A couple weeks ago Dan and I were asked to babysit– not for the grand-girls; but for my son’s dog–Nibbler. My Ben and his wife, Jess, were mere days away from a long-scheduled and much-anticipated vacation, when their dopey dog managed to injure his leg, requiring several stitches. Kennels won’t take injured pups, so they were forced to either find other accommodations for him or cancel their vacation — which would have been a MAJOR (and expensive) bummer.
Readers of this blog (there are least three of you… I should know, I gave birth to you), are aware that we have our own pup (Cleo), and that we frequently rent out our spare room as part of AirB&B. In their previous encounters Cleo and Nibbler had not gotten along particularly well, and we were fully booked with AirB&B guests for the week in question. So, we were a little apprehensive.
But –As I reminded Dan: Moms are the ones you SHOULD be able to call when you are slightly desperate–Moms will do whatever they can to help out in a pinch. Its in the job description. So, of course, we agreed to take Nibbler.
They dropped off Nibbler on Friday evening, and flew to Mexico early Saturday, with plans to pick him up the following Saturday evening. After some initial posturing and excessive barking, Cleo and Nibs got along well. Nibbler was surprisingly affectionate, although Cleo got quite jealous of the attention we paid to him, and vice-versa.
Nibbler’s owners were very well-prepared and provided his bed, treats, medicine, portioned-out meals and a hard-plastic ‘cone of shame’ in case Nibbler showed signs of messing with his leg, and need to be restrained. Nibbler did not show any indication that his leg was bothering him the first day and we did not make him wear the cone. This turned out to be a big mistake. By Sunday night Nibbler had nibbled his stitches out and completely re-opened a nasty wound on his leg.
Three hours and $300 later, Nibbler had a freshly sewn up leg and his temporary caretakers had a renewed commitment to making him wear the ‘cone of shame’ anytime that he wasn’t closely supervised.
The hard-plastic cone surrounded his head, in order to keep him from gnawing on his extremities; but it effectively widened Nibbler’s normally narrow head significantly. He clumsily crashed into walls, doors, and the backs of everyone’s legs–including those of our patient AirB&B guest.
Nibbler’s tummy was upset from his medications, and he wasn’t eating his kibble; so I cooked up a batch of rice and chicken…. essentially spoiling the crap out of both doggies for the rest of Nibbler’s stay.
On the final morning of his stay, the very agile Nibbler somehow managed to rip open a couple of his stitches, necessitating several anxious phone calls and yet another trip to the vet. Luckily, this time, the damage was minimal, and a couple staples fixed him up.
We were all relieved when Ben and Jess arrived late Saturday night from a successful and relaxing vacation to collect their ecstatic canine companion — there is nothing quite like the joy of a pup reunited with his forever family.
I hear that Nibs has healed nicely from the safer environs of his own home, and Cleo has sadly returned to her diet of kibble.