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Monday, March 11, 2013

Broken Bones

Jack and Callie on Friday - before her leap from the truck.
 On Sundays we like to take long walks. On beautiful Sundays, like yesterday, we like to take very long walks. So around 2 o'clock, yesterday, we loaded the dogs into the back of the truck and drove over to White Oak Swamp. That's about 2 miles away - down our dirt lane and over about a mile and a half of tar surface. The truck is ancient. It does not go very fast. In a mile it can  hardly get up to 30 mph. Not very fast but fast enough that when a wild spoiled impulsive 7 month old puppy sees her neighbor dog running down the field and decides she wants to PLAY - and leaps out of the truck - broken bones will follow.

I'd been watching her out the back window. We weren't going fast. I turned my head for just a moment, then heard a thump and looked back to see white puppiness on the slope of the field as it dips down from the road. I hollered and BD slammed on the brakes. "She can't get up!" I could see her try to get up and fall back down and then try again. We were at her side in a flash. BD scooped her up and she yelped. He set her gently on the front seat of the truck. Instantly the bossy school marm in my left brain began issuing instructions but before things could deteriorate into an adrenalin squabble my wiser self clamped my mouth shut tight. BD was already wrestling with his own accusatory and self accusatory brains and we drove back to the house in silence.

I would NOT be scared and I would not imagine The Worst. In the living room we set Callie down and examined her for breaks but - neither of us being anatomists - couldn't really tell and didn't want to hurt her more by moving her about. I sat on the floor with her head in my lap while BD called Dr. Lauriel, who, thank God, was home and in her very sober quiet kind and gentle way said "I'll meet you in 45 minutes".

I got up to change my shirt and my little baby, wanting her mother, tried to follow me. She could hop on 3 legs but fell down when she tried to climb the steps. Did I mention that my heart, lodged somewhere just below my uvula, constricted yet again? I sat back with my baby and stroked her gently till she was calm again. She never really did yelp or complain so we could battle those black demons of fear.

Jack wondered why we didn't take him with us in the car, but he's very forgiving about that sort of thing. Callie was silent on the back seat, head down, slightly sleepy. Dr. L was already at the surgery when we got to town and right away identified a broken femur.

This is not a photo of Callie's broken femur - her's is the right leg. She tested her for other things - internal bleeding, and such - but there didn't seem to be anything else wrong. Callie lay as sweet and gentle as could be. She even flapped a tail as BD lifted her, only to gently lay her down on that broken leg for the x-ray. She never whimpered and she never complained. I don't know if that's because she was in shock or there is nerve damage so she couldn't feel it - but she just acquiesced to whatever her humans did to her. Dr. L did say that if she could hop on 3 legs it was a good sign that she was going to be alright.

The treatment will be surgery, this morning, first thing. They will put a pin - or pins - inside her bone to hold it straight while it heals and then take it/them out in 4 to 6 weeks. We left her at the vets for the night to be sure she would be confined and quiet. Dr. L gave her some shots to keep her relaxed and some antibiotics to prep her for surgery.

It was a sober and somewhat sad afternoon without our little wild puppy. But we're deeply grateful that there are good doctors near by and that Callie is young, can heal fast, and is in great health at the moment. Whatever comes next we will just take it a step at a time. But what a day!


  1. Your post had my adrenalin pumping, that's for sure! So glad it looks like it's going to be a Happy Ending and a Learning Experience for Miss Callie. Hugs! And a prayer for smooth sailing through surgery and a speedy recovery!

  2. Oh, Beth. I'm glad it was the legbones and not a broken back or pelvis along with it. Your puppy is a lucky girl. What an ordeal. Hugs to you two and Miss Callie.

  3. Thank you both so much. She's out of surgery and will come home tomorrow. One leg will be shorter than the other but she'll still have a wonderful life.

  4. Poor Callie, and poor you! It's so hard when our furbabies hurt, and there's nothing we can do about it.

    Glad to see you posting the lovely photos of your woods - it looks like such a wonderful place to roam. And happy to see your inspiring drawing and knitting - I've admired both for ages!