There are situations that happen that you can’t quite believe it’s real. Even if you witnessed it yourself. The weekend before last with my dog Brooklyn was one of those times.
Now to set this up you need to know a bit of background. I got him when he was 11 months old, and even though he was half boxer, his previous owners never had his tail docked. I could see why boxers normally did, because his tail at full swing could be the bringer of death. It was like a club attached to his hind end.
About a month ago, this limb of his got knocked against something, and hard enough that he got something of a scrape at the tip of his tail. It started out small, but every time he would knock it against something on the way through the house to go out, it would split the scab again. Every time we thought that it was starting to heal, he would reinjure it.
All this came to a head this last week. We finally got it wrapped so it would have padding and protect it against the corners in the house. We checked it daily and would put Neosporin on it, and for a few days it was looking good. But then a week ago Thursday happened.
When we checked it, it didn’t look good. It was red and we agreed I would call the vet about it first thing in the morning to find out what we could do about it. We left it unwrapped and kept the cone on him, and I went to bed.
The sight that greeted me that Friday morning was out of either a horror movie or a nature special. Even with my contacts out and my glasses still upstairs I could see that something wasn’t right with Brooklyn’s tail. The closer I got, it became clear that his tail was…..shorter. The grossest thing ever happened….
Bud ate the tip of his own tail.
I know I shrieked at him, “What did you DO?” a few times. I called the vet right away and told them what was going on, and got an appointment for later that morning. The treatment for him was what I had feared. We had to get his tail amputated.
We started him on the antibiotics and scheduled his surgery for Monday. Sasha pouted all day, as she’s prone to do, because her big brother wasn’t home. I called the office around three in the afternoon, was told I could pick him up at 4:30. And so I picked up my drugged-up, hung-over, and now mostly tailless dog.
He’s got about three inches of tail left, and I was given instructions to take the bandage off the following night and to keep the Cone of Shame (called an “Elizabethan Collar” on his discharge paperwork….who knew it had a technical name?) on at all times that we can’t watch him. No food that night, no bath until after the stitches come out.
That last part got funny because not only did they shave his tail and butt for the surgery, but they used iodine (on a white dog) to disinfect the area. So his fuzzy butt is soooo discolored right now it’s pretty hysterical.
Brooklyn being who he is couldn’t let all that happen smoothly, however. The first night we found his bandage had literally slipped right off, but with the stitches all poking out I couldn’t just stuff his tail back in it. So I had to take apart the four layers of the bandage and rewrap his tail. The following evening I got a call from Dylan.
“Did you take Brooklyn’s bandage off?”
“Cause I got home from my appointment and he was out of his cone and I can’t find his bandage anywhere.”
So, as you can imagine by this point (or should)…..he ate his bandage. I would be lying if I were to say that I wasn’t worried by this, because I know that long stringy things are killers of animals if they’re not taken care of, but at the same time I really didn’t want to go in for another emergency surgery. I comforted myself with the thought that the dog who ate his first bed, a comforter, a couple pillows, two patio chairs, part of his dog house, three garden hoses, and a palm tree wouldn’t be harmed by a little bandage.
So we just kept an eye on him when we would take him out, and sure enough he passed it with no issues. I sighed with relief when I saw that. Now I only have to stress about him staying still for another nine days until we go in to get his stitches taken out.
It doesn’t matter how many times I tell the story, it’s just as unbelievable as when it first happened. We all agreed, that it’s a tail for the storybooks.