We were trying to recreate the Norman Rockwell Family Day holiday fun we enjoyed last year over this recently introduced Ontario statutory holiday weekend. Seriously, I don’t know if I need to the government to legislate my family time but I won’t argue a 3-day weekend!
Though our hectic hockey schedule would not permit a whole weekend away, the planets did align for us to sneak up to the cottage for an overnighter – as we had last year. We invited some close friends to share in a brisk skate on the frozen lake, followed by a comfortable fire, a hearty meal and maybe a glass of wine or two.
Our two dogs love the cottage, or rather the c-o-t-t-a-g-e as it must be referred to in the presence of our extremely vocabulary- rich border collie. It is the source of a great deal of exercise and amusement for them so we knew our friends’ dog Eddie would also join in the fun. We couldn’t have been more wrong. While Eddie enjoyed our great outdoors, the confined space of the cottage was not as conducive to 3 male dogs – 2 of them striving for the coveted Alpha post. Eddie found Koda’s kibble bag and – well – there ensued a ‘discussion’. Once separated, our friend Al announced “OK, there’s blood. I have blood here. One of them is bleeding”. It was soon discovered that Eddie’s ear now sported a 1 inch tear and was bleeding profusely. Aren’t ears all cartilage? Yes cartilage, and a significant amount of blood cells – at least the canine ear anyway. Not so much for Eddie anymore though.
Imagine the scene as we spent the next hour in any manner possible attempting to calm this 100-pound beast enough to ‘apply pressure’ to his wound. Meanwhile Koda is busy protecting his kibble bag and Murdoch is trying to herd everyone back into comfortable submission in one place. Every time Eddie shook his head (which dogs do often – especially when experiencing discomfort), a shower of blood sprayed everything within his radius. Three adults tended Eddie, my husband corralled the other two dogs and the kids were left to fend for themselves with the occasional reassurance from me that , no, Koda, probably not have to be put down for this aggression. What my husband was muttering to himself was inaudible. We thought we had it under control with an old towel wrapped around his head. Eddie would endure no such indignity.
A trip to the vet on a Sunday evening in cottage country translated into many dollar signs if at all even possible. What my husband was muttering now was a little more audible. In the end, our guest packed up their wounded dog and returned to the city where a 24 hour emergency vet clinic would be at their disposal. We were left to continue with our Family Day holiday with our kids and our guests’ son without our adult guest, without Eddie and with a whole lot of extra food (where was Eddie now?!). We felt awful. The hearty meal, comfortable fire and wine were now fortified with guilt.
Eddie slept all the way back to Ottawa and in the end (partly thanks to the excitement but also likely due to the 2 children’s strength Benedryl administered), the bleeding finally did subside without the need of stitches or the trip to the emergency vet clinic. Our friends have asked for a ‘re-do’ of our weekend away – which is a good sign for our continued friendship. Eddie, however, will spend that weekend at the kennel.
Where the hell is Cesar Millan when you need him?