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Friday, November 04, 2005

Of Ghosts, Goblins, and Animal Emergency

Monday - Halloween: Daphne hid from the vicious trick-or-treaters who kept coming to the door and continued her tradition of guarding the couch in the study. Phoebe, experiencing her first Halloween away from a racetrack, followed me to the door eveytime the bell rang and peeked out with great curiosity at all the costumed kids.

Wednesday: We learned something interesting about greyhounds that we had known, but never really thought about: their skin, which is paper thin, tears very easily. This can be problematic since these are big strong dogs. I came home Wednesday to find that they'd been playing (as they've started doing lately). I was home for about twenty minutes with Phoebe whining, whining, whining the whole time while Daphne hid in the study. As it turns out Daphne had been nipped on the scruff of the neck, and her skin had torn. (Perhaps the whines were her version of 'Timmy fell into the-I mean-I accidentally bit Daphne.') So I took her to animal emergency, a place with which I am way too familiar.

One of the vets glanced up from a boxer whose ear was bleeding all over the floor, and asked, "Greyhound tear?" without doing much more than noticing the greyhound standing in front of her.


"You know, when they play," the receptionist offered, "their skin's thin so it tears."

I nodded. Daphne shivered. "This is our first time with this. How do people prevent it?"

The receptionist shrugged. "I think they just let us sew them back up."

So sew they did. The vet had to put Daphne under and extend the wound so that he could put a drain in. When I picked her up Thursday morning it looked like her head had been sewn back on, but it's not as bad as it looks. Of course she looks like Frankenstein's hound. This was sadly too late for Halloween by a few days.

Thursday: When I got Daphne home, Phoebe followed her around, crying and crying and licking her face. I suppose this is the canine version of abject apology and prostrating oneself in guilt.

All was well when Rachel got home and both dogs barked. Phoebe, it turns out is a barker, but Daphne, like most greys does not bark except when she's in a very good mood. This was bark number seven in five years and a good sign coming from a hound with a drainage tube in her neck.

Friday: We separated them on Thursday while we were gone and will continue to do so while Daphne heals and maybe for a little while beyond so as to avoid anymore roughhousing.

There seem to be no hard feelings. When I got home today they were excited to be reunited, followed each other around, and clearly wanted to play. Now they're curled up together on the couch.

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