Friday, March 6, 2015

Favorite Things Friday: Snow Days (and Healthy, Uninjured Dogs)

Snow days are one of God's greatest gifts, as far as I'm concerned. They're a reprieve in the midst of the madness of our day to day life and usually greatly needed and appreciated. There is a still, quiet, pensive quality to snow in and of itself--almost as if God is telling us to take a moment, breathe, and rest from our normal duties because we can't really do them anyway (especially if we live in Northern Virginia).

Although I've appreciated the snow days as much as ever, this most recent batch of snow just could not have come at a more inconvenient moment. Chase, our big retired racer, has been injured since February 22nd with a foot laceration that happened while playing with carefree and wild abandon in the previous snowfall. A trip to the vet the next day ended with minor surgery on his foot to repair the damage, which included clearing away dead skin and intricate suturing techniques (since greyhound skin is like that of a 90 year old woman's). Layers and layers of bandages were applied, and we were warned to keep them completely dry until they were about 17 days.

Over the years people have told me I should have gone into the veterinarian field (because of my love for animals). These same people did not realize that I am THE MOST squeamish, stressed-out individual on the face of the earth when it comes to sick animals. Last week I was literally having chest pains as I worried and fretted over Chase's injury. I took Monday off of work to monitor him continually; every few hours I felt and sniffed his bandages for any signs of wetness or odor (which might signal infection); and I became nearly apoplectic when he stepped into a huge snow bank to potty and snow gushed into the plastic IV bag the vet gave us to put over his bandaging to keep it dry. Frantic use of the hairdrier ensued as I attempted to dry the tiny corner of his bandage that got a little bit damp.

After that, I pulled out the big guns. I bought press and seal cling wrap, found a heavy-duty grocery bag and reinforced the inside with the press and seal, and pulled out a trash bag sized for kitchen use. The grocery bag with reinforcements was applied first followed by a swath of press and seal. This was followed by the IV bag boot and another application of press and seal. Finally the garbage bag, which I had to tie off where his leg meets his body and two more reams of press and seal were applied. I bit my fist the whole time we were out in the six to eight inches of snow, gasping at each incident of Chase stepping into un-shoveled areas, so worried was I that some layer of the body armor would come off. When we returned inside, and I stripped off nine layers of waterproofing, I found that his foot was clean and dry. Huge sigh of relief. All my work paid off. And then I had to do it all over again about two hours later, and I've had to continue doing it for each subsequent bathroom break to maintain peace of mind about that bandage.

Through it all, Chase has been tolerant and patient with me, although his expression seems to say, "Really, Mom? Must we go through this every time I need to pee?" My husband, also, has been extremely tolerant of my neurosis, patiently enduring my overly excited preludes into walks and bathroom breaks punctuated by frantic strips of press and seal. "Honey, you need to relax and have a little faith," he finally told me. "The vet said the stitches are healing better than they even expected."

This is true. At a bandage-change visit the other day, the vet confirmed that everything is healing perfectly and more quickly than they expected. (Praise for that, as I'd been praying that it would heal faster than they thought it would).

Over all of my desperate and frenzied preparations I imagine God looking down and shaking his head at my all-too-human need to stress over something that I don't have ultimate control. He's the great healer and protector, and all my panic is futile at the end of the day. Nevertheless, I also imagine He, too, might be slightly amused and even chuckle a little at the press and seal overkill.

(Chase sleeping comfortably with bandages)

God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. --Genesis 1:25


  1. When it comes to snow, I'm happy to only get a LITTLE bit of blessings, thankyouverymuch! The first snowfall is magical, but after a few months of it, I'm ready for the show to be over. (Luckily, in Georgia, snow is gone in the blink of an eye... not so the case when we lived in MD.)

    The story of you trying to keep Chase's leg dry reminds me of what happened with our older son many years ago. The week before we left for our vacation to the beach, the poor guy broke his leg playing football with his buddies. The doc said if (Shoulda said when... after all, we WERE going to the ocean!) our son got his cast wet, we'd have to dry it real well afterward with a hair dryer. He wore multiple garbage bags over his cast, but it still got wet every day. We dried it, but what we didn't count on was the STINK. Man, did that cast smell! But he survived. So will Chase. You're a good mama. (Dogs and cats are our four-legged furry kids.)

    1. Susan, some greyhound folks suggested I get a dry-cast cover--this LONG plastic tube for human casts. But I'm finding press n seal works just as well. Thanks for the encouragement!

  2. Chase is so cute sleeping like that in the last picture! You have made a good care giver for him. I'm not sure I would have been that dilligent but it seems like it is paying off with his recovery and healing going well!


  3. Poor Chase. He's exhausted from having his bandages checked. He has a beautiful face.


  4. It is so hard to leave things in God's hands and not stress. Your dog is adorable.

  5. This really made me smile! And oh my goodness - I would have done just what you did. Good job "Press 'n Seal" Mama!

  6. Ouch! It looks like he's handling his injury well. At least he's well cared for and loved. My dog has been sleeping a lot since I gave her her heartworm pill Monday night. It took her until today to get back to her normal self. I've been so worried about her but this seems to happen every time I give her that pill for 24 hours or so. I need to remember that next month rather than losing sleep over it!

    1. My little dog doesn't take the heart worm well. It usually takes about 24 hours to recover. Sometimes it helps to halve the pill and give it over 2 days.