Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The shredded ear

Poor Libbie. Now that we have an Invisible Fence she has figured out that her job around here is to keep the deer out of our yard. Every time she chases a herd away she runs back to me smiling, waiting to be lavished with praise. And I praise her. And rub her belly. And praise her some more. Yes, I've been encouraging her to get rid of the deer because she's my weapon in the war against deer. But last night was different.

Last night it was an 8-point buck who spent the whole afternoon in front of our house mounting does. Two different does. And chasing away the little bucks with only four points. He was too far away for Libbie to chase him yesterday afternoon, so when I opened the back door at 5 o'clock last night to let her into the back yard, she took the opportunity to go after him. Only he was standing about ten feet away facing us with his huge rack. Not a good starting point for a healthy chase.

And so she ran at him. And he lowered his rack. And the scream that followed from her mouth was bloodcurdling. She got hit in the head, rolled over on her back and then (while I screamed and threw an onion at the buck) she took off around the side of the house, whimpering. Scott and the girls were in the hot tub, which was actually why I was letting Libbie out. So she could hang out with them. I watched the deer take off (after my organic Grant Farms onion hit him in the rump -- not the best use of such a nice onion) and ran to the front of the house to find Libbie. Scott had let her into the sideyard and from there she went through the doggie door into the garage. I opened the door to the garage to see my sweet dog's head spattered with blood and her right ear cut in half, almost all the way up to the base. The deer had pierced the top of Libbie's ear with one of his points and then ripped all the way through to the end of the ear. It was bright red against her black fur and she looked pathetic. She was whimpering and desperately wanted to come inside which was, obviously, not going to happen.

So I ran inside, grabbed my purse and keys and headed out to the doggie ER. When we arrived she kept shaking her head, splattering blood all over the lobby and exam room. The nurse bandaged her up, wrapping gauze all the way around Libbie's head, leaving Libbie looking embarrassed and sad.

Libbie shortly after arriving home last night.

A few hours and lots of dollars later, the doctor released Libbie with a long set of sutures holding the cartilage together and another closing the skin around the cartilage. As a sidenote, Scott and I had been thinking about getting in on one of the great Black Friday deals on an LCD flatscreen. Since we just spent enough on Libbie to pay for a very large, very high quality flatscreen, there will be no new TV in our house this year.

When Libbie first re-emerged into the waiting room, she was walking with her head down and her tail nearly straight -- her sign for dire unhappiness. Her straightened tail wagged when she saw me and then she laid down in front of me and moaned and groaned and whined and whimpered. She was not a happy dog. The moaning and groaning and whining and whimpering continued through the car ride home and into the night, to the point that Scott had to go move to a different room just to get some sleep. I brought her into bed with me, thinking that I'd be able to comfort her and quiet her, but she continued to groan. At about 1:30am she jumped off the bed and headed for the back door.

With some difficulty and a little angry swearing, I found her leash and took her outside. She immediately squatted to pee and then walked around in circles trying to do something more, all the time being watched (and I think stalked) by that freakin' buck. He was up the hill from us making those weird deer noises and walking toward us slowly. When he got within 20 feet he turned and headed for the other side of our yard where he thrashed until we got inside. It's a good thing he turned and moved the other way, because my adrenaline was pumping and I was imagining myself doing this. Although that story sounds like a much smaller deer wrestled by a stronger person and it still took him forty minutes. Maybe it's time to get a gun.

Libbie quieted down once we finally got back inside. She slept next to me all night and at 7am hopped off the bed, ready to go to the bathroom again. I managed to get her painkiller, anti-inflammatory, and antibiotic into her this morning so hopefully she can rest today in peace.

Libbie in the kitchen this morning. See her little left ear sticking out of the wrap?


Anonymous said...

Poor baby! Definitely worth a fancy tv :) I HATE the creepy noises that male deer make. My college campus was over-run with them, and they frequently scared the daylights out of me!!

Susi said...

Poor Libby has been through lots this past year, eh? So, do you have a picture of that European mount? Wow, too cool of a story!