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Spanish Secrets: The Dog Survived

"Wrapping my arms under her body, I feel the pounding of her little heart as I raise her onto the sterile steel. Her nervous fear causes her to struggle. I hold her tighter and she presses her body into mine. Her heart races, pounding like an uncontrollable clockwork drummer boy…’’ Craig Briggs and his wife Melanie take their dog Jazz to a Galician vet.

This week was interrupted by a little mishap; a minor calamity which happened to our dog Jazz. Her determination and persistence to do something she shouldn’t ended with a nasty gash to a toe on her front paw.

Tiny droplets of deep-red blood, splattered on the floor tiles, left a gruesome trail from the scene of her misdemeanour to the reassuring comfort of her bed.

Her petulant night-time capers had brought Melanie and me racing from our bed. As I soaked up the blood trail with floral-patterned kitchen towels, Melanie bandaged the paw. Unable to do anything else until morning, we retired to our bed leaving Jazz to lick her wounds.

The next day the true extent of her injury became apparent; a trip to the vet was called for. Like a wounded soldier she stumbled to the car with a heavy limp. I lifted her into the back, and off we went.

Jazz always visits the vet with a reluctant acceptance and this occasion proved no different. I’m sure she realises that all the prodding; poking, pricking and pills are for her benefit, but all the same she’d rather not be there.

The vet is a very quiet and calming young lady. She makes every effort to call Jazz by name, but Spaniards have quite a problem pronouncing their J’s.

Jazz becomes Has.

“Has tranquilo (Jazz be calm),’’ the vet whispers.

Underneath Jazz’s expression of fear and trepidation comes another - curious misunderstanding.

The vet leads us through to the surgery and asks me to lift Jazz onto the stainless steel table.

Wrapping my arms under her body, I feel the pounding of her little heart as I raise her onto the sterile steel. Her nervous fear causes her to struggle. I hold her tighter and she presses her body into mine. Her heart races, pounding like an uncontrollable clockwork drummer boy.

After a closer inspection the vet decides to stitch the wound. She administers an injection to ease the pain. Jazz’s heart rate slows and her pushing recedes.

As the threaded needle penetrates her skin she lets out a cry and instinctively pulls her paw away. I tighten my hold and quietly reassure her. The second stitch goes in followed once again by a yelp. The procedure continues and a small tear appears in the corner of her eye.

Moments later the cut is closed, held together by four neat little stitches. One final injection, a course of antibiotics and the visit is complete.

Although drowsy from the pain killing injection, Jazz can’t wait to leave. She staggers along the corridor like a bar-room drunk, bumping from side to side as she makes her escape.

The rest of the day is spent in a search for sympathy, hobbling along and looking forlorn. She knows just how to play her concerned owners. By the next day she was almost back to her normal self. Unless she caught you watching her, at which point she’d once again stumble into a half-hearted limp.

By the third day her unpleasant ordeal was all but forgotten. Unfortunately her wound will take a bit longer to heal.

email address
craigandmel@msn.com

Copyright © 2006 Craig Briggs

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