Sunday, March 23, 2014

Bacon is a Miracle

I’m not joking. Bacon is a freakin’ miracle. It tastes ridiculously good and is a culinary masterpiece used in everything from breakfast to dessert. But only recently did it demonstrate to me how really valuable a tool it really is.
Our dog was bitten by a rattlesnake last Thursday. He came limping in around mid-afternoon with his leg swollen about twice the size of the other leg. I immediately suspected a snake bite but it’s early in the season so I wasn’t sure. Yet, I’d seen a garter snake a week ago so it wasn’t out of the question. I knew some snakes were out and about. So I looked all up and down his leg. He let me touch it so I carefully ran my hand around his leg and could see no blood anywhere. It didn’t seem to be broken or strained.

Before I go on let me tell you a bit about this dog. This is Teddy our 5 year old chow-whatever mix. Some say spaniel. Some say terrier. I go with the terrier because this dog is obsessed with ground squirrels. All day long he has his nose buried down a squirrel borrow barking furiously, only his rear-end visible and his tail ticking back and forth like an manic clock. He’s done this every day we’ve been here except when the weather is too inclement. He’s a dog on a one-pointed mission and he has no other. I’ve known all along that he might be on a collision course with a snake. The only other land creature I know of that is so obsessed with squirrels are snakes. Around here they are the snake’s main source of food and there are plenty of them. Squirrels that is. I’ve been amazed he has not run afoul of a snake for the almost 2 years we’ve been here. Until now.
So he’s been vaccinated against snake bite because we are not fools. Last Thursday we were glad we had done so. We took him to the vet and here’s where things got really interesting. This dog, this Teddy, has an unusual fear of vets. To say he goes berserk is not an adequate description. Therefore, we give him all his shots and pray he doesn’t need to go for any other reason. When the vet has to administer the rabies we take him and this very clever vet has a wrought iron door to the patio that we squish the dog in between like a cattle squeeze to give him the shot through the bars.
So on Thursday we drove in dread of what now might happen in the vet’s office when he had to examine Teddy. We brought the muzzle and secured it to the dog who was already exhibiting rising hysteria on the examination table. Then with Marty (ex-bull rider and very strong) and nimble Dr. Burnham pinning him to the table by brute force we began the examination. Such piteous howls and screams did commence that Dr Burnham had to close the doors so as not to frighten every one within a mile radius. The dog writhed like that of a possessed demon. It was a sight to behold. Doc said can I sedate him and I said please. Soon the patient was snoring, legs taped and laughing gas firmly over the nose. The examination then produced the tell-tale vampire bite on the paw and we knew what to do.

When it was all over the doc said can you give him penicillin shots for three days when you get home. We looked at each other and gamely said yes. On the way home we were not quite so confidant. But after all the only other choice was $150 worth of sedation each day for 3 days. I don’t think so.
We rigged the dog run hurricane fence pen door and wall into a make-shift cattle squeeze and then I came up with the brilliant idea of frying up some bacon to use as a distraction. Squeezed in between the door and the wall, hoisted a bit up by pinch collar and fed bits of bacon in a steady stream we inoculated him. I think the dog might even be all in favor of getting shots now if bacon is in the bargain. Bacon is a miracle.

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