I don't even know where to start. I left a short, alarming post on Facebook last night and feel that I need more space to adequately fill in the details. I didn't mean to be overly dramatic when I made the post. I just needed to say something to someone. I think I was in shock.
I went into town for a while yesterday. In fact, I met my son for a lovely brunch and had such a nice time. We had a great visit and before I headed back home, I did some shopping. I ended up being gone around seven hours by the time I got back home. It's about an hour drive, each way.
When I walked into the house, I was as usual, greeted by a mob of happy-to-see me dogs. I had put most of the things that I would be concerned they might 'get into' up, out of their reach, prior to leaving, so anticipated a pleasant reunion. Unfortunately, what I soon discovered was anything BUT pleasant...
The first thing that I noticed was blood. Blood everywhere. It was splatted in droplets and small puddles all over the kitchen and dining area floors. More bloody splatters throughout the living room and a pool of blood on the new dog bed (Jake's bed). Worst of all, there was a huge (about a foot and a half long and a foot wide) glob of ???? in the middle of the hallway. I couldn't even tell what it was. At first, I thought it was a dead cat that the dogs had skinned! I yelled at the dogs and put them all outside while I looked for the remains of the cat.
There was blood splattered on the walls in the hallway and a trail into my office, where the floor was covered! I had about ten, large bags of roving (wool, carded and ready for spinning) on the floor in my office and they were covered with blood. Even the bags in the closet were covered. I was thinking the poor cat obviously put up one HECK of a struggle. I shifted the bloody bags of wool, looking for what was left of the cat but found nothing. Only blood. I went into my bedroom. It wasn't as bad as the other rooms. Some splattering on the floor and a couple of big, bloody spots on the quilt on my bed but no cat fur. It finally dawned on me that either the dogs had skinned the cat and eaten it's skin and fur or all this blood was NOT from a cat! Which meant one of the dogs was hurt! Taking another look at the big glob in the hallway, it almost looked like a placenta! It wasn't just blood ~ it had a shiny, almost skin like surface that kept it intact, as opposed to just absorbing into the carpet. What the hell could have happened? It truly very closely resembled all the placentas that I've seen my ewes pass after giving birth to lambs. But none of the dogs was pregnant!
I rushed out into the garage (which was now also blood splattered) to see Jake: all four legs covered in blood, with a fleshy looking 'blob' hanging from his abdomen and blood dripping steadily (almost flowing) onto the floor! Oh God no! Not my beautiful Jake! I quickly shut the rest of the dogs into the back yard and grabbed a torn towel that I use to wipe the dogs' feet when I bring them in from outside. I wrapped the towel around Jake's waist and held it tightly ~ like a tourniquet . I was aware that I should use something CLEAN to wrap around Jake but I didn't want to take another second to find something else ~ I just grabbed the closest thing. I felt like I was holding Jake's insides in his body! Thank God he is such a sweet natured dog! In spite of the fact that he was in obvious pain, frightened and confused, Jake let me hold the towel tightly around him and lead him by the collar with the other.
First, I took him back into the house and called the nearest Veterinarian. This was not the vet that did Jake's neutering last week but rather one who lives nearby. She's only about 15 to 20 minutes from my house and I felt that time was of the essense! I explained that Jake had had abdominal surgery to remove a retained testicle and was now bleeding profusly. I also told her about the "placenta" laying in my hallway. Her first question was: why didn't I call the vet who performed the surgery? I explained my feeling of urgency and the need to get Jake seen as quickly as possible (as I'm standing there holding the towel that's holding his insides in!) and she finally agreed to come out. She had never been to my place before so I led Jake back outside, to the front of the house so that I could wave down the vet's vehicle when she arrived.
That big, beautiful, black dog did manage to get to his feet and let me lead him (with his tail gently wagging!!!) back into the house ~ all the while, holding the towel and I called the vet who did the original surgery. He was an hour away from the vet clinic and said that he'd meet me there. I wanted him to come to my house because I knew that I wouldn't be able to lift Jake as my left arm is pretty much useless after all that I went through with it last summer. Dr. Taggert said that it would be better if I could get Jake to the clinic because he was sure that he'd need surgery and it would take that much longer if he had to come to my place to pick up Jake and then drive to the clinic. It would add almost an hour to the time before we could get him into surgery! I told Dr. Taggert that I'd get Jake into my Jeep, somehow, and meet him at the clinic. But then I was worried about driving to the clinic and not being able to hold the towel around Jake's middle! Dr. Taggert said that I would just have to let it go and get him there as quickly as possible.
I tell you what ~ after an hour and a half of holding that towel in a death grip, certain that I was preventing Jake from "bleeding out", I was NOT about to just let it go! I led that poor dog down the hallway and into the bathroom where I retrieved a big roll of extra-wide elastic bandage, left over from when I had a cast on my left arm) and wrapped that tightly around Jake's midsection ~ over the towel. Once I had it securely fastened, we went back through the house and into the garage where that incredible animal jumped up into my Jeep! I drove with one hand on the steering wheel and one on Jake's color and we got to the clinic about five minutes before Dr. Taggert arrived. He carried Jake into the clinic and laid him on an examining table. He carefully unwrapped the bandage and towel and examined Jake (who was SO GOOD!). Doc Taggert gave Jake a sedative and carried him into the operating room. I stood at Jake's head, stroking him and talking to him and telling him what a wonderful dog he is and how much I love him while the vet prepped him for surgery. I stayed with Jake as doctor Taggert cleaned up his abdomen and trimmed, tucked, explored and stitched Jake back up. As he was putting in the last stitches, Jake's eyelid twitched. He was waking up! Doctor Taggert had only given him a short acting sedative so the timing was perfect. He placed the still half asleep Jake, gently into a large cage with a fluffy dog bed on the floor, to rest. He told me that he wanted to keep Jake over night and that he would stay at the clinic with him, to make sure that he was OK during the night. He assured me that he would give Jake an antibiotic and pain meds to keep him comfortable. So I had to go home. Alone.
Back into my blood covered house! How the heck do you get blood out of carpets? Off walls? Off furniture? POOLS of blood!
Needless to say, I spent the remainder of the night, on my hands and knees, cleaning up blood. I found that foaming bathroom cleaner took it off the walls (with a good deal of scrubbing) and off the tile and wood floors. I went through about a gallon of carpet cleaner (fortunately, I had a bottle of "Bissle" cleaning solution and I mixed a little with water in a squirt bottle and sprayed it (or poured it, depending on big of an spot I was working on) over the splatters and scrubbed each one by hand. One at a time ~ that's the only way they'd come out. I got a wonderful reprieve from my work when a very dear blogging friend, Kim, from "Life at Golden Pines" called me after seeing my Facebook post. We had a wonderful chat ~ like long lost best friends and it helped so much to hear a comforting, understanding voice. Kim also does dog rescue and understands how much we love these canines who's lives we are trying to make better. After a nice long visit with Kim, I collapsed into bed and slept until Cisco jumped into bed with me this morning.
I just called the vet and they said that Jake is doing well and I'll probably get to pick him up this afternoon! It's almost hard to comprehend! I was so afraid that he was going to DIE ~ less than twenty-four hours ago! Thank God for Dr. Taggert!
Now, it's back to cleaning up, now dried-on, blood...
P.S. not to try to take advantage of a horrible situation BUT: do you see the "ChipIn" widget on the right-hand sidebar? Now would be a really good time to make a donation!