11 June 2018

Choosing a name

You took a dog in off the streets and decided to take care of it for a few days. You figure the usual commands you use for the other dog in the family should work for the new one as well. Ok, good. But then you need to use a name before the command, so that the dogs know who is supposed to follow it. What do you name a "temporary pet"?

I called her Girl a lot at first, as well as Negruta (Romanian for Blackie) because she reminded me of another black dog called Negruta. The people at the vet clinic called her Blackie. Then we realised we would be keeping her for longer, so we sat down to think about the name properly.

Of course, Negruta and Blackie are all valid regular names for a female black dog, right? Nope, my husband doesn't do regular pet names. His two cats (now his mother's cats) are called DJ (short for Destroyer of toys, but in Romanian) because he always broke his toys and Pitica (the English equivalent would be Tiny one) because he rescued her as a kitten and she was very small and frightened. Our first dog is called Aschiuta (which means Little splinter) because she chewed on wooden table legs until splinters came off. So the new dog also needed a special name.

He must have been brewing his idea for a while, because he immediately said we should call her Nightmare. Why Nightmare? Because the first few nights that she was with us we were so worried about her that we lost a lot of sleep. So she was our little nightmare.

I was reluctant at first, because I was still biased on Negruta, but he convinced me. Now I am very comfortable going around calling her Nightmare and she also seems to have learned it is her name. Of course, people were surprised when they found out about the name (one of our neighbours said to me "Sure, your husband is a rocker, what else do you expect?") - especially the ones who knew how gentle she was - but our friends got used to it as well.

I must say, even if she looks a bit scary, she is the loveliest nightmare we have ever had!

She is a real sweetheart, but people who meet her for the first time are prone to believe she has a nightmarish temper!

6 May 2018

Operation Nightmare

Continuing with our Nightmare story...

We were scheduled to go to the vet with her to get some tissue samples under anaesthesia.

We arrived there very early in the morning, when the doctor and the nurses were just having tea. The vet seemed very confident but we were apprehensive because of the sedative and also her infection...

The doctor and a nurse got ready and took the dog in one of the back rooms for the surgery and we were asked to wait in the waiting room. Of course we asked to join her as moral support, but we were politely asked not to.

My husband said he would go to a shop a few streets away to take out money from the ATM machine and also buy a few snacks. I waited patiently, tried to read, stare at the walls, make small talk with the older nurse, but I just couldn't concentrate. It was taking too long. The surgery and my husband's trip. Although my watch was telling me otherwise. I should know, I stared at it every other minute. Luckily, the older nurse was allowed to peek into the back room, so she checked and told us the dog was safely sedated and didn't show any problems.

My husband was finally back and we waited together, sampling some ridiculous "fruit water" he had found at the shop. The surgery really was taking too long.

After about two hours or so, the older nurse came in to tell us the doctor was stitching up the dog's forehead and she would be awake soon.

When the doctor came out, we bombarded him with questions. He had in fact cleaned out the infection completely, so it should heal without any more medication. He had also taken the tissue samples and would send them to a laboratory. He was very optimistic about the black dog.

We asked if we could go see her. He said yes, so we hurried to the room. She was lying on the floor, crying and trembling. She was trying to move, but her muscles were no help. Her pupils were dilated and I doubt she was able to see anything. My husband said her hearing sensitivity was most likely also heightened. We stayed with her, petting her, holding her and preventing her from hurting herself.

She gradually stopped whining and her pupils adjusted. She was eventually able to lift her head, then stand up.

Meanwhile, my husband went to the front to pay, when he realised he had forgotten to take out the money from the ATM. He had taken the card back but not the money.

The vet needed cash for the lab tests because he had to pay them in cash too, so we drove back to the shop (it was the closest ATM) and we took out more cash. He was also able to confirm with the shop manager that nobody had taken the money and the machine had retrieved the bills.

We hurried back to the vet and I waited in the car while my husband went to pay and fetch the dog. When he came back, he said the vet had undercharged us - we pair only the lab tests and the anaesthesic (probably less than the normal fee). He had insisted to pay more (we are not short on money anymore), but the vet would not have any of it. He had also taken to the gentle black dog.

My husband afterwards sent the vet a couple of small gifts to thank him for helping us with the dog. I also included a couple of tatted trinkets for the nurses.

The test results were in shortly and turned out fine, so the black dog should have no complications. We would still need to take care of her head and make her wear a protective collar, but she was going to be OK.

Our dear little Frankenstein's monster having breakfast in bed.

21 April 2018

Tough treatment

Time for a new episode of Nightmare's tale!

If you remember, we had returned from the visit to Brasov and the black dog from her stay at the vet's.

I was going to be a nurse again. I bought gauze and oxygenated water and would clean the dog's infection every morning and evening, or even more often if I was home. She also received an antibiotic pill twice a day, which I shoved down her throat. Just like Aschiuta, she was not very keen about the taste of medicine. I don't blame them, I'm not either.

We eventually ran out of antibiotics and went back to the vet. The infection was still not waning and the vet sent us to a radiology clinic, to give her an X-ray.

My husband went in there with her (it wouldn't have been good to irradiate us both when one was enough to hold her). He told me how she squirmed and tried to run away, so a lot of the photos had more of his hand than her forehead.

We got the photos by mail soon afterwards and also sent them to our vet. It was obvious the infection had eroded the bone to her sinuses on the left side of her head. There was also no foreign object, which would have made the healing process a lot easier.

Notice the colour difference in the middle.

We were concerned about the situation, but the vet assured us that it wasn't that bad and that she was going to be fine in the end. If all else failed, he could operate and clean up the infection.

The next step would be to get some samples from the wound to make sure there was no extra pathogen or fungus that might cause bigger issues for her. The procedure was simple, but he would have to sedate her. And he didn't have the safer gas sedation that we preferred. We were slightly apprehensive about the anaesthesia, since there were small chances it would affect her mentally... or worse.
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