Having a service dog is very different from having a pet.
If Trotz were a pet, likely, we would not have gone in to the Vet’s office today, maybe. There are plenty of topical treatments and home remedies that we may have tried before loading him up and heading the 21 miles into see the Doc.
But, Trotz is a service dog. This means he must be well-groomed, healthy in fact and appearance. No dandruff, missing hair, dirty ears, messy feet. Absolutely no signs of skin issues.
Is that the law? Nope.
It is common courtesy. Many people do not like animals strolling about where they buy their groceries or eat a meal.
I figure if I can expect people to keep their children’s’ hands out of the salad bar, they can expect me to keep my dog clean and healthy.
Anyway, back to Trotz.
I touch him often. There isn’t much that goes on with him that I’m not aware of. If he is slightly queasy, I know pretty much right away. If he has a slight limp, bump, or bite, I know about it. He is brushed out twice a day, and I stroke his fur constantly throughout the day, not a whole lot gets by me when it comes to Trotz.
So, there we were yesterday morning, getting ready to get some work done when I noticed Trotz snapping at his rear end.
Actually, the back of his back leg.
Being a bit distracted, I reached over to brush whatever was irritating him away. His fur was a bit damp from his biting, so I wiped it off real quick and spritzed some itch relief on it. Didn’t think much of it. We do live in the woods after all, so getting itchy bites isn’t anything new.
I ate lunch while playing on the computer, then put my plate aside to pet Trotz and plan out the afternoon. My hand landed on a wet spot, a big wet spot. A closer look revealed a large circle the size of the palm of my hand, hair stuck down in a goopy slime.
A bit alarmed, I took him into the bathroom and gently cleaned the drying yuck away from the area.
The area was raised up about 1/4 inch, was irritated red, and oozing. While the cleaning made Trotz whine, the rest of him wasn’t in pain. I think my touching it just made it really itch more than hurt him.
I clipped the hair away so I could see it better. Then I called and made an appointment with the Vet for the next morning. This is a bit above my pay grade and, well, Trotz is a service dog. He can’t go around looking like this!
While on the phone, I look over at Trotz. He is glaring at me indignantly.
I can’t blame him. I did a hatchet job on the hair. A big rounded lump is peeking through the surrounding hair, looking much like a bare butt cheek poking out the back of a pair of chaps on a male stripper.
Sir is not amused.
I smother a laugh and give him a bit of hotdog to make him feel better about life. The best part about dogs is how the simple things can make life great again.
The rest of the day and through the night was mostly all about keeping him from messing with it, keeping it rinsed well.
This morning, it was no longer as red but still pretty slimy.
This isn’t going to work for us, so we load up and head to Gilmer Animal Clinic. Trotz is learning to make friends, but is still not a big fan. The baggie of hotdog bits in my pocket mellows him right out and he shows off a bit. I’m sure there was a bit of flirting going on with the ladies, but it all came to a screeching halt when Doc Ball came in the room.
Trotz lost all sense of humor real quick, but a wave of a hotdog bit brought him around, helping him ignore the Doc.
One quick look and Doc says, “It’s a hotspot”.
Well, ok. It’s not exactly hot outside Doc and he has never had one before. I didn’t say that out loud, I just raised my eyebrows. Doc is good about not having to hear every dang thing said out loud and went on to explain what happened.
Trotz likely got bit or stung by something that hurt and made him itch. The small allergic reaction to whatever got him, prompted him to bite at it, causing the swelling and oozing.
“Sooo, I didn’t actually need to shave him?” I asked, maybe smirking a bit.
“Well, it didn’t hurt anything”, came the diplomatic response.
Trotz glared at me.
A little cream, a shot, a bottle of antibiotics, and $100 later, we are out the door and on the way home.
Once home, I open the sliding door on the Trotzmobile and let him out.
Instead of launching himself out of the van and up the steps, smacking open the door to announce our homecoming, he slowly stalked up to the door. He paused, looked back at his bare butt, then at me.
Sigh, he is going to pout.
“Ah come on! It doesn’t look that bad!”
Trotz huffs in disgust, then turns his head to the door, waiting for me to act as his valet, to open his doors and give him treats.
Ok, that’s fair.