All Cattle Dog owners know just how fast and wild our four footed family members can be.
Zara, daughter to Lila and granddaughter to Bella has instigated a new game which starts when I walk towards any of the three doors that open onto our “stoep”. With the usual loud yipping and almost yodeling screams, all tumble out and take off at speed. Jumping the steps onto a soft landing of green grass, then bounding up onto a raised, rocky path and racing flat out, as if their lives depend on getting to the finish line on “the dog’s lawn” !
This is not without serious risk, like horse racing, they will bump each other to get ahead! I am sure this is what happened to Zara on Christmas day 2018 when getting up from the lunch table, I unintentionally triggered a race by asking: “do you want to swim?”
As they tore along the waterfall path I heard a piercing scream and found Zara alongside a rock. Bella, alpha in my pack, is extremely competive, easily equal to horse racing jockeys, with similar tactics used by them!
I am sure she had bumped Zara to get ahead. I had to carry Zara back to our stoep and my daughter who is a vet confirmed “torn cruciate ligament” !
Luckily I raise my pups with an early Learning Program and all my dogs feel about their crates as dogs do about a den. It is their safe place and with the help of anti-inflamatories, until our vet practise was open on 27 December, that is where she stayed. Short walks on lead allowed for her usual needs.
This then is the setting for our latest incident, but it seems the tables have turned, Bella was on the receiving end and on Saturday night I found a wound while scratching her. I cleaned it with mild antiseptic, again on Sunday morning and evening, but on Monday morning I realised antibiotics would be needed.
On investigation by our vet Dr. Frans, we discovered that something had stabbed further under her skin forming a tunnel of damage. Bella appears to have impaled herself, on a low, sharp, anybodies guess as to what exactly. Probably a sharp, low branch?
I have had to use one of Noel’s tee shirts to prevent her helpers, Thandi, Lila and Zara from licking the wound, which Bella herself, fortunately can’t reach !