White Dog looked and shook her head. "Wow! That really looks nasty! Good job, dad!" "Stop it, you are upsetting Nuka and dad already feels bad enough. If you cannot be supportive then leave the room."
Everyone else already had run for cover leaving poor Nuka alone to deal with the anguish of a badly nicked quick on her back toenail.
Another White Dog is usually serene and unmoving lying in my arms like an infant while Steve trims her toenails. He was on the last toe and she rabbit kicked just as he pulled the clipper trigger.
Instantly the blood began to pool and drip off of her foot. Steve grabbed the Quick Stop and doused the nail, but it kept bleeding. He tried again but AWD was now kicking and wiggling to be free. Each twist sent drops of red flying and smeared on her fur and my arms. I wrapped my arms around the trembling girl to immobilize her; she whined softly as Steve grabbed gauze and tape out of the medicine cabinet. The blood just kept coming as he folded the gauze, sprinkled it with the powder and then taped it around her foot.
My poor girl was so upset that she lost control, adding to the mess. Steve told her over and over how very sorry he was and begged her forgiveness. AWD mashed her face into my shoulder. After rocking her for a bit and stroking her ears, her breathing became less jagged and calmer.
When Steve came back with warm water and a cloth for cleanup, he looked white. "It looks like a murder scene in here," he said as he gently cleaned her furs and face. "Sit down a minute and take a few breaths; I don't want you to hyperventilate, either," I told him and pulled him down to sit next to us.
After about an hour of Nuka being a real trooper with her bandaged foot, Steve got brave enough to take a look. The bleeding had finally stopped. I herd him let out a giant sigh of relief as he took off the covering.
As far as instant parent guilt, I do not think there is anything that stirs the heart and wells up tears faster or more completely than a cut nail quick. The response is primal...your baby is gushing blood AND YOU CAUSED IT! At that moment you are the worst creature on the planet, irresponsible and cruel. Those big patient eyes filled with pain and surprise make you feel so awful.
Steve carried that feeling all day at work and apologized to Nuka again the moment he returned home. i thought he was going to cry from relief when, as he sat on the floor to greet the White Dog Army, Nuka came over and sat on his lap.