July 11, 2011
White Dog's nose was cold as she burrowed her face under my arm so she could kiss the tears from my cheek. "It will be all right, momma," she whispered, "we are making progress everyday even if it seems like this is a big step back."
We had just returned from taking Quinn to the Vet. Last night he seemed to be favoring his right front leg and this morning he winced when we touched the area between his neck and shoulder which overnight had developed a lump. It looked like an allergic reaction to a spider bite. Mid morning the mass burst sending blood trickling down TOWD's beautiful coat. He was running a slight fever.
Dr. Julia brought our boy into the exam room. He had a shaved square across his shoulder revealing what you see above. I could only stroke Quinn's face, I had no words. The vet gently explained that the abscess was an infected puncture wound, which she was pretty certain was a dog bite. My heart leaped as I thought of the argument the night of Quinn's brave dinner victory when he and YoYoMa tangled right before bed. We had quickly separated the two and thoroughly (we thought) checked both for damage. Dr. Julia said a puncture often has no blood and closes up pretty quickly plus Quinn's thick coat masked any signs of trauma. She prescribed some antibiotics and a pain-killer and gave instructions for warm compresses as needed. He must return in 5 days.
It is her opinion that male dogs are simply hardwired to play rough and that through some mystery in Quinn's past he has abandoned his nature (whether past attacks or abuse or discipline we will never know). She expressed doubts that YoYoMa will learn to live without these occasional challenges to Quinn and that while they can live together we will always need to vigilant. It sounded like life in the Gulag.
I feel like a terrible momma. I am trying very hard not to be VERY mad at YoYoMa for what he did. I refuse to believe that this situation cannot be altered. Love and gentle redirection HAS to offer hope...it simply must be a path to harmonious living! Our family made a vow to each pup we have brought into our lives that they will always be safe, protected, respected, and loved. How do I keep that promise when Quinn's danger shares his home? And how do I not punish YoYoMa for simply being what he was designed to be?...wrestling and bitey-face are not crimes in the dog world.
As I held the Little White Dog of My Heart and cried into her fur, I felt another nose push into my back. It was Yo. He looked at me and gave a half-hearted tail wag. Then he laid down next to me resting his head on the curve of my hip. I wanted to push him away and be angry; instead, without consulting my brain, my hand reached down and softly stroked his ears. "We have to work this out, Big Boy," I said. "I refuse to accept that we cannot all live peaceably together. Help me make that happen."