When your best friend hurts, it’s heartbreaking. My beloved Baxter was recently diagnosed with an autoimmune disease affecting a dog’s claws. Four vets have told me it’s very manageable. You have to suppress his immune system with steroids and treat the damaged nails until healthy nails grow back.
Baxter and I are soul mates, so we get along. Around noon on Monday, Baxter came to me and said he needed help. He even let me know which paw hurt. One of its claws had twisted about 160 degrees. He was in great pain. His regular clinic couldn’t accommodate him so we went to the emergency clinic.
They cut that claw, bandaged it, and sent him home with painkillers. People saw my dog limping and asked what was wrong with him. When I told them, some said I was cruel, he would be in pain forever and never be able to walk again. When I told them that several vets said it was manageable, I was told that vets, like all other people in any type of medicine, don’t know anything. It hurt because I always want to please Honey B.
We checked with his regular clinic on Tuesday morning. She said he still had several claws that needed to be removed because they would also twist. I left him there, they sedated him, removed his claws and sent him home with painkillers. He left the clinic. I lifted him out of the car because I thought it would be really painful for him to jump out. I’m glad he only weighs about 45 pounds.
Baxter and I are a fairy tale. I was mugged about seven years ago. The thief stole my cell phone and other items. The police wanted me to keep the line open for a while so they could try to trace her. I have a new cell phone and a new number.
I went to the Humane Society to get a name tag for my cat with my new phone number on it. I honestly just wanted to look at the dogs, not take one home. Except for one dog, everyone came to the kennel and barked at me. Baxter licked my hand. I walked out of the dog area and told myself I had to meet this little guy.
They bought him out and I sat down next to him on the floor. He put his head on my leg. He gave me a look that said he was my dog. He was dropped off on a Friday night, neutered on Saturday and put up for adoption on Sunday. We met on Sunday afternoon.
I told his doctor Tuesday that I really have trouble asking myself if I’m doing the right thing. She said they see about two cases of his disorder a year. Coincidentally, her previous patient had the same disorder. She told me that we probably saw him in the lobby. He walked pain free and only had to come in to have his nails trimmed until all the damage had grown out. This dog was a chapter in our fairy tale. He let me know Honey B would be fine.
Whalen is an insurance professional who lives in Fargo with her beloved dog, Baxter.