Monday, November 16, 2009

On dogs, pus, and snarled hatred

For those of you who don't know, it started with the dilemma of whether or not to rescue The Dog from The Ex. She was being severely neglected and The Kid, just 7-years-old, was begging me to take her.

The dilemma was short-lived because within days I saw her for myself, locked in a pen without shelter in the back yard, banned from the house or even the garage, scrawny and bloody, and so very sad.

The need to debate the decision was extinguished. Operation Doggie Rescue began the next day.

That was 5 months ago; numerous trips to the vet and doggie dermatologist ago; six medications ago; hundreds (thousands?) of dollars ago. And we really are no closer to being done.

Her sores have gotten better. Many have healed completely. But the ones that remain are stubborn sons of bitches, and have shown no real improvement in at least a month. In fact, they're clearly getting worse. The infection on her back nearly healed, but then came back with a vengeance that has traveled even deeper into her skin tissue.

She has another appointment with the dermatologist next week. In the meantime we're trying her on a raw food, no grains diet (which she freaking LOVES!) and The Man has gone all Chinese medicine on her ass.

Tonight was an especially rough night. There was a lot of pus that needed to be cleaned up, and The Dog really does not like the pus cleaning process. Neither do the humans. It makes The Man and I cry, and I won't even allow The Kid to witness the ordeal.

It's bad, people. I really don't know if she can be saved.

But the worst part is that the man who did this to her is my ex-husband; is my son's father. She has a skin disease that he neglected to treat (or even have checked out by a vet) for years. Instead, he locked her outside and did nothing as secondary infections formed in the weeping wounds left by the disease. "Hot spots," he said of them. But did you look at those pictures?! Those are nOT FUCKING HOT SPOTS!


See that? That right there? That's what I'd like to say to The Ex. But in the interest of a continued civil and, god help us, nearly friendly relationship, there are some things I just can't scream at him. (For the good of our child, of course. If there was no kid to consider, I'd have kicked his ass long ago.)

I did once have a little sit down with The Man,
not long after I'd taken The Dog, and told him, calmly and very adult-like, how I was feeling. I told him that it was hard for me to be in the same room with him; hard for me to look him in the eye; hard for me to not wish someone would rip a chunk of flesh off his back and then lock him in a pen in the back yard and feed him nothing but sawdust in the form of kibble.

He took that conversation pretty well. What could he say, really? And for the most part, I've been able to let my raging anger at him go.

But on rough nights like this one, it's hard not to look at her pain and blame him; hard not to hate him; hard, hard, hard to pack my son's bag for an overnight stay with him.


Nicki said...

If it's any comfort, you don't hold the market on self-absorbed ex-husbands. Of course, mine does well with the dog, it's the kids he doesn't seem to notice have a problem. Wish I could count the number of times they have come back sick and unfed from a weekend with him. (LONG stories.)

Best of luck. You're not alone.

adrienzgirl said...


Can we lock him in an outdoor kennel? Please, please, can we? C'mon, it'll be fun!

MindyMom said...

Poor doggie! Yeah, if that's how the ex treats the dog why wouldn't you worry about how he parents?

Nicki is right tho, far too many of us understand the self-absorbed ex problem.

There should be an exception to the law for people like them.

Big City Dad said...

How people treat animals is many times a good marker for how they will treat people. I've felt the way you feel more times than I can count. The best I can do when that comes up is to first determine if it's an issue I need to address with Ex. If I do, I try to do it in a non-threatening, not accusatory manner. Most times that's not heard and things deteriorate into a fight. A lot of the time though, I have to realize that while it's a nuisance, it's not a battle that needs to be fought. I'd say now that you have doggie, just do the best you can. He's not going to accept responsibility for his actions afterward if the sight of poor doggie wasn't jarring enough to make him do it when he had her. Sad, but maybe the will give you some peace. So hard though, I understand.

uncouthheathen said...

We just got a recommendation to a vet from the people at Bark in Ballard. I don't have it here with me at work, but it's a vet who works with alternative forms of veterinary medicine. They also gave me the number of an acupuncturist who helps with animals. If you're interested, I'm happy to share the contact information.

Martini Mom said...

Dear Ms. Uncouth Heathen,

Yes please! Would love the info. Thank you!

T said...


This made me sad. I love doggies. Especially German Shepherd doggies. :(

I'm glad you're looking at natural and alternative treatments. I bet homeopathic treatments would help.

Will keep her in my prayers.

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