Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Poor Pathetic Dog

This was Snug for the first 24 hours after his run for home. He just lay there; he wouldn't eat, he wouldn't stand up. He moaned and groaned in pain. He was truly pathetic. He broke my heart.

Yesterday, he returned to the living, but gingerly. He looked like a newborn foal trying to stand up and take a few stumbling steps on those bandaged paws. If it weren't so sad, it would have been hysterical.

Today, he's starting to feel his oats, walking around the house, going outside and up the stairs to the grassy part of the yard, even coming to the table begging for food. Who'd'a thunk I'd have been so thrilled to see his little face glued to my side as I tried to enjoy a sandwich?

Later on today, our vet/down-the-street neighbor/mother of one of Em's best friends is coming by to take off his bandages and check his feet. We'll see if they need to be rebandaged or not. If his mood is any indication, they're healing nicely.

At first, I took Snug's running away from me very personally. How could he do that? Why would he want to? Was he not as devoted to us as we are to him?

But then I realized that he ran home. Not away. Home. And then I got what had happened, and I simply couldn't be angry any more.

Over time, since we've had Snug, we've tried to give him more and more freedom. A month or so ago, I'd started letting him off-leash to run from the car to the house after we go to the dog park, and he'd proven happy to go straight to the front door. And so, a week or so ago, Baroy had begun letting him off the leash at the top of our street, three houses away, and letting him tear down to our house free of a leash and without our slow human feet dragging him down. He'd been letter-perfect about it.

And so, best I can figure, on Friday, when he pulled forward on the leash and I, in a moment of inattentiveness, dropped it, he thought I was giving him his signal to run home. I remember that he even looked back at me at first, as if to say, "Are you sure?" By the time I'd found my voice, though, he'd taken off, and nothing was going to stop him--not the big street he must have flown across, dodging traffic; not the pole around which his extendable leash wrapped, pulling him to a pad-shredding stop only long enough for the plastic clasp to give; not the pain that shredding must have induced. By the time I'd called Baroy and alerted him to Snug's escape, Snug was already on the porch, panting, bleeding, home.

That he survived this adventure relatively unscathed makes me almost tearfully happy. In just four months, he's become an essential part of our family. Sure, the stuffed animals in the house would have heaved a sigh of relief if he were gone, and the still-too-scared-to-leave-our-bedroom cats would probably have had a party, but the humans would have been devastated.

Besides, who would N have to nap with if Snug weren't around?

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