Thursday, November 25, 2010 – A Memorable Thanksgiving, Though Not in a Good Way

Slept late, but still felt exhausted today. It’s obviously going to take some time to recover. Did a few chores around the house, then Hubby decided to take the van down the road to a car wash to wash it and vacuum it out. When he got back, he made a critical mistake. Diane’s dogs were in the yard, and she had left explicit instructions to be careful not to let the dogs escape. Rather than come and get me first, Hubby opened the gate to drive the van in, and two of the dogs, Romeo and Mitzi, took off fast and far. We ended up spending the entire afternoon looking for them, with no luck. We were mortified, but there wasn’t anything we could do but hope and pray they would come home. Diane arrived just after 4:00, meeting Hubby on the road as he was still looking. Naturally, she was very upset, and promptly went out looking for them as soon as she took care of her other boarders. It was getting dark, and the forecast was for the coldest night of the year, in the teens overnight, and still nothing. We kept looking out with the flashlight at the back gate, which is apparently where they came last time they had escaped, and only saw Diane out looking on several occasions. Then at about 8:00 or so, Diane called to say the dogs had returned, but that Romeo had encountered a porcupine, and could I come in and help. Naturally I was relieved the dogs had returned, sorry one had been injured, but was grateful for the opportunity to help out, hoping to make up some for Hubby’s error. I instructed Hubby to get on the internet and find out the best way to remove the quills, while I went to the house. When I saw Romeo, my heart went out to him, his entire muzzle was a pincushion, including his nose, his tongue, and inside his mouth. Diane had collected some towels, and I got on the floor and started plucking the easier ones with my fingers. Thankfully, Romeo, despite his pain, let us handle him with no hesitation. He whimpered occasionally, but never growled or showed any anger. A few minutes later, Hubby showed up with instructions to use pliers, and a moment later, Diane’s friend Patricia showed up with a pair of pliers in her hand. Together, we spent the next hour plucking quills out of poor Romeo’s face, taking breaks whenever the pain got too much for him. Toward the end, he started to crash, either from exhaustion, gratitude or shock, I’m not sure which, but it made getting the ones inside his mouth easier. When we finished, I helped Diane give him an aspirin with peanut butter and putting him to bed with a blanket to avert any shock. Patricia issued instructions for Diane to pick up some antibiotics at the farm store in the morning and administer it to him. Fortunately, Mitzi managed to escape the quills and spent the evening watching the surgery. We again apologized profusely, and Diane forgave us and thanked us for the help. She’s a real animal lover, just not too good in a crisis, but has the good sense to call friends that are! Went back to the RV happy that we would be able to sleep knowing the dogs were now safe, which would certainly not have been the case if they hadn’t come back! Glad this day is over!

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