... and a real tail to tell it with" -Lawrence Ferlinghetti
When Hazel was about six months old, we had her spayed. She went in to our local veterinarian's office and returned home after her surgery that night. All was looking well the week following. The vet had used regular stitches and we would have to return to have them removed. This is where the trouble started.
When we arrived at the vet's office on Stitch Removal day, there was a bit of a wait. I had Hazel on a leash and went to sit on a bench in the waiting area. When they called our name, I stood up. With that movement, a plank of wood fell off the bench and landed on the tip of Hazel's tail. I didn't realize it had hit her as she didn't cry or really act startled. It wasn't until I noticed blood spraying from the tip of her tail that I realized she was injured.
The vet had to shave her tail and because it was at the very tip, could not put in stitches. Hazel had a bandage and plastic thingy wrapped around her tail to let the wound dry up and heal on its own. Well, if you had met Hazel back in her early days you would know she's not one to follow rules. That night, she ripped the bandage off and had her tail bleeding again. The vet gave us an enormous E-collar for her to wear. And she had to wear it all the time.
This happened at the beginning of November 2007. Hazel had to wear the E-collar and keep her tail bandaged for two months. That was the entire holiday season. It was frustrating for her (and us) at first because she would run into things and she was still intent on getting that bandage off. We would try to keep her E-collar off while we were home and could supervise her. But even then, she would sneak off behind the couch to go after her tail.
The funniest part of this injury (if there is one) is that Hazel managed to amuse herself with the E-collar. She would scoop up snow with it and toss it into the air! To pick up treats on the ground she would use the edge of the collar to keep it still.
When I think back on all that happened to Hazel within the first year of her life, I'm surprised that we ever got a second dog.