I am most fortunate to have two large, beautiful, eight-year-old malamutes. Red and Wolf by name, littermates, and my companions since they were six weeks old. Every once in a while, Red will be bothered by a flea and go after it, biting with great gusto. It appeared that was the situation recently.
He began biting at his right hip. However, when he had removed all the hair from a spot about two inches in diameter it was obvious something else was wrong. A call went to the vet. However, Red apparently worked on it all night, and by the time the vet arrived the next morning, he had chewed a raw spot the size of a saucer on his hip that was now infected. It was necessary to put him to sleep long enough to shave around the area and treat him with antibiotics.
The only thing we could figure is that he had been stung by a bee, and it bothered him so much that the injury was self-inflicted while trying to relieve the irritation. This all happened, just as Murphy must have arranged, on the day before the opening of hunting season.
Red is almost completely healed now but it has required two weeks of convincing him to take six pain pills daily, as well as treating the infected area morning and night with ointment. I didn’t have to be the one to take care of him, but dogs can become very special as most of you know. They literally are members of the family, and somehow I think he expected that I would be the one to take care of him.
It was also necessary for him to suffer the indignity of a funnel-shaped collar, so he would not be able to exacerbate the injury. I felt it was imperative that I be the one to help him understand that everything was going to be all right.
Perhaps I made myself more important in his recovery than I needed to be. But again, there are some things more important than hunting as anyone reading this who has a dog, or as in my case, dogs can certainly understand. That rascal Murphy struck me twice this year. Yet somehow, I don’t feel deprived.