July 14th, 2015
For the first time, I felt like an unfit owner. I was the cause of our Newfoundland puppy yelping out in pain and gushing blood. Let’s rewind this tale back to the beginning. It was last Saturday night. Bailey was in good spirits. She had spent the afternoon strolling around Tanya Lake (located on the outskirts of Labrador City) followed by a dip in the water. The dip ended up being Bailey’s first time swimming. Enticed by our youngest son and two of his friends, she followed them as they went further into the lake. Suddenly, the bottom dropped to a point that she could not touch. Bailey showed us that she was a natural swimmer by using her tail to steer and paws to move around the children. Our Bailey was swimming – a moment to remember. So, I was not surprised to find her somewhat tired and sprawled out on the entry door rug later that day. The household was relatively quiet. The idea came to me that it would be a good time to clip Bailey’s front toenails and dewclaws.
Bailey took no notice as I retrieved the nail clippers in a covert manner. I kneeled down beside her and gave a few rubs. She just lay there soaking up the attention. While massaging her right paw, I slowly brought the nail clippers out. Previous experience had taught me that stealth clipping was better than waving the purple nail clippers in front of Bailey and announcing what was coming. By now, Bailey had spread her toes in response to my gentle pressure rubbing. The toenails were perfectly positioned. Bailey’s eyes were closing as my soothing voice told her that she was a good girl. I felt confident – everything was going well. I tackled the dewclaw followed by the three claws on the inside of the paw. One more nail to go as I positioned the clipper and squeezed the handle. It was at that moment disaster struck. An unexpected noise came from another room. Bailey jerked her paw away as she tried to get up and investigate. The clipper trimmed her claw into the quick. That’s the white centre part of the nail which is soft and tender. Bailey was very displeased with me. Between the yelp and the blood, the evening was not going as planned.
Of course, I needed to see her injured claw and assess the damage. Bailey was not too cooperative about allowing me access. Hadn’t I done enough? It was time to call in the person who tends to be the handler of disasters, my husband. A shout brought him to us in no time. It was like a murder scene. There was evidence of blood spilled all over the towel that was covering the rug, blood coated hands and the weapon (the clippers) flung to the side. No need to call CSI. I was the obvious suspect. After determining what was needed, my husband brought cotton balls and hydrogen peroxide to clean the claw tip. We could see that I went deep. Bailey was going to be bleeding for a long time. Keeping Bailey calm and lying down was difficult. The bleeding needed to be stopped. So, my husband went out in search of a liquid band-aid product called “New Skin”. I stayed home with Bailey. He returned and applied the liquid band-aid to the open wound. We agreed that Bailey would not be going out for the late night evening walk. Instead, she would be taken out for one last business break before being confined to her kennel for the night. My husband took her out. I remained behind to wallow in guilt as the clean-up began.
While Bailey spent the night in solitary confinement, my husband and I had fitful sleeps from worrying about her. I awoke at 5 am, dressed and headed out to see how our sweetness was doing. Bailey was waiting in her usual spot with tongue hanging out. I could tell that the previous evening’s event had been long forgotten by her or, at least, until she sees the clippers next. The only signs of it happening were the blood splotches scattered like splattered paint on the floor of her kennel. If Bailey had been judge and jury, she would have let me off. I, on the other hand, still feel racked with guilt. “Want another treat, Bailey?”
P.S. At 24 weeks, Bailey is now 31.9 kg or 70 pounds 5 ounces.