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Traumas of a chocolate labrador

Jasper, our chocolate labrador is 6 years old and has been ‘needy’ since he came to live with us. We love him dearly and wouldn’t have him any other way, he’s a character.  Unfortunately that ‘character’ seems to be a large furry human child – seriously, I’m sure he thinks he’s human.

On Monday night he was out for a walk with my husband and Sidney, our 3 year old black labrador who is a proper labrador and doesn’t think he’s a small furry human child.  Anyway, Pete went off to get Sidney who was mooching around the stables, thinking that Jasper was still where he’d left him by the railway bridge.  He’d only left him for a couple of minutes but Jasper wasn’t there, Pete called him and saw Jasper walking towards back across the field with his tail between his legs.

Now Jasper is notorious for eating anything so he assumed this was the case.  When he got back to the house and into the light he realised that Jasper was missing a strip of skin and fur around 5 x 1 inches so he yelled for me as soon as he opened the door.

Jasper was looking very sorry for himself but it wasn’t until I brought him indoors that I realised that across the top of the missing skin was a gash around a foot long, all the way across his back.  There is a photo below, don’t look if you’re squeamish, it’s not nice. That was it….Pete picks him up, puts in the car with 17 year old big girl, I call the vets and basically tell the call centre that they are on the way to Thame vet hospital and to

“get a vet out there now to meet us, this is serious, he needs a lot of stitches”, giving short shrift to the response of

“I have to go through my checklist and see if a vet is required and then call the on call vet who will then call you back to see if they need to come out, if that is the case then they can determine which hospital to meet you at”, I’m not playing!  Response went back..

“No you don’t, you just call the vet and tell them to meet us at Thame, that is the only vet hospital, we are going, do you understand, there is no debate about whether he needs a vet, he does and he needs one NOW?”

“OK, Yes” – sorted

So, Jasper now has a lot of stitches in his back, very little fur on his back, drains in, a cone of shame round his neck and is acting just like any toddler that isn’t feeling well….he wants his Mum.

He came home yesterday morning and can’t be left alone for 2 weeks so Pete and I are juggling with work, meetings, Mum taxi etc.  This morning Pete has meetings so I asked our neighbour Richard to pop in and babysit Jasper while I took Sid up to the woods.

It was heartbreaking, do you remember the first time you left your baby (probably more relevant to women here) to go back to work, or even just to go to the shops?  You walk out the door and your child starts howling like they’re being tortured.  Yes?  Well that was this morning, Jasper saw me putting Sidney in the car and started crying, howling, wimpering, so much so that I couldn’t bear it and had to go back indoors, gave him a treat and had Richard ‘shoo’ me out telling me that he’ll be fine, just go to the woods.

I sobbed pathetically in the car up to the woods waiting for a phone call from Richard to say that Jasper was beside himself, no phone call came.  You remember don’t you?  As soon as you’re out of sight they forget and start having a lovely time with the nanny, nursery teacher, child minder, it’s all about control.  As soon as I left Jasper was fine and fell asleep by Richard’s feet until I walked in the door and the wimpering started again.  Just like a small child!

I’ve just build a ramp out of cushions so Jasper can get up on the ‘dog’ sofa behind me in the study.  Yes we have a ‘dog’ sofa and yes we went into DFS saying we wanted to buy a ‘dog’ sofa, they didn’t bat an eyelid, obviously they get all kinds in there.

We’re still not sure how he did it, the farmer thinks he may have disturbed a badger and it swiped him, it looks like barbed wire but we’re not aware of any around the field, stables or dressage ring at the back of us unless he got up on the railway slip road and there is something up there, wish he could tell us.

He’s doing all right, just needs lots of cuddles and wants to know where I am at all times.  I’m now hoping he’s asleep so I can nip into the shower…….just like a baby, well he is.

Jasper's accident