The last ten days have been very stressful. Yes, I know the holidays are stressful for everyone but I had an extra special source of distress, one of my dogs was hospitalized. Stubbs, my sweet, gentle, shy boy had the misfortune of some kind of bite on his thigh, probably a spider, and the leg became so swollen he was having a hard time walking. Greyhounds have huge thighs to begin with but the bitten one ballooned until it was over fifty percent larger than the other.
So I took my poor hobbling dog to see our veterinarian, a wonderful man who everyone calls Dr. Rick because his long last name is so difficult to pronounce. Over the last decade I have become very well-acquainted with my veterinarian and he has taken phenomenal care of my dogs so he saw me as soon as he walked in to work (we arrive before the clinic was technically open). At the time we weren't sure what the cause of the swelling was and because of the propensity to osteosarcoma in greyhounds I didn't want to mess around so after consulting with Rick I left him in his care and feared for the worst. Any acute swelling is a bad thing...
After x-rays and a blood panel nothing stood out as an obvious cause of the problem although Rick, upon visual inspection, noticed an especially red spot and our best guess is that the cause of the swelling was a spider bite. That by itself doesn't seem too bad but Stubbs has a bleeding disorder so with heavy antibiotics and sedation to calm his frayed nerves the swelling went down after about a day but as the blood flow returned to normal severe edema and substantial bruising set in. The following four days were a race against reduced circulation, if his body didn't heal quickly enough the tissue would die and no treatment would be able to save him. Things got worse before they got better and the edema and bruising spread to the adjacent leg. It was so bad and greyhound have such thin skin that he was literally weeps fluid and blood through his pores.
But by Friday Stubbs' healing seemed to accelerated and on Saturday Rick called to tell me that he finally thought that my gentle boy would recover. Christmas morning I had an update from Rick, he wanted to know when I would be back from California because he thought that Stubbs would be well enough to come home soon! I told him that I would be back on Monday but probably wouldn't be able to pick him up until Tuesday. "Perfect," he said and, true to his word, this afternoon Stubbs came home.
He is tired and a bit thin but happy to be back. Johan and Hubert pestered him relentlessly when we walked into the house but Stubbs took it with good grace and has been napping on and off a few feet from me all evening.
What a wonderful way to finish the year! I hope that 2011 has been as good to you as it has to me and that 2012 sees everyone's fortunes rise!
Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 24/f1.4L Mark II
24mm, f1.4, 1/25 sec @ 1600 ISO