Bella’s Fancy Cast Goes “Funky” !

Posted on August 26, 2014

It started Saturday night with a suggestion from the hubby that he thought Bella’s cast smelled “funny”.   As us Moms are used to doing, I gave it the sniff test.  Old grass stain, a bit of rotting mowed grass, interwoven with the scent of dirt blended together to make an “old” smell was all I got from my quick shot at doing the sniff test.  Sunday came and went and then along came Monday.  It was Mark’s birthday.  Amidst the family celebration,  Mark mentioned again that Bella’s cast needed to be changed.  By this time, I am agreeing to go the next day.  That plan went out the window when I picked Bella up to wipe off some wet grass on her belly.

LORD Have Mercy!  How in the world had I missed that smell?  The pungent aroma coming from her cast was, to say the least, breath-taking.  I swear the fumes had to have melted a few of my nose hairs.  I tried trimming off the ragged worst stinky parts of the cast bandage.  It didn’t get better.  The more I trimmed the stronger the stinky odor got.  This cast was going to have to be changed.  The heck with after hours charges, there was no way I was sleeping with this tonight.   The young lady who answered my call told me that it would only be an additional $10 to get the cast change done.  She advised me to call when I was on my way with Bella.  I assured her I would and I put Bella in her crate while I finished getting the birthday dinner ready.

The steaks were reaching the “done enough” stage.  I had finished baking the potatoes and tossing the salad, so we fixed our plates.  After thanking God for another birthday for Mark and blessings for our food,  I ate like a starved field hand.  As I grabbed car keys, purse and Bella, I promised to be back in time for candles and cake.  At the end of the driveway, I pushed the auto recall for the Vet clinic and let them know we were on the way.  The best thing about this trip was that there was no rush.  The difference between a possible life threatening injury and just a cast change is like day versus night.   Miss Stinky Bella was determined to sit as close to me as she could so I got to enjoy the scent of her cast while we traveled to the clinic.

Upon arrival at the after hours clinic, all was still quiet.  I walked in and out came Dr. Karen Purcell, who swept Bella up in her arms and went into the hospital area to change her cast.   No need for me to worry about Bella, for Dr. Purcell’s voice had Bella’s tail wagging a mile a minute.  I found a spot in the waiting room and sat back to relax and wait for Bella’s return.  It had been a perfectly beautiful day.   Mark’s birthday is always special to me, made even more so by the fact that three years ago, he had been close enough to death to shake hands with the Grim Reaper.  So many times we take everything for granted.  Another birthday, another meal, another motorcycle ride, another good night’s sleep and on and on and on we go.  People die, but they are not us.  Accidents happen but not to us.  We know we are good for a while longer.  It doesn’t matter if we have had something bad happen in the past, our minds have a hard wired sense of persevering and hanging on for a little longer.

My musings on life and death and all things in between are interrupted by the return of Dr. Purcell carrying a very happy and much better smelling Bella.  Dr. Purcell was smiling and she said, “it’s been a sad time tonight, so having a chance to enjoy this little sweetheart has been good for us.”  Bella is doing what she does best, which is being as curious and cute as possible.  Dr. Purcell fills me in on the reason for Bella’s smelly cast.  In addition to panting as a way to cool off, dogs also have quite a few sweat glands between the pads on their paws.  Bella had developed some really high octane “toe jam” and thus, the odor.  Dr. Purcell said they washed and dried Bella’s leg and paw, wrapped a nice clean cast bandage around her leg and left her right paw uncovered.  The broken tibia is developing a good healthy calcium bump which bodes well for a great fracture heal.  Another dog pet is coming in for a check up so we say goodbye.  I purchased a couple of tick and flea tabs for Bella and Luke and paid for the cast replacement.  Total cost for the whole deal is less than $90.  Best deal of the day for me!

Driving back home, I had a chance to think about what Dr. Purcell said.  After hours emergency clinics for the most part deal with exactly what their name states, emergencies that occur to pets after regular business hours.  Usually they are getting in pets who have experienced serious injuries or have complications arise from serious diseases such as cancers or heart failures.  As much as we want our pet babies to live forever, they are as “human” as we are.   Some can be saved while others cannot.  A beloved pet fighting an incurable disease may be brought in for help in making it through a final transition stage.  After hours emergency clinical doctors and staff are, to me and many others, a very special group of caregivers for our pets.  We come to them with our pets, our eyes pleading for them to help save our pets, to push away that death angel just a little while longer.   They celebrate successes with us,  but they also share heartbreak with us when our pet dies.  In my opinion, it takes a veterinarian that has a backbone of steel and a heart the size of Texas to be an after hours emergency doctor for animals.  For Bella and me, Dr. Purcell fit that description to a “T”.

Sweet smelling Bella and I arrived back home in time to see birthday candles blown out and eat some birthday cake.  You can tell she takes after me because she hasn’t met a bit of bread or cake that didn’t give her a happy tail wiggle.  Just a small bite of cake [not chocolate] and a little sugar icing tops off the night for her.  I changed sheets and covers on our beds and we get ready to go nite-nite.  Mark laughs at Bella because she is my little shadow.  If I am making up the bed, she is sitting on the air vent waiting for me to finish.  If I am cleaning up the kitchen and loading the dishwasher, she will lay on the floor by the sink.  It doesn’t matter what I am doing.  I’m heading towards the washing machine and Bella is trying to tug on the sheet that is dragging both her and the towel she is sitting on across the floor.  While we live our lives, we know that sorrow can visit us at any time,.  However, for this moment, for this time, Bella is our laughter, our love on four legs and my heart’s delight.

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