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Gas Pains

Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.

The Trouble With Labs

Deer Camp, Healthcare, Labrador Retrievers, Sister

And I'm not talking about scary lab results you receive after a doctor visit.  No siree.  I'm talking about Labrador retrievers and the people that own them.  Especially if the people are crazy enough to have more than one Lab dog.

In fact, I think that in the veterinary profession Lab owners occupy a revered status as clients.  Welcome to book appointments at a moment's notice we Lab owners are treated with deference and respect.  This is because over and above our routine veterinary care we're bound to show-up, unannounced, at any time of year with a sprain, strain, laceration, dangerous ingestion, parasitic infestation, ear infection, or the simple diarrhea as a consequence of some disgusting thing the dog found in the woods and gleefully scarfed.  Throw-in an auto-immune disorder or a canine angular limb deformity you will quickly get the idea that Lab owners have likely floated many a clinic and possibly a few boats.  We are insufferable lovers of the breed and our credit is good.  We are the frequent fliers of veterinary practices.

Take my situation as an example.  I have a family practitioner.  Jill has a family practitioner.  Right here in Tosa.  But our Labs have veterinarians on call both here and up north.  When you think about it they have a pretty good healthcare gig going for them.  While we humans have to grapple with pre-authorizations, out-of-network providers, a humongous annual deductible on our health insurance plan along with a Health Savings Account the canines have no such worries.  The owner simply whips-out the MasterCard and all is well.  No accounting, no insurance intermediary, no claims paperwork, no-nothing.  Fee for service.  Cash on the barrel head,  After-which the pooch wounds your heart with an appreciative gaze from those intelligent brown eyes. 

Oh, brother.

So last weekend was my weekend for quality time with the girls while Jill was curling with her girlfriends from the Wauwatosa Curling Club.  This was the perfect set-up.  I was going to get the dogs out of town to our place up north and do some deer hunting with my bow and Jill got a girl's weekend away.  Like I said...perfect.

You know what they say about the best-laid of plans don't you?

I got the girls out late Friday morning for a walk while we fetched the SD cards from the trail cameras.  I figured I could wear them out and gain a couple or three hours of sitting on a deer stand before sundown.  The nice weather wasn't going to last forever after-all.

On the last half-mile of our walk Sister decided to climb atop an ancient rock pile adjacent to the trail.  And she got herself into trouble almost immediately.

Old rock piles on the peninsula are more than piles of dolostone rubble that generations of farmers and farm families tediously picked from the fields each spring.  They are trash heaps too.  If you sift through them in the methodical fashion of an archaeologist combing through a trash midden you are bound to find some cool stuff.  Jill has a collection of ancient and antique bottles she's retrieved.  But not without the occasional cut or scrape.  The rock piles are full of broken implements, sharp household objects, rusted barbed wire, tools, nails and glass.  Back in the day everyone threw their junk on the rock pile.  As a consequence they are hazardous.

And Sister lacerated her rear paw on some busted glass.  It was a big gash too.  We left a bloody trail all the way home.  Followed by bloody paw prints all over the garage, kitchen and bathroom floors.  And blood all over me before I could staunch the flow with some surgical sponges and stretchy tape that is kept on-hand in the dog duffel specifically for this contingency.

Bundling the pooch in the truck it was off to Sturgeon Bay for an emergency visit to the vet.  I phoned-in the details on the drive.

Here is the blonde bomber.

Unimproved as of yesterday, a follow-up visit to the vet here resulted in sutures.

So much for that perfect weekend.  

Obviously, I still don't have my deer...

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