Over and out

I know many of you are waiting on bated breath for an update on the rabid dog situation. I have to say, it’s always so exciting to me to see how many of you are reading my blog and engaged in the fun and exciting stories on the farm! Thank you for coming along on the adventures with us. It means a lot to me!

Well, here’s the what’s what on Scout…

After my last blog entry, literally moments after, Scout became pretty aggressive towards me. As I described, he had been pretty harmlessly laying on the floor while I was writing, but shortly there after, he started to really dislike it when I moved at all. Actually, he started to even snarl at me if I so much as shifted my weight. So that was making me incredibly uncomfortable, especially since Thomas wasn’t home at the time. I stood up and moved away from him, to which he sat up and got very leery of me. There was a brief exchange back and forth where I tried to speak lovingly to him, and he basically told me to go ‘F’ off.

But then, about 15 minutes later, he got up to get some water and came right over to me to get some attention and affection. I mean, what is that about? This dog was giving me whip lash! So while he was standing, I was able to coax him out the front door, and although it made me very sad to do it because it was a pretty cold night, I made him sleep outside. I set up a bed for him on the back porch and put water out, and that’s exactly where I found him the next morning- day 10.

Day 10 was touch and go all day long. He got up only to go out and pee and get a drink of water. Otherwise he moaned, and laid on his side. We took him to the vet that morning, where they were having their annual Rabies Clinic all weekend- no joke- and although we didn’t get him out of the car, the vet techs felt pretty confident that if he did have rabies, he would be long dead by this point. They even called the vet, who wasn’t in the office, to see what he thought. Without examining the animal, he was still willing to say confidently that he did not think Scout had rabies. He figured we were home free. But he understood that Thomas was still inclined to put him down and get the head tested- just to be extra sure. You have to realize, this dog was sick as a… well… sick as a dog. At one point during dinner that evening I had to go check to see if he had actually died. He hadn’t blinked for like 20 minutes and he was hardly breathing. Don’t worry, he hadn’t died.

So we made it all the way to the end of Day 10 without further incident. And although we were still just so nervous about his rapid decline, we were breathing a little easier. But here’s the weirdest thing…

Easter morning, Scout came trotting into our bedroom with the other dogs to say good morning! He was absolutely, 100% back to normal. Not even a dang limp! The very first thing I thought was, ‘He is risen!” But seriously, he was completely back from the dead- as much energy as he always had before the incident.

It was an Easter miracle, and a wonderful real life example to help the kids to really start to wrap their heads around what happened to Jesus on Easter. All these teaching moments on the farm, I tell you what!

As Easter went on, Scout only demonstrated more and more that he had made a full recovery from whatever illness or aliment he was suffering. It’s ironic that Easter fell on April 1st this year, because it was absolutely the best April Fool’s joke I’ve ever had played on me.

We had an appointment to put him down this morning- day 12- but we postponed it. Not because we plan to keep him- as much as I’d love to, I just can’t get the images out of my head of if Thomas’ mangled hand had been my 2 year olds face- but because we wanted to give the Golden Rescue one last chance to rescue him. We had been contacted by a lady immediately after the bite who said she would take him after a 10 day quarantine. That was actually our first suspicion that we should even be thinking that he might have rabies. Well, sure, I guess he could have rabies, right? But once Scout started to decline so dramatically, we basically told her that it wasn’t going to be necessary for her to come and get the dog. We had made plans to put him down as soon as it was safe, mainly because we were planning to test the head. But because he had survived, and then recovered, we figured we would give her the chance to come get him. Unfortunately, she agreed that it was probably best for the dog to be put down. He sounded to her like he had some serious health issues and that he likely wasn’t long for the world anyway. And given the entire episode as a whole, it’s probably not a behavioral thing that she could correct in him, but more likely the way he acts when he is in a lot of pain. He will be in a lot of pain again. And he will probably respond similarly.

Tomorrow, despite my heartbreak, we’ll be saying goodbye to Scout.

My 6 year old is so sad, but even she can’t help us to rationalize how we would be able to keep him. It’s just not safe with little kids, and with farm visitors like we frequently have. She, like me, understands. But it’s still just such a hard thing.

This will only be the second dog I’ve had to put down, and although (thankfully) I’ve only had Scout a few short months, it doesn’t take long to fall in love with a sweet dog. And it definitely doesn’t make putting an animal down any easier. I’ve never had to put a seemingly ‘healthy’ dog down, but even the vet said it’s what he would do. Scout is probably 11 or 12 years old, and he’s had a wonderful life. We’re grateful to have been a part of making this last bit extra special.

Cay and Tom have come up with a perfect place for him to be buried on the property, and Cay wants to sprinkler the ‘grass’ from her easter basket on him in remembrance. She also wants to plant flowers all around him and maybe even a tree. I think that’s a perfect way to celebrate this sweet animal.

So it’s good news and bad news that I have to report tonight, Readers. Good news is no rabies. Bad news is no Scout.

Thank you for the prayers, comments, messages and love. I’ve never had a rabies scare before, but I’m now an absolute expert on the disease if anyone ever has any questions! And again, I’m grateful for the perspective this gives me. When you’re faced with the certain death of your husband via an unlikely thing like rabies, you realize that maybe the toothbrush on the counter every morning isn’t the worst thing…


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