Monday, September 8, 2008

Baxter vs. car

So, last night at around 10:30 PM Baxter was hit by a car in front of our house. I had let him out for his last potty break for the night and went to our back porch to call him in. As soon as I opened the back patio door I heard a sickening double thud from the steet and saw car lights slow and then leave. Even though I had not heard any whining or yelping, I just had this feeling that he had been hit. I woke Matt and he and I called Baxter relentlessly from the pack porch hoping that the sound and lights were just coincidental. After ten minutes there was still no sign of him. Matt retrieved his spotlight and made his way out to the street. Just then I had let Bailey out figuring that she would find him. She rounded the corner of the back of our house and headed directly for our covered patio despite me calling her back. I went back in the house and approached the glass door where I had let him out. I saw him leaning against the door with a pool of blood in front of him. He had made his way back to the door after being struck and was in very bad shape. I called for Matt and he ran for the back door. Baxter's breathing was labored and he was loosing quite a bit of blood from his nose and mouth. His head had several cuts and his front legs were cut up badly and road-rashed. Matt sat with him on the back porch trying to make him comforable while I made phone calls to our parents to ask for help in getting him to an emergency vet. We thought we were going to lose him on the porch. His eyes were closing, his breathing was getting worse and he looked as if he was fading. I just couldn't bring myself to see him like this. Matt sat with him and I talked with him through the door. If we were going to lose Bax I wanted my last memory of him to be from a half-hour before when he was curled up at the base of my chair acting as a foot rest for me. Matt's parents arrived as well as mine and the Dads helped to get Baxter in the back of the truck. Matt rode with Baxter in the truck bed on the way to the Emergency Vet in Stockton despite the cold night air and the trip on the freeway. The moms stayed with Bailey and I to console us.

The vets stabilized him, put in an IV, took X-rays, medicated him and gave us their initial report: He had no broken bones (amazing), tons of road rash and some pretty bad gashes, air in his chest from the blunt trauma of the impact, and a VERY messed up lip. He was basically split fang to fang inside his upper lip between his gums and nose. This accounted for the blood from his nose and mouth and partially for his difficulty breathing. They kept him overnight and watched for the air in his chest to improve. They wanted to make sure that there was no major tear in the lungs before they put him under anesthesia to repair his face and extremity wounds.

We spent a sleepless night worrying about our Baxter and Matt headed over to pick him up at around 7:00am this morning. He took him to our regular vet who ended up further observing him and then operated on him this afternoon to fix his mouth (which he said ended up being a lot more involved than he had expected) and to clean up all of his wounds and bandage them. We picked him up from our vet this evening at around 6:00pm. He looked really terrible: legs wrapped in bandages, shaved spots all over his body to allow access to his wounds, ears drooping, limping, and a terrible sound coming from his nose as he struggled to breath through it.

We brought him home tonight and he headed straight for his comfy bed to sleep. The pain meds had him pretty groggy (thank GOD). Bailey was very concerned that Baxter was in such bad shape. We were given instructions on how to feed him (soft/wattery foods only because of his mouth wound), antibiotic pills to give him, ointment to apply and general information on what to expect and what to look for. He will have his bandages changed at the vet tomorrow and will be laying low for quite a while to heal.

It is so hard seeing him this way, but through it all his tail has been wagging. Isn't that so Baxter? Nothing can stop that tail. He is one very lucky dog that apparantly has nine lives despite not being a cat...and thank goodness he is such a big dog! His eighty-two pounds at least gave him a chance when up against that car. The vets were amazed that he was doing so well. Matt will be taking him to the office with him to give him all of the attention he needs since my arms are kinda full during the days with the girls. We will try to keep things calm around him even though we are in a packing frenzy right now and move to our new house in a week and a half! Lorelei was told that Baxter was at the Doctor because he had "boo-boos". She greeted him with "You're Ok Baxie...Love you Baxie". Her buddy will hopefully be back and ready to play soon. We all hope so.

Give your beloved animals an extra hug and kiss tonight.

We'll keep you posted.