Sunday, February 10, 2008

Courage in the Face of Teeth

Yesterday was sunny, warm and quite lovely. Predictably the marmalade-colored cat asked to go for a walk, so I put his harness and leash on and out we went. He was interested primarily in his own space, so he went from place to place in the front garden - sniff sniff sniff.

Then my neighbour Florence came along, walking another neighbour's very large mutt, a dubious combo of German Shepard and visitor-in-the-night named "Tex". This is a huge, young and very hard-to-control animal, and the neighbour is 74 and small.

Salvadore had been investigating a tree, in front of our truck, at the front end of the trailer, and was out of sight of the dog and Florence. So Flo came over for a chat.

"I've got the cat here," I said to her several times. "Don't bring the dog over! Don't let the dog get closer, don't bring the dog....."

At this point Tex saw Salvador and bolted for him. Now there are some things in this world that are just plain stupid, one of them tiny dog leashes the diameter of a pencil lead. These may be fine for a four-pound poodle, but they are not appropriate restraints for 100 pounds of excited dog.

Flo had these wee leash wrapped around her right hand, and a loop of it caught around the little finger and sliced as effectively as a knife. It wasn't so much a matter of her holding onto him, as not being able to let go.

Tex ran to within a foot of Salvadore, who had inflated like a blowfish and was wild-eyed and growling, fangs showing. Tex bared his teeth but stopped to consider his options. This cat-thing wasn't running, it was standing its ground and threatening him!

In that instant I grabbed the dog's collar, and while I struggled to restrain him Flo untangled herself, holding up a blood-filled palm, dripping. While I held the dog Salvador backed away, still puffed and spiky. When he'd reached the far side of the trailer her turned and ran. A few seconds later he reappeared at the other end of the trailer, obviously trying to make it to the door and safety.

Tony had come out by this time and, at my urging, calmed Sal a bit then picked him up and took him inside. With the cat gone Tex relaxed. Flo ran for a towel and we surveyed the damage. Her pinky finger was open to the glistening white tendons for three-quarters of its circumference. I offered to drive her to the hospital but another neighbour had just come home from town and the car was out and ready.

In the ER she was given a tetanus shot, but the wound wasn't stitched closed. It would have been hard to do, as it was right in the crease of the joint. She has gone back to have the wound checked, to make sure there's no infection. We'll see how it goes. It was pretty sore last night.

Salvadore was visibly upset by this encounter, and required a lot of mama-time afterwards. He didn't ask to go out today. He was content to watch out the window while I filled the bird feeders this morning.

Later in the day Tony and I took the wallpaper books I'd brought home from the decorating center over to Tinpalace II and held each one up to the walls and furniture. We didn't like the one we thought we wanted, a charcoal grey and white stripe, or the two alternatives, a pale beige pattern, or a blue pattern, but chose this one. The background is varying mocha and caramel, the branches sort of a weak coffee colour, the blossoms white with pink-to-cranberry specks in the center and teal leaves. Since the furniture is teal with a pinkish pattern it pulls in those colours well.

We'll put this paper on the bottom of the walls, which are now reddish fake paneling. We'll paint the chair rail (and all the woodwork and cabinetry) white, and replace the nasty teal carpet with dark plank flooring. The oatmeal-coloured linen above the chair rail will stay.

We have a fair amount of work ahead of us, but it will be really nice once it's done. Completely unlike the dark interior the trailer has now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

silly dog...Sali is a force of nature.