Saturday was a beautiful day so Gracie decided to do a bit of a walk about. She followed Dan out the door but did not follow him back inside. She’s not a wanderer, so I knew she was close by and sure enough, Gracie was down the road entertaining Stuart, one of our neighbors. ( He was enjoying her company!) I drove down the road to pick her up and she came galloping up to my car and attempted to leap inside…..and shrieked! And shrieked again! I thought for sure she hurt her hip some how so I tried to lift her hind end into my SUV but she shrieked again. So, I abandoned my SUV and walked her home and she seemed just fine until I noticed her left front paw dew claw was bleeding. Oh no….it wasn’t her hips, I was now convinced she ripped her claw out at the quick. Dan looked at it later that day and stated he thought her claw was fine but she had torn the skin between her toes. He cleaned it out and applied antibiotic ointment. Sunday Gracie limped around but had no major issues. Monday, that toenail was splayed out to the side but we decided to be conservative as she wasn’t complaining. Ferry County, WA is the biggest county by land mass in Washington. But, we also have the lowest population, no traffic lights and only one Veterinarian. Needless to say, Dr. Doris is booked solid all day every day, so we all try to do what we can for our animals. More antibiotic ointment. No swelling. OK….we’ll wait one more day. That brings us to today. That dew claw was sticking straight out from her paw. Dan now thought maybe her knuckle was fractured. I thought maybe it was dislocated, so we called Dr. Doris who was of course, booked solid but fit us in at 1:15 pm today. We tried but there was no way Gracie could get in my SUV much less Dan’s truck. Dan squatted down and LIFTED this 90 lb German Shepherd into the back seat! I thought he was going to need to see the Vet himself! Gracie was thrilled to be going for a car ride.. She loves riding and it had been awhile but as we went into and through town she started whimpering when she realized where we were headed. Did I tell you just how smart this dog is? And Gracie does not like going to the Vet. Nope, not one little bit. We got to the clinic and Gracie said ” I believe I’ll go this way” and tried to head around back of the clinic. We got her inside and I coaxed her into the exam room where I explained to Dr. Doris what had happened. She asked if Gracie would let her examine her paw and I said “yes” as I held my whimpering wienie of a not very brave German Shepherd. Dr. Doris bent down, spent 2 seconds looking at her paw and then on second #3, she snatched the dew claw out and tossed it up onto the exam table! Gracie yelled and danced around and yelled again, but settled right down. Yep…….my first assessment was correct. She had torn that claw right down to the quick and it was just hanging. Should know by now to never 2nd guess myself. Dr. Doris had that knowing smile on her face as she explained that Gracie would clean the wound herself and she’d be fine.
Otto had the same experience 9 years ago. He never forgave Dr. Riley. And to this day, he does not like any one to touch his front paws. I’m fairly certain Gracie will be the same way. But we brought her home and she and Otto had a long discussion about her ” horrible experience at the Vet’s where they tried to kill her.” LOL! Gracie got extra loving today and a few extra carrot snacks. She feels a heck of a lot better already and is as usual, sleeping at my feet while I write this. We are so thankful for Dr. Doris and all she does for the pets and livestock of our community. She truly loves all these animals and understands so completely what our pets mean to us.
And that my friends, is just another day up here in the back of the beyond in Ferry County, Washington.
Gracie is so much better today. We went for a long walk. No signs of discomfort and she is snoozing next to my feet now 🙂