First, a week ago Tuesday (August 19), I had Balthazar Vasquez and his son/helper come to take a look at a couple of steel screen doors we have on the Mennonite house. Upper and lower on the same end of the house. We were talking about pulling the doors and frames out and them working on the doors to refine the fit and to replace heavy metal screening in the doors themselves. I wanted them to replace the welds holding the screen in place with screws so the screening would be relatively easy to paint/replace on down the road.
We started off looking at the upstairs (front) door. Actually, the first thing I did was to tie up the dogs to prevent any undue familiarity with them and workers. A security measure of sorts. That went fine at first. When it came time to inspect the lower door, which was where I had the girls tied up, I had to move them so that Balthazar could check out the door.
Not even giving it a thought, I disconnected their main chain (they each had a short length of chain to their collars, which in turn were joined to the main chain) planning on moving them all together to the parking palapa.
Big mistake on my part. The dogs, already excited because of Balthazar being there, and now I was trying to move them as a group. Well too much excitement led to a big fight with the three of them. Poor Cindy Lu, being the smallest took the brunt of it. It probably only lasted a few seconds. I managed to get them separated and secured.
Then I told Balthazar that we could start this project on Wednesday morning and eased them out of the property. During all that, Dianna had checked out Cindy Lu, She had sustained a couple pretty good bites but nothing real severe. I bundled her on her leash into the Isuzu and took her to Dr. Sheila, just to make sure.
After getting some pills for antibiotics and such, we returned home. As I was letting her out of the car, things went to hell in a hurry. I had thought in the half-hour Cindy Lu and I were gone, that the other two dogs would have calmed down and returned to normal. No. They immediately jumped on Cindy Lu and a really terrible fight ensued.
I was trying to get the dogs separated, pounding on Deeohgee and Secret, which did no good at all, and then tugging on Cindy Lu's collar, which slipped off her and sent me flying airborne, landing flat on my back across a concrete curb. As I landed, I heard a loud and distinct 'crack'.
My first thought was that I had broken my back. I managed to get up. It didn't feel too bad right then and I helped corral the two big dogs. Cindy Lu had gone over to the other side of the palapa and was lying down. Dianna went over to check her out.
At that point things began to get a little foggy for me. I began to realize that I was probably hurt more seriously than I initially thought.
Dianna said Cindy Lu was bleeding quite a lot if she moved her. I knew I was not going to be able to drive. We called David and Elizabeth and they came over quickly. Dianna and David carried Cindy lu to his car and they took Cindy Lu back to Dr. Sheila's. Sheila immediately began triaging Cindy Lu's wounds. She said we could probably pick her up at five PM.
After they got back from that trip, we (I think) were talking about if I needed to go to the doctor. I opted for the hospital to get an x-ray of my back, assuming that would be the first thing my doctor asked for. Just then, the phone rang. It was Dr. Sheila with the very bad news that poor Cindy Lu didn't make it. Sheila just could not stop the bleeding. Both her femoral artery and vein had been badly damaged in the fight.
|Our Beloved Cindy Lu in Happier Times|
David loaded me into their Isuzu and took me up to the hospital. Elizabeth stayed at our place with Dianna.
When we got to the hospital, I was amazed at how fast I actually got in to see a doctor. He asked a couple of questions and looked briefly at my back. I ended up getting an injection in the butt and a prescription for some pills. Altogether, I was in the hospital about 10 minutes. I had completely forgotten to ask for an x-ray and the doctor didn't mention it either.
So, back to the house. By this time, it's apparent to everyone (not necessarily me) that I can barely move. Immediately, we set up camp in the pool house, as climbing the stairs up to our Mennonite house would be almost an impossibility. And this is where we've been living ever since. Except for today, which is the first time I've been back upstairs so I could do this blog bit and some other things.
Early on, we made contact with Dr. Marc Nadreau, a Chiropractor who also is an acupuncturist. I met with him Wednesday, the day after my fall and I've had three or four sessions with him since. I think that's why I seem to be making quite substantial progress toward recovery.
Yesterday, I also visited with Doctors Natasha and Kishor Punjabi, who run the Five Rivers Medical Clinic just north of Courts. They put me on some pain killers and muscle relaxants. Great doctors and great people. Very easy to talk to, and very knowledgeable.
After four sessions with Dr. Marc, my back this afternoon is finally feeling almost normal. I certainly didn't think I would be feeling like this so soon after the fall.
We're thinking that maybe tomorrow we can begin moving back into the Mennonite house. Of course, if the tropical wave coming towards us develops into something, we may be back down to the pool house as our hurricane shelter. Maybe we'll be slow about moving out. Besides, I don't want to jeopardize my back and the progress that's been made with it.
Back to the dogs for a bit. On the one hand, it was a very bad scene with the fight, and with Cindy Lu dying. It would be easy to say, "That's it, they're gone and get rid of Secret and Deeohgee too". But, they're still lovable. There was no malice in what occurred. It's just one of those things that happens in the dog world. If I'd been more like Cesar and had stronger instincts about dog behavior, I would have probably moved them one at a time and maybe avoided the problem, or when we came back from the Vets, I wouldn't have brought Cindy out with them around. But, I didn't and it happened. We still love them and have them around us day and night - even more so, staying down at the pool house.
It's easy to think of relationships with dogs as being so simple, but at the same time, they seem to be some of the most complicated relationships we have to deal with. Some of the recent research seems to bear that out, with the findings of areas of our human brain responding directly to dog activities. I think we're a lot closer to them than we realize. At least with ours, there was never a thought that we would get rid of them - wring their necks, for sure, but not getting rid of them. they're a part of the family.
And I know, Cindy Lu would want it that way too.