Friday, December 21, 2007

Tyson, the dog; ? - 9/15/04

NOTE: The following event happened in September of 2004. The following pages have been sent out as emails to my email list. The descriptions of the events have a warning, because they contain pretty graphic descriptions.

This email has been rated R by me for blood and gore.


When my sister moved in, she brought their dog with them. His name was Tyson.


Tyson was playing in the yard tonight. He was running in big circles through the yard. He ran down in front of his house, and must have got his cable wrapped around his foot. It pulled the end of his foot off. I ran down, put my arm around him, and clamped my fingers around his leg right above where his foot came off to try to stop the blood. Then I started yelling for help. The woman next door came over, and they got my mom in the house. My mom started calling vets. None were open, so she just got the answering machine. Tyson remained fairly calm during the whole ordeal - my mom said I was taking it worse than he was.

I find it amazing that no vet will take an emergency call unless they already see the animal.

We tied a tourniquet around the lower part of his leg to try to stop the bleeding. I kept my fingers clamped there also. The neighbor finally gets ahold of a vet in Fairmont, and told us they would stay open. My dad came home, and we loaded Tyson in the back of his truck in the lower half of his doghouse. I road to Fairmont in the bed of my dad's truck with one arm clamped around the dog's chest and the other hand clamped around his leg. By the time we got to Saltwell Road, it had been almost two hours. He was starting to rest his head on my arm. We finally arrived in Fairmont, and went in. My hands and part of my arm were covered in blood. My dad held him on the vet's table. The vet was going to stabilize him, and get him ready to amputate his leg tomorrow, but he was a stocky built dog and wouldn't have done well on three legs.

The decision was made to have him put to sleep. (I'm almost positive that he wouldn't have made it through the night, anyways - while we were still in the yard he started shaking were he was going into shock.) The vet asked if we wanted to stay in while they performed the injection. We did. I was covered in blood, had just spent the last two hours with my hand clamped around his leg, and rode in the open bed of the truck for 25 miles; I wasn't going to leave him. And so, he was put to sleep.

I remember sitting in the yard holding his leg watching him bleed to death, knowing that I couldn't wave a wand and heal him. Also hearing that none of the vets were open or would see him. I remember asking God to please let someone be open, and finally someone stayed open.

I don't know what purpose this served or why it happened, but there is one. I trust God for that.

He wasn't "my" dog, but I played with him, and I have this tendency to grow attached to animals... Well, when I say he wasn't "my" dog - I didn't buy him, but had kind of adopted him as my own. I would have been sad for awhile, if we had given him away... So, I guess in a way, he was my dog. He didn't completely bleed to death in my arms, but he didn't have much time left in this world.


Caution: More graphic details!

The rest of the story:

I have an even greater appreciation now for the vets that stay open.

I think my mom tried 5-6 vets, and none were open. She called our regular vet - the vet wasn't there, and the guy that answered the phone said they wouldn't see him unless he was a current patient. She called again (I think) and a woman answered the phone. She then called the vet at home on his cell phone. He said he was an hour away on a bicycle, and from what I heard couldn't believe what the first guy told us... He is the vet that put our cat to sleep when she had a heart attack, one with kidney crystals, and one with lung cancer. And that is just three...

Rhetorical question: Why do our pets always seem to die dramatic deaths?

One of the vets asked my mom if he had ripped a pad off his foot, she came down, I said "No, he ripped his entire foot off."

While this is happening, I am sitting in the backyard holding the dog. There is a puddle of blood around him. His foot is laying beside his leg attached by a tendon or a piece of skin. Picture the scene in Terminator 2 where he pulls the skin on his hand off, except take the hand off at the wrist and take some of the skin on the arm off too. I have my hand around his leg right above the exposed muscle, veins, and bones. It was like his foot and a couple inches of skin from the bottom of his leg were pulled off like you would pull off a glove...

Four bones were clearly visible, I assume that is where their pads attach? The three or four veins provide circulation...

The dog is shivering. My legs are starting to cramp from sitting odd for so long. My sister brought the dog when she moved out from her husband. She is crying, calling him, he wouldn't lift a finger to help. I'm crying and trying to prepare myself for the possibility of him bleeding to death in my arms in the backyard. My mom is crying trying to talk to the vet and someone else. Tyson is just sitting there shivering and panting heavy, but not whining or howling. He didn't try to bite or anything...

Granted, dieing in the yard in the hands of someone who cares about you is preferable to alone beside the road somewhere, but I'd rather have it happen in the vet's office...

My dad gets home and we load him into the back of the truck inside the bottom half of his dog house. On the way down the road, I come to the sad realization that this will be his last truck ride - I didn't get to take him anywhere with me. At the vet's office, the vet came out and put a muzzle on him, and carried him into the office. I get out of the bed of the truck, my right leg is numb, my left knee feels like someone is twisting a knife into it. My left hand is covered in blood where I had it wrapped around his chest, my right arm is covered in blood from hand to elbow from holding his leg. He was remarkably calm on the way there. Looked around a few times. Rested his head on my left arm alot. In the vet's office, he licked my hand through the muzzle. I'd been that far with him, and wasn't going to leave him alone with strangers - perfectly capable, but strangers nonetheless...

The the vet performed the injection, and he went to sleep.

I didn't get to take him for any truck rides, but will remember playing in the yard. The way he would lay down with his head on his feet when he saw you coming through the yard towards him. The way he would run as fast as he could in big circles through the yard, when he ran by, I'd try to tap him. He was the first dog we had that would actually bring the ball back and drop it so you could throw it again.

Writing seems to ease the pain a little, but not as much as prayer.

He was buried in the backyard with our other pets.

It is hard knowing that you are doing you are doing everything that you know to do, yet knowing in the end that you just prolong the inevitable. I did get hands on confirmation that pushing on the vein in the leg crease will slow down blood loss - first thing I heard not long after events began was that they would have to amputate his leg.

I am glad I was there, instead of my mom being there alone.

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