I love my dog. He is lovely and cuddly. He makes weird snorting sounds and snores so loudly I can hear him with the door closed and on a separate floor of my home. He’s pretty awesome. But he is not smart.
My dog is nine years old. When he came to live with us as a puppy, we already had our two kitties (they are fourteen and litter mates). At the time, the dog weighed less than 2 lbs and each cat weighed around 17 lbs. He didn’t seem to think this should be of any consequence. Now all three are approximately the same size, but the dog’s muscular build (he’s a Boston) means he is about 23 lbs – slightly heavier than an individual cat.
Our cats have very different personalities. One tolerates and even seems to enjoy the company of the dog at times. The other employs the “I’m gonna go psycho crazy if you come near me” tactic (this is reserved for the dog – people never get psycho-kitty treatment). There is growling, howling, hissing, and if that fails, there are claws. The dog never learns his lesson.
This past week, while my husband was off on a business trip to Canada (and good and late at night – just as I was going to bed, to boot), the dog engaged the cat over who knows what. I believe it may have been that the cat was sitting on the sofa and the dog also wanted to be there. And of course the cat thought that the *entire* sofa belonged to him due to the fact that he was already on it and he is a cat and the dog did not deserve to even look at the sofa because he is a dog and, of course, the dog did not understand this point of view. Nor did he understand the subsequent low growl-turned-howl-at-the-end the cat emitted. Nor the hissing. At this point I knew trouble was coming, but the cat was doing his “I’m psycho” routine already, with claws out, literally.
As usual, the dog got smacked down, taking claws to the face. He usually has a bloodied cheek or something after such an encounter. But unfortunately, this time one of the cat’s claws managed to sink into eyeball.
Yes, you read right. EyeBALL. Ugh!
I saw blood in the white of his eye – it was clear where it was bleeding from – a really dark red puncture in the white of his left eye. Poor dog. Oddly, he didn’t seem all that bothered. No whimpering or crying (he’s hard as nails, my dog is!). This was a good thing because I was fairly freaked out and his being calm helped me stay calm(er). I consulted two vets and both assured me I needed to bring him in right away and not wait until morning because of the risk of infection.
I really, really didn’t want to wake the kids up at 11:45pm for a ride to the vet. And so I went out my front door to see if any neighbors had lights on. One unlucky neighbor did, and so she got a knock on the door. She is so awesome and generous and she immediately came over so I could take the dog to the emergency vet.
My lovely, life-saver of a neighbor got to go home at about 1:30am, which is when I returned from the vet, dog in tow. He was lucky – no corneal involvement – so all he got was a bunch of antibiotics to stave off infection. Eye drops 4 times a day and pills twice a day.
Dog seems happy enough and his eye seems to be healing well – we take him back in for a check up this week. But, he will not leave the cats alone. Hence, I’ve been on referee duty each day, breaking up inter-species tensions before things get out of hand. He has to be really thick if a claw in the eyeball doesn’t send the message home, right?! He’s such a lovely doggy, though, I think he just can’t help wanting to be close to the cat, even if the cat hates him. In some ways, I’m kind of surprised he hasn’t gotten hurt in the past given his proclivity for cat-scuffles and his bug-eyed physicality. I’m so glad he gets to keep his eyes and that he’s OK – I’ll happily maintain my referee duties indefinitely.