The summer of the paws


Roo was plagued with paw trouble all summer. I thought the worst of her wounds was a hot spot that, as soon as it was healing, she would lick raw all over again. She knew she wasn’t supposed to lick it, and for the most part she didn’t, except for when she woke up in the middle of the night and did it in a groggy haze in which she’d tear off the sock I secured with tape around her ankle and start licking. By the time I’d hear it and tell her to stop — which would make her come to her senses and stop right away — it was too late. It’s amazing how much damage a dog can do with a few licks. The wound would swell up and start oozing again. It was dispiriting as hell.

That’s finally healed, even though she’s still wearing a bandage all day every day, just in case she gets interested in it, but it looks like it finally has healthy skin again. The rest of her cuts and scrapes have healed, too. She had a nasty scrape on the side of the outboard toe on the same foot as the hot spot, the result of a mousefighting incident. The fur never grew back on that, so it’s a full-fleet battle scar.. And she had two other cuts, both in the webbing between her toes, though those healed quickly. 

But now she’s been keeping her weight off her left front paw. This started three days ago. There’s no wound, nothing in her pads, and nothing I squeeze or articulate bothers her. She seems better today, and it hasn’t affected her mood, but I haven’t been letting her walk any more than necessaryj.

Yesterday I took her to the trail she likes to go to, and as soon as her tanks were emptied, I told her we were going back to the car. She was a little surprised and looked at me as if to say, “Really?” But she was glad to turn back. I got the distinct feeling that she was relieved not to have to humor me with my usual walk.