Pain

Pain
And the Hankie Dance

I am learning how titles draws blog readers.   This may fare well.    I have a theory that  Blog readers are masochists.  “Pain” will not have as much traffic as my blog “Sex with the Pope” but considerably more than “What I had for Lunch”.

This is not about MY pain.  I have internet friends who are the cyber equivalent to Aunt Ethel with her long chronicle of ailments.    The old bat will survive us all.

I  charge a quarter to see my surgery scars and narrative is extra.  I can hook you up with my pay pal account if you need that thirst quenched.

Anyway…

Dogs have individual approaches to pain.   Just like the hoary snow flake, they are each unique.

We have cactus of all variety in New Mexico and something lethal to the unshod called a Goat Head.  Goat heads are (plants and) seeds that have a sharp spike always pointing up.  One can pierce the bottom of a flip flop or puncture a bicycle tire.  They abound here in the fall and early winter.

That is a lot of words to explain dogs get thorns in their feet.  😉

This morning”Patches” got a good sized Cholla bundle in her nose.  She beelined to me, planted herself at my feet, nose in the air stoically waiting for its removal.  She didn’t flinch.

“Sadie” sighs and wanders off.  She works on the problem solo.   She firmly refuses assistance.  Pull up a sitting rock and wait.  She always manages.

The problem child is my own “Little Bear”.  He tries the Sadie technique, despairs, and three legs to me holding the injured paw up pathetically.  Tears well in his eyes.  I flounder to the ground with my usual grace.  I pet, coo, and reach for the paw.  He hobbles away five feet.  “DON’T TOUCH IT”!   I crawl to my injured child and the sock hop repeats.    I have worn through many blue jeans knees in this way…

Over the years I discovered an effective approach.  I carry a pocket handkerchief.  They work for the obvious but are  handy in unexpected ways.  I shake it open, and drape it over the patients head hiding his eyes.  He does not object.   He sits quietly waiting for the firing squad to shoot.   Perhaps you know someone who cannot watch the needle when they get a shot?   The barb is quickly pulled and he bursts into his  joy bobble. The ears and tail go up and he does the Little Bear Hokey Pokie.   Still bandanna hooded.  Such is the hankie dance.

At least I am laughing while I try to regain my feet… 😉

Next week:  Eating your own toenail clippings.  A cure for protein deficiency?

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12 Responses to Pain

  1. Mel Lavender says:

    Bear. During the many years of dog doodie duty that I performed for some of northern New Mexico’s finest I have pulled goatheads, cactus needles, thorns and so much more from my canine charges’ feet, nose, tails, and, yes, even their buttholes – all done with caution, care and, sometimes, complications. The most challenging calamity came when a Great Dane I was walking through the arroyos and barrancas decided to bite a porcupine. Not a particularly smart thing for any dog to do. Having neither knife nor scissors with me, I managed to remove the quills from its nose and muzzle rather satisfactorily. But it was the tight cluster inside the poor dog’s mouth and throat that presented the biggest challenge. Ever reached inside a huge set of snapping and chomping jaws to repeatedly remove anything, much less those little devils? Zounds! I still have my hand albeit slightly scarred – and a devoted dog that is always grateful whenever I arrive.

    • osolynden says:

      Thank God we have never run into a porcupine. What a great story!

      I do know the mouth thing. Little once got a Cholla wad inside his mouth. about 5 hours and a pair of pliers was involved. I could pull one or two and he needed to hide for 20 minutes… Then we would try again.

  2. cindy says:

    I’m so glad that LB has an innovative pop!! 🙂

  3. Great vignette about the dogs.! and you.! I think we could all enjoy the Little Bear Hokey Pokie !!!!!1 🙂 🙂

  4. Little Sun says:

    People who don’t think other animals besides humans don’t have personalities have not been paying attention. Fascinating, the different ways we each deal with things. Like pain. And help.

    Well, you already know the cow and her uterus story, so I won’t subject you to it, again. Actually, I would but I might traumatize some of your readers 😉 Other animals, like human animals, are not always so easy to help. I’ve momentarily wanted to injure a few while trying to assist or save them. But then again, a few have probably felt the same about me in reversed circumstances. Hurt my bones to think of you having to crawl after LB. Very glad you figured out the hankie ritual.

    I had a horse friend once who had a very bad habit of collecting cholla in tender places. He’d stand stock still while I removed them. Only a slight flank-shuddering, now and then. Then a little playful nudging in the end.

    One day, he got them stuck on an extremely tender part of his nether regions. Again, he stood perfectly still while I performed surgery. As I was walking away, however, he came running up behind me and hammered his jaw on the top of my head in such a manner that I felt like a fence post being driven into the sand. Concussion time. When I stopped seeing literal stars, he seemed quite pleased with himself and unclear on why I wasn’t. In his mind, it seemed he had been trying to be affectionate. Not everyone feels or shows gratitude. Some show it in unexpected ways.

    • osolynden says:

      That is another wonderful story! I think I know a similar human….
      Yup! Anyone who does not know animals are as diverse in opinion as we are has not been paying attention.

  5. “I have worn through many blue jeans knees in this way…” If you say that often enough, we may one day decide to believe you.

  6. Goat heads & canine feet – Defender of Desert Dogs.

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