If you follow this blog at all, you've probably noticed that I went from providing at least pretty regular content to dropping off the face of the Earth back at the end of September. There was a pretty big reason for it - mainly that I wasn't able to really use my dominant hand for about a month and a half.
My About page shares information on my family and you can see photos of my rescue pups at the bottom of the page. A little over a year ago (after being properly introduced each time I added an animal to the pack and after a year of living together peacefully) my pack started having aggression issues. My middle boy Loki started showing signs of epilepsy, which is common in Boxers and Boxer-mixes and usually starts to show up around age 2-3, so he was "right on time." However, his seizures changed his persona towards the other dogs. My once super sweet, ran from everything pup, now wants to battle his brothers, especially if he's close to having a seizure. One of my other dogs can sense them coming on and he gets pesky trying to sniff Loki and see what's wrong with him, which caused Loki to start lashing out. After the first fight the entire pack order in the house was shaken. All three of my males (all fixed) began posing and fronting with each other and outside triggers like the mailman ringing the doorbell or the little boy next door yelling around the fence, or a cat crossing the street became aggravations that led all three of my males to transfer their aggression to each other.
We consulted a doggie therapist, put them all on the doggie version of Prozac to help with anxiety and started rotation, pairing dogs that hadn't fought together and keeping those pairs separate, especially when we weren't home. Unfortunately, those measures weren't enough. The outside triggers were big enough deals for them, that my two males who had never fought each other (they had each battled Loki on separate occasions) got into a knock-down, drag-out battle that I almost couldn't separate after the mailman rang the doorbell to let me know I had a package and spoke to me through the window screen. I did manage to finally separate the dogs, but at a pretty big expense to my personal self. I will share a few photos below, WARNING none are overly graphic, but at least one isn't pretty. I did not photograph the wounds before treatment, so there isn't anything with lots of blood, but you'll be able to see the day after surgery.
I was bitten twice, once by each dog in the fight. Willis, my youngest bit my left arm, right below the shoulder. Luckily since I'm a fluffy girl those puncture wounds ended up being not too bad. The majority of the damage was from crushed fat that the surgeon had to remove before stitching the punctures, so I'll always have an odd "dip" in my arm where that was removed. After a few days with the drainage tube that arm has returned to full function, it just has some minor scarring that will fade.
The big wound came from Pan, my oldest dog. To be completely honest, I am extremely lucky that he lost one of his 2" long canine teeth several months before this in his battle with Loki, or there is a pretty good chance that I still wouldn't be typing this post today... GRAPHIC IMAGE BELOW
Pan's right canine entered the back of my right hand and created a puncture wound about an inch and a half around. When he bit down his bottom teeth cut through the bottom and side of my ring finger and the pressure of the bite completely crushed my ring finger. The surgeon had to rebuild the finger, including joints, and insert two 5" long pins through the puncture wound and down into the finger to try and stabilize it.
I've come a long way since this photo, however, I did not have insurance when the accident happened and I was not eligible for a grant for physical therapy, so I've only been able to go three times and that was mainly to get splits and a few exercise recommendations.
I still don't have full mobility in my hand. The ring finger barely bends at the second knuckle, where the most damage was, on it's own. I have a device that forces it to bend I wear daily and I try to make my hands do everything they used to, in order to recondition it, but it's a slow process.
I've included a little video just showing my mobility today. I also must credit my amazing chiropractor Dr. Mcintosh at Kansas City Chiropractic for where I am today. She's been incredibly helpful and introduced me to laser therapy, which eased a lot of the pain, drastically reduced the visual appearance of the scar and softened the scar tissue, which allowed me to break it down enough to be able to move my ring finger up and down and almost be able to place my hand flat again.
We made the hard decision to put Pan down because he had now fought with every other dog in our home and had started showing additional signs of aggression, like growling if we didn't place his food bowl down fast enough, beyond the incident with my hand.
It was a rough end to 2015 and has probably changed my life forever, but it's only part of the story for where I've been and I'll be sharing the not so sad reason I haven't been blogging as much in the next post!