Here I am, sitting in my hotel room in Dublin. Yes, Ireland. It’s a beautiful day in a wonderful city, but here I sit, writing a post. I must be trying to make up for all those weeks without blogging I just finished giving my paper at the conference (XTech 2008), which is the reason I’m here. I’ll write for a bit, then go out to explore the town a bit. It’s been a few years since I’ve been here and I’ve got a short list of things to do, the main one being to have a pint or two of Guiness! After all, this is where Guiness is made. Last time I was here, I spotted a little night club owned by Mungo Jerry…you may remember their (not “his”, as I just learned from Wikipedia) one hit, “In the Summertime”…well, I do, and that’s what counts. I’ll see if it still exists and maybe pop in there tonight. Can’t stay out too late, though, ’cause I’ve got a 5:45 AM flight to head me towards Australia.
Heck, that’s more than enough about me…I don’t know why I have to tell you everything! I’m supposed to be talking about Misty, one of the three dogs who came to us from Logan County in Utah (along with Chewie/Chuy and the late lamented Honey).
Misty is losing weight at a very nice, slow pace and is looking pretty trim, relatively speaking. Something funny happened a couple of days ago. I’d let the dogs outside, then left the door open about 10″ wide. Most of the dogs just came back inside after they’d done whatever it was they needed to do. But Misty didn’t. I went to check and there she was, sitting just outside the door, looking at it. She knew that there was no way she would fit through that tiny opening. But I called her and coaxed her until she did come through it. You should’ve seen the look on her face when she realized that she could fit through it after all! Priceless.
When Misty came to us, she (like Chewie) had a band around her chest and upper back where the hair was really thin and pressed down. It was very obviously where a harness had been on her for months, perhaps years, as she got fatter and fatter. The harness must have been practically embedded in her skin, it was that tight.
Well, a few weeks ago, Misty and somebody else got into a tiff and we found a rather largish (1″ x 2½”?) bald spot on Misty’s back. Looking on the floor nearby, we spotted the matching clump of hair…still all together. A close examination of her back revealed a patch of unnaturally black skin, without a single hair left on it. Holy cow, we said (actually, we used rather stronger language, but this is a family-friendly blog), what’s going on? Surely none of the dogs could have grabbed her that hard so quickly. Could they?
While petting and comforting Misty, I suddenly realized that I had another chunk of hair in my hand, and her “bald spot” was exactly that much larger. What was going on? Over the course of the next few days, that spot got bigger and bigger, and began to show signs of a real wound, faintly oozing blood…not enough to form drops, but just enough to be a little sticky. At that time, the spot was about 5″ x 3″ or so…disturbingly large.Well, that meant a visit to the vet.
The diagnosis was necrotic skin – skin that had apparently been killed because it was compressed under that overly-tight harness for so long! Poor Misty was a real trooper through all of this, not complaining about any pain (perhaps there wasn’t any, but that would be surprising), and not even complaining about the “t-shirt bandage” that she had to wear for several days. When I left on this trip two days ago, she’d had the bandages off for about 10 days and the wound is mostly scabbed over – the non-scabbed part has actually healed with new skin grown back! Little by little, the scabs come off by themselves and reveal the new skin beneath. Whether her hair will ever grow back completely is anybody’s guess, but we’re confident that all of the necrotic tissue has been removed and she’s on her way to normalcy.
Whatever that is.