Last Saturday, at the usual time at which everyone – including us – was getting ready to go to bed, I was bundled into the car and taken off to the vet, fourteen miles away. I had been unwell since the Tuesday, when Kemo Sabe noticed my changed demeanour and wrongly deduced that I had pulled a muscle once again when madly retrieving my beloved ball while Tiggy and Freddie were here. By the end of the week I did indeed seem a lot better after a few painkillers, and enjoyed the resumption of afternoon bounding over the heath behind the dunes but, by Saturday morning, it was clear I really wasn’t up to the beach trundle and we all had to be rescued half way: things had taken a definite turn for the worse and, this time, it was obviously my left arm which was immobilising and making me wretched.
Because there are no flies on Kemo Sabe and she understands everything I say, my distress became ever clearer to her. I felt enormously hot and bothered and everything throbbed around my chest and elbow, where a terrible swelling began to develop. It was this which finally decided my fate and the late-night rendezvous with the caring young vet at our practice, who’d left home to meet us and do her best for me. It would have been so easy for her to conclude that this was another episode of orthopedic trauma but from the start she was convinced otherwise and thus it proved to be: I had an abscess above my right leg and was kept in at the surgery on bed and breakfast rates until Monday afternoon.
Intravenous antibiotics and painkiller brought my temperature down but it wasn’t until Tuesday that the ghastly thing could be lanced and since that time I’ve been wearing an attractive, tightly-fitting doggy t-shirt, which poppers-shut at my rear end. It is Metropolitan Police blue and both snugly holds the dressing in place and stops me worriting at the wound, which is gaping but, the vet said yesterday at my most recent check-up, clean and looking good.
My exuberance is in direct proportion to my inability to withstand pain. Kemo Sabe knows this and registers my mood thoughtfully. She knows I over-react to both good things and bad and this makes it hard to know what’s what. The boys said it was very quiet – unnaturally so – while I was confined to the vet’s; normal service has now been resumed on the noise front (painkillers certainly slow you down!) and I am down to just one kind of antibiotic which stops in another day or so, I think. Even with all she has to do, Kemo Sabe has made time to take me separately for circular local walks and I am grateful to see the world once again. I can’t wait until everything is healed, which will take several weeks; then I hope to celebrate my wholeness with joyful shouting to the heavens in thanks for those who love and care for us, no matter what. And, you may well ask, what caused this dreadful thing? We do not know for certain but I almost caught a rat a couple of weeks ago and the vet said that that could well have been the start of this series of unfortunate events in a spaniel’s life.