White Dog and the others looked up as Steve leashed Quinn and headed out to Pumpkin with him. There was a half wag from the remaining Army as they sought to be considered to go along. "Really," I said, "Quinn is going to the groomer. Dad has other things in store for you."
The plan was that Steve would drop The Other White Dog off, go to his business meeting, and return for the rest of the White Dog Army. We would all then go to the Park and let off a bit of steam. Then we would go to the groomer's where Steve would help them finish up Quinn and give YoYoMa a bath and nail trim. This was to be Yet Another White Dog's first spa visit and Steve wanted to be there to be sure he was calm and comfortable.
At the Park, White Dog , Puff, Nuka, and YoYoMa enjoyed the Saturday-on-Friday good fortune of a deserted playground where they could run in the grass and enjoy the beautiful New Mexico sunshine. Since we still had a bit of time after, the pups got an ice cream treat before heading over to the Spa.
Ever since Quinn had his one and only seizure a couple of months back, he has had "panic attacks" where he gets very nervous, almost manic. During these short periods he becomes hyperactive and has on occasion, nipped. Sometimes there is an obvious cause like loud noises, other times he just seems to become fearful. We have found that holding him loosely and repeating his name as we pet him or give him treats helps break the panic and he slowly calms down. We are reluctant to medicate him until it becomes necessary for his safety, that of the others, or ours.
During the grooming process (with the girls who have cared for him ever since he joined the WDA) Quinn is usually fine with bathing and combing out. Steve arranges to be there for the finishing touches as a reassurance. In the past, this has worked flawlessly. Today, there was something about the experience that set our boy off. When Steve arrived the girls mentioned that TOWD had been very agitated and when Steve held him in order to complete the grooming, Quinn panicked and bit Steve. Fortunately he got mostly watch band but he did break skin. Quinn had to be muzzled to finish up. By the time Steve brought Quinn out to the car, TOWD was happy and prancing again, fear abated, all was good. YoYoMa, who I worried about because of his blindness and jumpy reactions to sudden movement, was a champ. He was patient and calm and in no time was done...Steve spared him the noise of being blown dried.
Back home the girls all sniffed the boys and found them to be fresh and floofy; they nuzzled and nosed their approval. Quinn was exhausted and slept most of the afternoon...and the others thought his lead was a good one.
Looking down at the peacefully sleeping Mighty Quinn as I cleaned and bandaged Steve's bite, I worried what the future holds for him. But I whispered a promise to him that no matter what, we are here to help him through whatever he faces...for always.