January 12th, 2004


Bulk Update

Right. So. Trip. Went well, and went badly.

The drive up to Vermont was smooth, with him being super cute. I had to take a Giant Breed crate up, so I had it and his smaller crate in the center of my little Subaru. We made a couple of stops en route: Philadelphia and Scarsdale, NY. In Philadelphia, Corvis discovered there were an excess quantity of fearless squirrels about on the lovely path through the U Penn campus. He had been to Scarsdale before, and likes the scenery fine... but not my Grandfather, although he was much more tolerant this time.

In Vermont, he met Katy No-Pockets, my parents' 9 month old Rhodesian Ridgeback. Isn't she a stunner? She's huge, already, and still growing. Corvis can -- and does -- run right under her.

Most of the opportunity for that actually came because they spent much of the two days at home fighting. Or, no so much fighting as, well, fighting like human couples fight. She is a puppy who loves dogs, and who wanted Corvis' love and attention.
Corvis wanted his personal space, to be able to wander in peace... and why was there now this other dog in what had been his domain the last time he visited. They were cute, as long as you kept her off him. We see here my present favorite Corvis picture -- action shot, deflated football thrown out. You can just see the tip of Katy's intruding tail.

Then we left them. Drove off to the Doggie Daycare place, and then we took off. Had adventures in Kyiv and Moscow, successfully transacted for a champion Borzoi to be shipped to Pittsburgh, and three long weeks later we returned. I had thought of him constantly, but only exchanged one email with daycare: the dogs are doing fabulous. they are playing with all the other dogs very well. Corvis can be a little cranky, but he really is doing fine.. So I relaxed -- cranky is the word to describe Corvis when you've gotten to know him.

We returned late on the 20th, but both my mom and I were up at the crack of dawn for the chance to get our puppies back for a day. We waited just until it was a reasonable hour to come by, and did without, apparently, calling. We were too eager. When we got there, she had been in the process of calling us to say maybe I shouldn't come... !

Apparently, Mr. Corvis had been getting a bit more progressively cranky as the weeks were piling on, and was starting to take it out on poor Katy. Poor twice his size and strength Katy. The night before, he had pinned her in a way that the daycare lady didn't like, so she went to pull him off. He was in full battle-fog, and turned around and snapped at her (breaking the skin in her hand, I believe). Her dog didn't like that, so he ran over and bit Corvis. Hard. On the arm, just below the elbow joint. He was a very large Rottweiler. The puncture wounds didn't look that big, so she put Corvis in a kennel with the intentions of taking him to the Vet in the morning. Right before we showed up, she had gotten up and noticed he had licked it all night, and it looked worse. So she felt that in his state, seeing me but only for a day, would not be the best idea. Oh well, we did it anyway.

We took him home and called my mother's vet. Any vet good enough for Princess Katy was clearly good enough for Corvis. My mom had found a clinic -- near her house, even, where apparently the head vet is almost Asperger's Syndome focused on animal care -- meaning they don't have great human skills but work wonders with their real patients. This means they were easily able to see Corvis within an hour or two, and give him all the time he needed. Which ended up being overnight. Apparently dog bites can be really really bad, and this was one of them, where there is a lot of deep tissue damage inflicted. They anaesthetized him, cut open the holes for a better edge and look, and discovered significant infection had already set in. They kept him overnight to monitor him, I just mostly panicked, trying to figure out what I was going to do.

He was returned in the morning with stitches, drips, two special antibiotics, and a cone. The daycare person assured me she could keep him isolated. I was convinced I should go to my warm vacation spot despite my dog's condition.

And, indeed, I returned on the 30th -- Corvis picked up at the crack of dawn the 31st -- to a happier and healthier dog. Amy had been amazed by his intelligence -- because not only could he do a lot of things, but she could see how fast his mind raced to figure out how to do them with a big cone around his face. On the 2nd, I had his external stents removed, and he was apparently healing nicely. That night we drove back to Pittsburgh -- actually, stopping for the night at a Super 6 two-thirds of the way back.This was my first experience with a dog in a motel, but he handled it like a champ -- clearly, he wanted to be home, but put up with whatever I threw at him. I think he barked once the entire 700 mile drive back to Pittsburgh.

As I mentioned in the last post, I have Corvis signed up for two Agility classes this January. So when the vet was looking at him, one of my persistent questions -- to the point that it was noted on his medical records -- was whether this injury would hurt his agility career. When he was taken in, he had a pretty bad limp, but that's gone now. I was cleared to take him to class.