Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A gray fox and a chewed up dog

It has been quite an adventure in canines over the last few days. When we returned home on Sunday from an end-of-summer trip to the beach, we found something unusual caught in one of the squirrel traps: a gray fox! Isn't he cute? And no, my husband is not getting ready to hose him down in this picture; he is trying to give him a drink of water. We think that the little guy got himself caught in the night, and we didn't discover him until late afternoon, so he was sitting in the hot sun for a long time with nothing to drink. Even though he was obviously scared and completely wild, he calmed right down when Brett started dripping water into the cage. The fox didn't know how to drink out of the hose (probably not a skill many wild animals pick up), but he did lick it off his paws and the floor of the cage. Then he just sat there looking at us with an expression that obviously meant, "Well, what's next?"

We're pretty sure that this is the guy who tried to make off with our rooster last week, which would explain why the rooster had a fighting chance, since the bird is about the same size as this little fox. And even though he is one of the cutest things EVER, we can't have him prowling around the farm looking for stray chickens. So we drove him way up the road and let him go where he can find animals to eat that don't belong to people.

So, that was the good canine news. The bad news was to do with our other doggy, Thor. While we were gone he got into a fight with something and was definitely on the losing end of things. And when I say "something," I mean something big. Thor is not a small dog, and (**grossness disclaimer**) he has huge chunks of flesh ripped out of his back, neck, bottom, and legs. Of course he was being dog-sat while we were gone, but, like some sort of wild teenager, he always choses our vacation times to escape from the yard and go on promiscuous romps in the middle of the night. My dad reports that this was one such time: Thor was missing from the yard, and when he came home he was in bad shape.

It is very sad seeing our old faithful friend feel too miserable to get up to greet us. He gives it a try, but one of his legs is too sore to stand on, plus he seems to have been pretty demoralized by the whole thing (I'm sure the cone of shame doesn't help). The vet says we just have to continue treating his wounds and wait to see what happens. They are very deep and just absolutely gigantic. The kids think he was attacked by a mountain lion, which wouldn't be impossible since we do have them around here. Brett thinks it was a big dog. All I know is that I have to soak ALL the wounds with salt water three times every day and then spray them with disinfectant that Thor hates because it stings. Here he is having his first "treatment":

Very sad. The kids and I have been praying for him - it might be the first time I've actually prayed for an animal as an adult. But as much as he drives me crazy with his wily ways, he is a good old dog and I hate seeing him in pain. We all miss him wandering around the farm with us and are hoping he will be back to his old self soon rather than lying in the yard crying in pain as he wags his tail at the chickens because he just can't help himself. Poor old Thor.

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