Sunday, February 06, 2005

Our Dog's Escape from the Vet

We have a black lab named Black Dog. Okay, I know that name's cheesy, but this is how he came by that name. My daughter Meghann had a shepherd/chow mix named Buster. One day, Buster disappeared for a couple of hours and came home with a black lab in tow. Black Dog looked terrible. His ribs were showing, his fur was matted and unhealthy looking. But even worse, he would not let anyone come hear him. If you reached out a hand to him, he bolted. But he loved Buster and stuck right by him, as if he had adopted Buster, or maybe it was the other way around.

Anyway, it took a month before Black Dog would let us touch him, and only then, if Buster was nearby letting us pet him. We would leave food out for Black Dog, along with Buster's, and talk gently to him. Between our neighbor, Sean, and us, we tried everything we knew to get the dog to accept us. And somehow the name Black Dog evolved - I guess, because we didn't know what else to call him.

Black Dog is now a loving, affectionate dog. However, he will not go into a dark place (such as our garage) and goes nuts when he sees anyone wearing a toboggan. We finally got him used to riding in a car and took him to the vet this past Thursday to be neutered and to have a pellet removed from his leg (which was there when we got him - no telling what's been done to this poor dog).

I was supposed to pick him up Friday morning, and when I called the vet, the receptionist told me she'd have to have the vet call me back. Three hours later, she finally did with the news that when they took Black Dog out that morning to walk him, he balked when they tried to get him to go back inside the building, wrestled out of his leash and collar, and took off. This with stitches on his leg and just recently neutered. I was furious they waited three hours to call. She said he had been last spotted on Callahan Road, running down the middle of the road. This is a four-lane road, very heavily traveled. So, Sean and I hopped in his truck, my husband Steve came home and got in his truck, and we started searching for Black Dog. We took the trucks because they are both diesel, and Black Dog recognizes the pitch of their engines.

After searching for hours, Sean and I decided it was hopeless and were taking a back road to Callahan, and here comes Black Dog hobbling down the middle of the road. He stopped when he saw the truck and the expression on his face was pricless. He ran and hopped in the truck, and I was so happy to see him, I cried like a baby.

We figure he had to have traveled at least five miles to get to where we found him - over two ridges and a deep creek. Of course, we had to take him back to the vet to have his leg rebandaged, but I refused to leave him. I feel it's a miracle we found him.

I think the thing that bothers me the most about this is that the vet waited three hours to call and the office never once apologized this had happened. Their attitude was very nonchalant. This was our baby, one we had worked with for so long and loved very much. It's a wonder he wasn't killed by a car or hurt by another dog.

And that's Black Dog's (I hope last) adventure.


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