Monday, July 12, 2010


We have a dog. A lovely mostly black (with a bit of grey and white) longhaired miniature dachshund. We got him our first Christmas in Manitoba, so his age and our life in Steinbach have run together. Thirteen years old now. He and I fit together. We tend to be feisty at the same time, and creaky at the same time. I watch him stumble along some days and know that our old bones are moving on similar trajectories.

Last night he and I had a contretemps. We had friends over for a cookout, which included grilling corn on the cob in memory of African days. While we were eating our hamburgers Lois realized that he had gotten one of the corn cobs we had laid aside.

Now in the picture above and below, Fritzie is a delightful cute and cuddly dog. But with the corn cob in his mouth he was the mighty hunter with his prey. We would have let him chew his fill, but past experience suggested that he would then be sick. Worse, if he choked on a bit of corn cob, I might have to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre on a dachshund! Not a happy thought.

I broke off a piece of nearby hamburger and went over to him. Fritzie ran. He is normally convinced that I am up to no good, and he is sometimes right. So he ran. He would have run from anyone and anything to protect his hold on the cob. I ran after him trying to get the hamburger in front of his nose. Drop the cob, eat the hamburger, and let me take the corn cob to safety. No such luck.

Finally I grabbed his collar and held him still, twisting the collar to get him to release the cob. With a yelp he let go of the cob, turned his head and caught my wrist with his teeth. Nothing deep or serious, just a scraping of the teeth across my wrist, but the blood flowed freely. I grabbed the cob, threw it on the table outside where we were eating, and ran for the bathroom.

I let cold water run over my forearm, and then applied rubbing alcohol to kill any bacteria. After about 15 minutes we decided that I would go to Emergency (with as low a level of emergency as one can think of) to make sure that the wound was cleaned and properly dressed -- and to get a tetanus shot. Three hours waiting for five minutes of medical care; but the ER personnel were gracious, and didn't laugh at me (at least not out loud). And I got my shot and my dressing, and finally also got my dessert back at the house.

Our guests spent half of that time waiting with me, which was a shame with the lovely weather we had yesterday. But I appreciated it; much better than waiting alone. Now Fritzie is lying at my feet as though we're best friends. Which we are. But i wish he wouldn't hunt so aggressively when there are defenseless corn cobs lying around.

1 comment:

Denise said...

Awwe...sweet puppy! How can this story be true with such a sweet little guy? (Hee Hee) I remember how our Heidi was when "guarding" something sacred to her. Those teeth are sharp and quick! You've been in Manitoba 13 years already? Where does the time go?