When the children were ill, it was easy to tell when they were on the mend. Instead of flopping about and taking no interest in anything, they would start to fidget.
“I’m bored!” or “When can I go back to school?” were sure signs that we were over the worst. Then they would progress to following me around and getting into mischief. If they had both been unwell, they would begin to rampage about and bicker.
Minnow’s recovery has been rather similar. For the first twenty four hours after her operation, she was a pathetic, lifeless little bundle of misery. It was heart-wrenching. Yesterday, she was definitely perkier, but easily tired. The first real signs of recovery were her efforts to get at her stitches. The vet rather cleverly not only stitched up her wound, but also stitched a dressing into place over it, making sure that there was enough loose skin included in the parcel to stop her pulling herself open.
The Spiderman costume we had put her in kept her warm, but was not really long enough to cover the dressing. An old pair of black tights, cut about and customised, seemed to do the trick nicely, with the legs wound around her legs, collar and body and tied in a fetching bow. She appeared to have resigned herself to the ignominy, so we allowed her to putter about freely, and tried not to worry too much when she had a silly five minutes of leaping about the rambla like a gazelle in ladies netherwear.
Unfortunately, about mid-afternoon, I found her shaking and looking rather sorry for herself. She had somehow chewed through the tights, undone some of the stitches on the dressing, and it was protruding through the tights, and probably pulling every time she moved.
Clearly, she had not been trussed up securely enough. We scratched our heads, wondering what sort of humiliation we could devise next. Min submitted to having herself gently extricated from the tights,and licked my hand patiently while I checked what damage she had done to herself.
Fortunately, the wound itself looked perfectly clean and tidy, and had come to no harm. The dressing, however, was hanging by two stitches at one end. Not wanting to remove it before it had served its purpose, we needed to strap it back somehow over the wound, and cover it with something that she could not undo.
We taped the dressing back on with a piece of micropore tape, and then wound more right around her body, so that it would catch on the hair of her back, and then stick back to itself. So far so good, but completely vulnerable to her chewing it off.
Regular readers of El Perro will know that I have a bit of a penchant for microfibre cloths. We still have a few left that have not been turned into duck harnesses, so we decided we would use one to make Minnow look as
ridiculous sophisticated as possible, while protecting her tummy from her attentions.
A couple of T-shape slits for her front legs would stop everything slipping off her back legs, but were an improvement on the tights, which had made bodily functions slightly hazardous. Lacing slits down each side would allow us to lace the cloth up like a corset, fitting it to her body snugly.
(I had to tear the leg openings a little larger once Min had her legs through, to make them comfortable. Micro-fibe cloth tears, but will not fray badly.)
One of the legs of the tights proved ideal for lacing purposes, once we had cut it in half down its length. I left the toe seam and an inch or so uncut, so it did not need to be tied together.
Rosemary cuddled Minnow while I laced the tights leg through the slits in the cloth loosely, then we fed our victim into the ‘corset’, adjusted the leg holes and pulled the lacing to fit her securely. The ends tied into a rather fetching bow, and we should have felt satisfied, but we knew better than to assume this was dog-proof.
The ensemble was completed by wrapping some elastoplast tape right around her body a couple of times, making sure that it stuck to the lacings and some of her fur.
I am happy to report that this glamorous solution to our problem has stayed perfectly in place for almost twenty four hours, and apart from giving us reproachful looks, Minnow shows no signs of distress or discomfort, and has left her tummy alone completely. She is so much recovered that we have had to keep her on the lead today, to stop her doing herself harm by scaling the wall and leaping up and down the steep banks around the garden.
As I took her for a sedate stroll down the rambla this morning, I couldn’t help thinking that a cat would have scratched us to pieces and never forgiven us. Minnow, on the other hand, had submitted patiently to the indignity of it all, and was trotting along happily, eyes sparkling and friends with the world.
The dog of the blog, in case you are wondering, has watched all the different incarnations of Minnow’s wound wrapper with only mild interest. She has sniffed a couple of times around the area of the dressing, but has not teased or ridiculed Minnow at all. I have a feeling that Minnow would be prancing about, shouting insults and jeering, if the boot were on the other foot.
We also have our third egg today, but that is a different subject entirely.