Brooke here. In fact…*adjusts crocheted cardigan* kindly avauntular Brooke here, to give you a little bit of advice about caring for your new adopted dog.
Yup, there’s a new dog around here. In keeping with our usual canine naming practices, her name is Taiyō, or Tai for short.
She’s a collie/lab mix (we think), and is an absolute darling woogums. I found her by accident: there was a dog that met all the criteria for a new buddy for Shima, and I drove out to look at him. He was a disaster. But this little girl was in the cage next door, and she said, very politely, “I will be a wonderful dog and I will keep Shima from boredom and you won’t have to worry about him committing crimes for funsies.”
Shima and this little girl bonded quickly. They zoomed. They played. They played hard. They ran and ran and ran, and had marathon sessions of Eat-Your-Face, and ran some more, and the two of them have been happy. Shima is thrilled.
This has all happened since Saturday, May 11th. Remember the date: it’s important. Last night, the two of them were playing, but Shima kept stopping to lick the little girl’s stomach. He’d hold her down and clean her, and then they’d resume playing. I kept taking her out to pee, as she’s a puppy and thus a portable urine sprinkler system, but she was empty, so… I checked her over, and found an opening on her stomach that wasn’t bleeding, but looked a little raw. The area beneath it was also hard to the touch.
Okay. Well, then. Time for the emergency vet. Let me grab her paperwork and try to see if it says when she was spayed…
She was spayed on May 8th!
I took her to the same vet where Zu had his cancer care, so they greeted me by name and were glad to meet the little girl. Tai was rushed to the back and got a full checkup, including a few new surgical staples to hold her incision together. She’s now on sedatives, antibiotics, and bedrest, as she should have been all along.
And I am furious.
I’m mad at myself for not reading the paperwork, but I’m furious at the shelter for not communicating to me that this puppy had just undergone surgery. She was in a cage like all of the other adoptable dogs. No Cone of Shame. Nothing to show she was still healing. And I received no antibiotics or post-op instructions. At the very least, I should have been told that she needed to have restricted movement for the next two weeks.
The vets say this happens fairly regularly. The shelter where I picked her up (and will not be naming, thank you) was small and had one person working for ten potential adopters. They love their animals. This was miscommunication, not malice.
But Tai could have died.
So if this does happen fairly regularly, then learn from our mistakes. Always spay and neuter your pets…and recognize that follow-up care might be needed.