. To close the wound, this brave boy who never even whimpered, was given 10 stitches. He also got antibiotics and pain meds.
The staff at UVS fell in love with him. He greeted every one with a kiss. They told us he’d been a joy despite his pain. He was trying desperately to walk. He’s not the type who enjoys lounging. The cone of shame is now being referred to as Buster’s Cone of Bravery. Here it is, Monday and he still hasn’t cried. He wants to cuddle so badly but the cone won’t allow it. We’re taking turns carrying him out to potty. Being that we’re so rural, the ground still has some debris and is a mud pit. We can’t take the chance that he’ll get the leg dirty at all.
There will be more medical care required. We don’t know how much. But, he’ll need follow-up. This is one of those times that I wish my Dad was still here. A horseman for 40+ years, he always knew what to do. Bus is extraordinarily healthy. We’ve always made sure he was, right down to his snacks which are always the healthiest by choice. He will recover. But, now, we are in a huge bind. I am not good at fundraising no matter what the cause may be. But, I humbly started a Go Fund Me for him.
All prayers are greatly appreciated. If you’re able & God moves you to, here is his link to donate: https://www.gofundme.com/uc72sg-busters-medical-bills
Thank you ahead of time. Updates will follow. Today, he’s taking it slow, but eating and we are blessed to have him one more day.
May brought another month of opportunity to try new things. While they aren’t big things whatsoever, they were firsts for me.
A weeknight with no dinner plan presented an opportunity. I searched for a recipe we hadn’t used and decided to make homemade sloppy joe’s. Usually, I’d go with Manwich from the can. But, since I had the ingredients, I went for it. While it didn’t turn out great, it wasn’t awful either. Manwich is still a better option, though. I was missing that vinegar type taste and the off brand ketchup didn’t help matters.
Two firsts involved Buster. Usually my husband & son are in charge of giving Buster a bath. He can be quite a handful and I just honestly assumed it would be too much for me. But, he’d been extra itchy lately & the hubs has been super busy. So, I geared myself up with some grubby clothes and went for it. My youngest son did help by lifting Buster into the tub. That was just a physical impossibility on my own.
However, once the heavy-lifting was done, I was on my own. Surprisingly, I did a great job. I also proved a little something to myself by tackling a project I deemed too hard. But, the second Buster activity did require a partner in crime, per se.
We’ve had awful luck with vets. In fact, they’ve been so off the charts expense that we’ve utilized a local clinic for shots & routine things. But, an acquaintance of my husband’s suggested his dogs’ vet so we went. Many things concerned me. There would most definitely be other animals there. Buster does not play well with others. Plus, any new situation causes him to regress into an animal without any brain. Bottom line: he’s a bit nutty. But, I was armed with my super strong husband, a new harness and some willpower.
We had it well planned out. My husband went in first, Buster-less. With the new harness, a one better suited to my stupid Parkinson’s hands (grr), I hooked up the leash & walked Buster to the grassy area. I love this harness. It’s a God send. We’d outfitted him into it before we loaded him into the truck. Surprisingly, Buster seemed to be really enjoying himself. He wasn’t being choked by the harness because it’s really comfy. He even felt comfortable enough to plop down in the grass & watch the cars drive by.
Inside the vet’s, he was pretty good, too. I warned another Dog Mommy over my shoulder that he was dog aggressive so she’d hang on tight to her beautiful Boxer pup. Regardless, Buster waltzed right by him with barely a bark! He was perfect during the blood work and even fell for Dad’s distraction techniques. Both the ride to & from were generally drama free. I declared the whole day to be miraculous. Long story short, I proved something to myself & Buster did too. We aren’t helpless & we can get things done.
Finally, we began some home remodeling to our ancient home. So far, we have the living room completed. However, I know nothing of remodeling. As a contractor, this is as normal to my husband as brushing his teeth. While there are obviously a ton of things I can’t do due to lack of knowledge in construction, I was able to assist in carpet installation. I was also given the arduous task of pulling up old staples. Wee! So, not fun. I continued this task with breaks, frequently, because my stupid hands won’t cooperate.
The floor work was increased when I stepped in the wrong place & literally, fell through the floor. One leg went into the floor, one was up in a sort of vertical split. I am not built for splits. I picked splinters out of myself for several days. However, it was funny and I convinced the youngest to not YouTube or Snapchat it.
Looking forward to June!
Check out the ornery look on his face! He had just had his first ‘visit’ with a harmless little snake. They played peek-a-boo in a log.
The night after The Great Mouse Chase occurred, Buster was on high alert. Around 4 AM, he began his pacing & low growling. Most of his attention was centered around the couch in my bedroom.
This time, my husband was already up, as he couldn’t sleep. He’d heard Buster’s insistence and went to look under the couch. Fortunately, he was able to keep Buster from diving under the couch. The couch is low-lying so he had to manually move it to see underneath. With a flashlight handy, he saw our tiny invader crouched, petrified under the back leg of the couch.
He has actual work gloves, not bulky winter ones like mine, and was able to scoop up Mr. Mouse. Buster truly flipped out at the sight of his ‘Dad’ handling the intruder. Plus, being part Whippet, he has an impressible vertical jump. At 5’9, my husband isn’t incredibly tall so Buster can easily jump chest high. All that jumping & barking woke me up.
I was coherent enough to witness the last part of the chase. With cat-like reflexes, slily pun intended, my husband whisked the mousie out the door. From there he was relocated to a secluded, forest, mouse-relocation plan. Hopefully, he’ll seek rehabilitation for his breaking and entering problem. No mice were hurt during this chase. Buster was thwarted in his violent search & destroy mission, but he has moved on to chasing his tail and begging for bacon as usual. The rest of the family is caring on as usual after the ordeal.