lucy begins her recovery

I took Lucy to our veterinarian (the Capitol Hill Animal Clinic on 15th Avenue) this morning. The doctor did an examination and showed me Lucy has abrasions, severe bruising and hematomas on the sides and top of her neck. The swelling is bad. Lucy squealed like a pig when the doctor touched the bruised areas, she’s in excruciating pain. The doctor shared with me her feeling that Lucy dodged a bullet: If the bruising had been located closer to her airway, due to the way pugs are built (constricted breathing apparatus relative to other dogs) the consequences could have been devastating.  There are no puncture wounds that the doctor could find. We’re supposed to keep looking through Lucy’s fur over the next few days on the off chance we spot any punctures and it’ll be important for us to stay alert for unusual puffiness or bulging which would be indicative of an abscess (evidence the skin was broken somewhere).  The good news is the doctor didn’t see any sign of neurological issues.

While she was still on the vet’s table, Lucy got an injection of powerful narcotic pain reliever. She was stoned out of her mind for the rest of the day. I tried not to feel scared because I know narcotic pain medicines can really space people and animals out, but it was still unnerving the way she lay on the sofa all day long staring wide-eyed into space. Each time she shifted to a different position for laying, she panted really hard and groaned like crazy. At least once I was tempted to call the vet clinic, but she fell asleep before I acted on  my impulse. Even before our visit to the office, she was acting like a blank slate. She’s on two pain medications, Rimadyl and Tramadol (one of them is an anti-inflammatory). She refused to touch her food all day, I think she’s too sore to put her head down to her bowl. I hand-carried yogurt-smeared spoons to her throughout the day. She perked up tonight when she smelled pizza in the oven, her head popped up prairie dog-like from her heavily-blanketed cuddle cove of the sofa. She was still too tender to get up so I was her pizza deliveryman and took her a few small bites of crust dipped in sauce.

I think no matter what, we’re reporting what happened (to animal control). In all honesty, I feel like it’s the responsible thing to do. What if that German Shepherd hurts another dog? Then there would be a history established so people in charge of public safety could do something about it in the future if the owners aren’t up to the task. We plan to talk to German Shepherd Guy tomorrow night about what happened and find out more about his dog’s history. We’re feeling like we need a formal discussion with him so he can fully grasp the gravity of the situation. Last night when I told him Lucy had no apparent puncture wounds he cited that as evidence his dog wasn’t trying to actually maim Lucy (believe me- i had to bite my tongue).

It’s starting to sink in more and more we’ll have to broach the subject of the vet bill with him. It’s an amount approaching a couple hundred dollars.  There has to be a price to pay when your dog, completely unprovoked, maims another dog. Part of me feels he should pay at least the cost of the office visit ($60) and pain injection ($40).  When I talk to friends and family, they’re incredulous we would get stuck paying any part of the bill.  Believe me, it makes me seethe that not only is poor Lucy in misery but we’re stuck with a vet bill. And meanwhile the attack dog simply continued along his merry way. I think what makes me feel ill at ease is the guy is dealing with a bad thing with his wife (the brain cancer). Does that mean we give him a free pass for not taking complete responsibility for his dog hurting Lucy so badly?

I don’t know what exactly we’ll do. Right now, I’m just anxious for Lucy to feel more like herself. I’m sick with worry she won’t be the same happy-go-lucky dog after this.

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