All the sheep on the place are still being held adjacent to the yard on account of some cold weather after shearing. We’ll send them out to pasture tomorrow, meanwhile we have been feeding hay to them here.
Yesterday morning I drove through the main gate, parked adjacent to the first paddock and hopped off the tractor, lifting four of the seven bowls of dog food from their holding place. Usually four white dogs meet me here. This morning only Tex, Wren and Birdie, the new pup, came up for breakfast. I fed them and climbed back on the tractor to head over and feed the main flock. I’d come back to this paddock afterward and feed Zeus who seldom approached when the other dogs were around and whom I was sure was sound asleep on the far, south side of the hill. Lily was the missing white dog but maybe she was in the next paddock this morning.
Oakley and Whiskey approached while I fed hay. They were looking for breakfast but still no sign of Lily yet. Hay feeding finished I returned to the starting paddock and left the tractor. I headed over on foot to check where Zeus was. As I crested the hill he raised his front end and took a long and deep stretch, looking to be in no rush to rise from his slumber. I dropped a dish near him and saw that Lily was further down, resting in the piled hay. Lily always investigates our approach even if she doesn’t want our affections. I made my way to her, wondering what was up. Still she did not rise.
When injuries occur to guardian dogs one is often making best guesses as to what the hell happened. Most often you didn’t see a thing; you go out to check your dogs and discover one is injured. That’s as much as you know. A quick investigation of Lily showed that one hind leg was badly injured.
It only took a moment to conclude that we needed the help of a veterinarian and as it turned out that’s where we spent the rest of the day. Lily tangled with something that ripped a significant mass of muscle, two layers deep, from the back side of her hind leg. As a result from the rip, the remaining muscle is pulled apart from the skin all the way from the top of her leg to her toes. Nerves behind the muscle are exposed but not torn, however they aren’t responding either. She may or may not regain full use of her leg. The major vein in her leg was not touched. It is too risky to close the wound at this stage. It’s packed with gel and gauze which is held in place with shoe laces and stitch loops (picture a ladies corset). Our best summation is that Lily met up with a beaver which we’re seeing more of this year.
So Lily is definitely off duty for awhile, although each time she gets outside the house she leans toward the pasture where she thinks she should be. She doesn’t have much energy at this point but if I drop the lead she begins a slow three legged hop to the gate.