We've been really lucky so far in our marriage (knock on wood)...no major emergencies for anyone in the family. But, we had our first emergency last night - our dog, Nala, needed to go the vet for surgery. :(
Undoubtedly, the hardest part about our current living situation is not having a backyard for the dogs to play off-leash. Nala LOVES to fetch, so she really misses being able to run and chase balls and frisbees. We decided to check out our local dog park to see how our dogs would do on Thursday afternoon, and they did wonderful! Nala had a blast chasing a stick and Chloe had a great time socializing with the other dogs. So, we went again on Friday afternoon. We brought a frisbee for Nala and threw it for her...but one of the other dogs there did not seem to like Nala running after the frisbee. We couldn't "read" the dog, so we couldn't tell whether the dog was playing with Nala or was a little more aggressive, trying to "herd" her. One of the times when Chris threw the frisbee, the other dog did something to make Nala yelp, but we couldn't be sure if it had just ran into Nala or if it nipped at her. Nala seemed fine, so we let her chase one more frisbee. But this time, the other dog did bite Nala while she was running for the frisbee. We knew immediately that something was wrong - Nala yelped and ran back to us, instead of going after the frisbee. Nala has NEVER let anything deter her from going after something Chris threw. I checked her and we saw that she had a big gash torn in her side, where the fur had been pulled and the skin was ripped off. The dog had bit Nala while she was running, which actually made the wound worse than just a bite, since it pulled and tore.
Fortunately, Chris was there and took care of the details with the other dog owner. I was so mad I was seeing red, and I'm afraid I wouldn't have been able to control my temper to be polite, which would have made the situation worse. Even though the other man should have been watching his dog closer, he did the right thing and offered to pay for any vet services. Chris ran home for the car, while I got directions to the vet and exchanged phone numbers with the man. Poor Nala was very brave and tough (she was probably most upset that she couldn't chase the frisbee any more) and we got her to vet, where they took one look at her and told us that she needed surgery for the injury and would have to spend the night. The vet was wonderful and helpful, and I was starting to fall apart at this point when I kept looking at her injury and seeing how bad it was, so it was great to be able to trust the vet. They gave her a shot to calm her down before the anesthesia and even called us after the surgery to let us know that everything went well.
She's got quite an injury and has to take 9 pills a day for a while, but the other dog was up to date on all its shots and everything, so that's one relief. As Chris said, Nala is handling better than we are (especially me...I've been crying practically nonstop since last night), she's one tough cookie and she'll pull through fine. While we wish it wouldn't have happened in the first place, at least she's all taken care of now.
Our dogs are part of the family, especially Nala who we had since she was six weeks old. We love our girls and can't imagine our lives without them, so we are very grateful to the vet who helped Nala out. Hopefully she'll continue to heal and return to her old happy self as soon as possible.