Sunday, November 3, 2013

Dogs, Dogs and More Dogs

As many of you know my life has been surrounded by dogs, either working at a shelter, clinic, helping as much as I can with sick dogs up here, my own dogs and now for the first time training other people's dogs.  Growing up our family always had a dog or two or three so I come by it honestly and I guess you can say that my love for dogs and all animals came from my dad. 
I try to help as much as I can with injured or ill dogs up here as our closest vet is a 2 hour flight away and people can only do so much on their own.  I will vaccinate when needed and give my opinion when I think that the dog should get out to on the next flight to Yellowknife to see a vet.  Our neighbour has a ill, 16 week old puppy and she asked me to come over on Friday to have a look at him.  She talked to the vet in Yellowknife and they suggested that sub-q fluids may help as this dog has not eaten or drank for 3 days.  Craig and I entered the front porch where the little guy was and I stepped towards him and stood there for him to smell me and that's when it happened...I was bit.  It was so fast I had no time to react.  I had dogs lunge at me before but I was pretty quick to get out the way of their teeth. After I did some reflecting why I was bit I have come up with this:  I was talking to the owner and most likely took by eyes off the pup and that's when it happened.  I consider myself lucky for a couple of reasons, one he was only 16 weeks old and the other is that after working closely with dogs for about half of my life this was my first bite.
Thankfully Craig was there with me and he helped me wrap my finger with vet wrap as I knew this little pup still needed some fluids.  He was perfectly fine with me giving him fluids and checking him out after. Because he bit and has not had his rabies vaccine he is now quarantined for required 10 days. 
When we arrived home the wounds were still bleeding so I knew then that a trip to the Health Centre was in order.  There was one nurse flushing the wounds as the other one wrote down the report.  They were very happy to learn that in May I received my rabies vaccine but I couldn't prove to them when I had my last tetanus shot so I received that yesterday afternoon.  No stitches as they didn't want to seal up the wounds in case of infection. In the world of infection caused by bites, humans have the worse bite, then it's cats and then dogs come in third. I'm on some antibiotics that require a hot dog bun, as they are so large, for the next 7 days and I am to watch for infection. The finger and hand is still sore today and it's taking me forever to do this blog entry as I am only using my left hand for typing.
The before

The after - hand is still very swollen 
I have always trained by own dogs but now I am on the other side of the fence teaching people how to interact and teach their dogs some basic commands.  It is likely the first of it's kind in Nunavut and Nunatsaiq News wants to do a story on it.  I am happy to report that 12 dogs and their guardians had signed up for class and we just finished week 2.  I have an array of dogs from the tiny Maltese to the big ole Husky or Labradors and of all ages. Avery is the youngest student with her pup Junior and with the help from her mom he is learning fast.  I hope that we continue with classes after this session as in the end it's a win-win situation for the dogs and they become better canines citizens.  Below is a picture of my students and their dogs.
So proud of my students, both 2 legged and 4 legged!
Since the dog bit incident put a little damper on my picture taking as it's my trigger finger that got injured I am off the camera for about a week, I am hoping for sooner.  This week I will be busy doing last minute preparations for the Christmas Bazaar next Saturday.  I feel it's a bit early this year and I was hoping it would of been after Remembrance Day. 
With the time change early this morning we will sure notice a difference in the amount of daylight hours as the sun will rise at 8:30am today and will set about 3pm.  The amount is decreasing fast and at the end of the month it will be the end of the sun for about 6 weeks.  The temperatures are staying in the minus double digits both during the day and at night.  It must be getting cold as I caught Molly snuggled up to Blitz on the couch this past week and had to take a picture of them.
Molly keeping warm from the Blitz's body heat
Talk soon!

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