“The other dogs have attacked Cuddles, and I can’t tell whether she’s still alive or not. I can’t see her breathing.” It was before 7:00 AM, and Cuddles’ owner was as upset as you can be without being hysterical. “Does she have a blink reflex? Touch the corner of her eyelids.” “She blinked a little.” “She’s still there. Come on.”
Cuddles lives in Portageville, over 30 miles away. When a conversation starts with “I can’t tell if she’s alive…” you can’t help but be a little pessimistic. I got dressed, rushed to the office, set out the stuff to start I.V. fluids and oxygen and so forth, but I figured I’d be putting it all away. The next exchange is usually something like, “I’m sorry, she’s already gone.” Then it’s on to “She was a good wife and mother, everyone loved her.”
In this case, that would not have been strictly true, since five of the other toy poodles had ganged up on her like wolves, trying to kill her. (Number seven was beating on the door screaming “Mama!”). This was not the first time the other dogs had tried to take her down. The previous occasion had been bad, but not this bad. Mom tried strenuously to always keep them separated if unsupervised, but… things happen.
SO, you can imagine my surprise (and her owner’s, for that matter), when Cuddles had revived somewhat on the trip. She was in terrible shape, but she was holding her head up. Ear ripped, neck ripped, leg ripped, and one leg… Well, have you ever watched one of those cooking shows where they take a pointy-looking mallet and beat a chicken breast until you can read through it? Many, many bite punctures, and every bite is a crushing injury.
Some quick patching, and intensive care for a couple of days got her ready to go home. The little curly wolves were as surprised as the rest of us. She’s pretty much healed up now, but that tenderized thigh has got a few more weeks of recovery before those muscles regain strength.