Animals lovers everywhere feel pain when their pets hurt. That’s how it is for me tonight as I watch my 2.5 year old Border Collie/Lab mix Callie following minor surgery today to remove her front dewclaws.
For the last couple of weeks, she has repeatedly torn one after snagging it on carpet or something else playing and diving for balls and other toys. I’d go for days without testing it in hopes that it would heal, but as soon as we started playing again it would get injured. We had no choice but to make the call to have them removed for her own good.
She didn’t understand why we removed her water dish late last night or why we didn’t feed her this morning or why we started the day with a ride in the car and me leaving her behind at the vet. I was like the parent of a child at day care as I sneaked out of the vet’s office when she turned her head for a second, only to hear the whimpering when she realized I was leaving.
Callie is a wonderfully sweet dog and we love on each other a lot every day. Even with the cone around her head and her legs bandaged, she pulled the veterinarian assistant down the hall once she saw me, eager to reunite after I got off work. She’s not quite herself yet, timid when it comes to steps and getting up on the sofa beside me because it most likely hurts, although she’d never complain about it if it did.
So tonight she gets some special attention. I’ll stay away from the computer after writing this, let her curl up with me on the couch, probably stay there all night with her, and show some extra kindness. Tomorrow the feeding schedule returns to normal. Wednesday the bandages come off. She’s on the mend even if she doesn’t realize it. Meanwhile, my little girl needs some lovin’.
I have a special place in my heart for most kinds of animals, especially dogs, and for others who feel the same.
While not technically true, leap year lesson #324 still often feels true: Animals are people, too.