Seamus is hurting. It happened when I took the rowboat out of the water to keep it from getting filled with water since no one would be around for a couple of weeks to bail it out. As I untied the stern, Seamus jumped in, thinking we were going for a ride, something he likes to do. When I untied the bow and stayed on the dock, he tried to jump back onto the dock but came up short as the boat drifted away from the dock with me holding the bowline.
The thing to know about Seamus is that he doesn’t really like to be in water, at least not over his armpits. So when he fell back into the water he tried to jump back up, but it was too deep for him to push off with his hind legs. He tried several times, despite my attempt to get him to swim to shore; something he could do easily. On the last attempt to jump onto the dock, he fell backwards and under the dock twisting to get back upright.
He let out the most sickening, ear piercing scream I’ve heard since one of the kids fell and hit her head on the baseboard of the dining room after tripping over Jake, our yellow Lab.
Finally, regaining his position, he swam to shore and climbed over the rocks onto the bank and I saw the limited movement of his hind legs as he hobbled up to the cabin. He was hurt and scared, and so was I. He didn’t stop or even turn around until “She Who Must Be Obeyed” let him into the cabin.
Without saying a word, I could feel the daggers she was throwing with her eyes, accusing me of doing something to Seamus. I explained what had happened as I checked him for swelling of muscles on his legs and hips, then felt along his spine for any bulges. Nothing.
Finishing what needed to be done, we loaded the car and headed home with Seamus in his usual spot, stretched out behind me. He didn’t whimper or cry, he just laid there, changing positions occasionally.
At home, he passed by his food dish, ignoring supper, and looked uncomfortable as he tried to find a position that didn’t hurt. The night went the same way …with me lying next to him on the floor until he had enough of me and moved to another room.
It was a long night as every time I heard him stir, I’d check on him, only to get a look that said, “I hope you’re satisfied.”
By morning, he mellowed and laid on the floor next to my bed. (Usually he be on the bed, but couldn’t jump up.)
He was still careful in how he moved, sat or laid until he smelled the bacon frying on the stove. Though slowly, his tail wagged and he was sitting in front of me waiting for his share.
He was better than he was the night before and even scratched himself with his hind leg. Another good sign.
All this brought back memories of a couple of years ago when he got some foreign object in his throat and had to be operated on to get the swelling down. I felt as helpless then as I do now.
He’s improving, I know he is because he’s already getting under foot. He just doesn’t get out from under as quickly as he did a couple of days ago, but is getting there.
Seamus is my bird dog, hunting partner, confidant, and constant companion …he’s my friend. We’ll both get through this.