Sometimes a Canine "Full Body Cuddle" is Just What the Dr. Ordered

As expected, the drive this morning was horrific. It snowed all night long and the clear part of the road was just two tire tracks. My van couldn’t even make it up the slight incline out of the parking lot of the lodge. Heidi has lived in BC for years now so driving in winter conditions is not her thing so along with all her Northern Dog experiences, she will also take home the blisters from white knuckling the drive. She continues to be a very good sport about it and an excellent team member!

So these are the little things that pop up… the vets needed chlorohex so Marlene called her friend in the neighbouring town and asked her to pick some up at the pharmacy yesterday. The plan was then that she would hang it on her door for me to pick up enroute this morning while the team took a time out and grabbed coffee and a muffin at a fast food joint in town. Chlorohex on the doorknob. Check. Team fed. Check. Still 2.5 hours from our destination. Check. At least the roads are improving.

We arrived half an hour late to the fire hall where we always have the clinic. The community contact was nowhere in sight and the two people who were there, while trying to helpful, didn’t know what we needed. To oversimplify, our base requirements (other than the building) are tables for surgery/intake, and oxygen.

Don’t forget, we’ve been coming to these communities for eight years so they know the drill. Thankfully, the vets were able to go ahead and set up the two surgery stations on the board room table as per years past. I kept trying the phone numbers I had to find my person and get the necessary goods delivered ASAP so we could start doing what we are here to do.

The Northern Dog "Boss" undergoing his neutering process.

Forty minutes later and still nothing, unless you consider Boss, a 10 month old, 170 pound English mastiff. His person dropped him off for his neuter so at least we had a mascot while we waited. Boss, like so many mastiffs, is a love sponge so he basked in the glory of hugs and pats and oooohs and aaaahs (you can’t help it when you see a dog the size, colour and even the shape of a lion) while we stood around waiting.

Lucky for us, help was on the way. About an hour after arriving, PJ showed up and things started happening. Oxygen, the priority requirement, was the first to arrive followed by the tables. PJ also had a box full of collars and tie outs, registration forms for the community’s dogs and a lunch menu. Enough standing around, let’s get down to business.

You can’t weigh someone as big and heavy as Boss -- it would be like weighing a marine mammal! But there is a maximum dose for sedating the dogs which means that anything over about 85 pounds, doesn’t need to be weighed. They just get the max dose. So he was sedated and before he dropped, Valerie came out from the back to walk him in for surgery because just like weighing him, carrying a fully sedated 170 pound being is a potential multiple hernia affair.

The author and "Boss" in a FBC "Full Body Cuddle".

Like the big Dane last year, Martine neutered him on the air mattress on the floor. And just like the babies that mastiffs are, Boss came out of surgery throwing his ginormous head around and crying so I did what any self respecting mastiff owner does – I gave him an FBC or full body cuddle just like I do to Toby at home. It worked like a charm. The mastiffs I know are tactile creatures and I could feel his whole body relax with the contact. Margaret came in for further FBC time and I have no doubt that Boss felt very loved when he left for home after lunch.

After Boss, six pound Hunter looked like Mini Me. Neuter, vaccinations, recover, go home. Jackson, a beautiful husky mix, Cold and Miller (you guessed it, house mate cats), Kao, Brush, Bidule and five others were on the table for surgery and home again before we were back in our hotel (which is an hour away) for dinner. Tomorrow is our last day here and our final day of clinics for this trip. Because of our slow start today, I just have a feeling that tomorrow is going to be a whopper.

--JH

Read Jan's previous Norther Dog Clinic post here.

Comments: 7

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

What a lovely blog, thanks for sharing Jan. I love the picture!

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

[...] To read Jan’s previous post on her team effort to help dogs in northern Canadian communities click here. [...]

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

Now I know how they invented the word ANGEL..... someone was watching you folk at work.

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

Never too big, nor too small for a snuggle :)

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

So glad to have found you folks....I'll do what I can to spread the word and help in whatever ways I am able.

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

fabulous stuff - you are wonderful :-)

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

Wonderful...I think you're all amazing!

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