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I freely admit that I’ve been more than usually bone idle recently, the cobwebs are multiplying as are the weeds, the to-read bookcase is slightly less full than normal and would be much less so if I hadn’t been indulging in replenishing it almost as fast as I’ve been reading, and, as all my disapproving daughters have pointed out, I haven’t been updating the blog.

And I do have excuses; my husband likes the cobwebs because he thinks there’s a direct ratio between them and lack of mosquitos, personally I think the bats do a better job but I never complain about not doing housework, it’s been too effing hot to work in the house or garden, youngest daughter is a green fascist, aka an engineer specialising in Protection of the environment and won’t let us use any form of weedkiller – you try hand-weeding in clay soil that has set like concrete and you may well decide, like we have, that the garden looks quite nice au naturel.  The heat, the swing seat and a pile of good books sapped most of my inclination to do any form of writing, and finally, but definitely not least, there was looking after the dog.

On May 20th Flynn cut his paw, we have no idea how, and it was deep enough to necessitate a visit to the emergency vet since it was a holiday and our vet wasn’t on duty.  The vet, who didn’t impress my OH one bit, literally stapled Flynn’s pad together (and hurt him a lot), bandaged it up and told us to change the bandages every two days and take him back to our own vet at the end of the next week to have the staples out.  When we changed the bandages we saw that he had two sore places on either side of his leg, possibly pressure sores and as they seemed to be getting worse took him to our vet.

To cut a long story short the sores ended up by going right down to his tendons and Flynn ended up in a veterinary hospital in Bordeaux for over two weeks.  We were warned that if he had the worst sort of flesh-eating bug he’d have to lose his leg but fortunately he had one of the lesser flesh-eating bugs, one that only responds to one antibiotic that has to be administered intravenously.  They also had to put him under a general anesthetic every two days so they could clean the wounds properly.

We got him back near the end of June, thin, sporting a large bandage, wearing a huge Elizabethan collar and not surprisingly very confused about what had happened to him.  We were told that under no circumstances must he be allowed to lick his paw or tear at the bandages, he was impressively fast at bandage destruction when he put his mind to it, the vet said his record in hospital was under two minutes after being returned to his cage.

First day out of hospital, the bandage disappears behind his plastic collar.

First day out of hospital, the bandage disappears behind his plastic collar.  The Gironde’s Bandage Ripping Champion made sure it didn’t stay that neat for long.

The first evening he was home we left him asleep in his basket while we watched television in the next room, we were practically still on the opening credits when a noise made me go and check him to see bits on bandage lying all over the floor.  He had to go on 24 hours a day watch which was surprisingly time-consuming.  If he wasn’t actually in the same room we had to get up every five minutes to see what he was doing, he had to wear a plastic bag on his foot to stop his bandage getting wet when he went out and he had to be accompanied because he disliked the bag even more than the bandage and would set about that too.  A simple task like going to collect the post involved finding someone to mind Flynn and distract him from the idea that he was missing out on a treat.  Otherwise the bandage got it.

He was always pretty good at working around the Elizabethan collar and when it got really hot we had to take it off as it was intolerable for him.  of course we then had to be extra vigilant.  We’d got tickets for the family to go to the ballet and to the Bataille de Castillon, but of course someone had to take the short straw and stay with Flynn.  It was worse than having a toddler; at least they’re allowed in supermarkets and the cinema.

Pop sock and matching patch

Pop sock and matching patch

It’s been a long haul but as they say in the advert he’s worth it.  He’s still got all his paws and he’s so much better.  The wounds have finally practically healed up, we’ve been able to stop taking him to the vet three times a week, the bandages are reduced to light gauze to keep it all clean with a pop sock over the top.  However as he proved on Sunday he’s still a dab hand (or paw) at bandage removal so the cry of ‘Flynn, come to where we can see you!’ continues.  Hopefully not for much longer.

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