|His stature reflected his pain level.|
|By the time we got to the vet |
he was clearly not himself
That night he cried out frequently and could not seem to get comfortable. After a very long, sleepless night, I called the vet and scheduled an appointment. Airies knew he was in for a visit to the vet because that is the only time he ever rides in the car. He looked torn between the pain in his shoulder and concern over the car ride.
The vet took one look at the wound and said, "I think he got shot. Lets get an X-ray and take a look."
Here is what the doc discovered:
|The X-ray revealed the bullet|
Can you believe it? I couldn't. Honestly, I was shocked. Yep, that is a 22 caliber bullet in his left shoulder. Thankfully the bullet did not hit bone. Thinking back over the morning, I didn't recall hearing any gunshots, however I live out in the country on a large tract of land. With a .22 I may not have heard it. but there are a couple of ways my dog could have met with the business end of a gun.
First, he could have been on someone else's property. Out here a strange dog on your property normally means your chickens or other livestock may be at risk. It is not uncommon for folks to shoot an animal threatening their livestock.
Second, it is hunting season here in Oklahoma. Because the bullet did not go further than through muscle tissue, it is possible it was a stray bullet. That thought is not very comforting either.
Finally, someone could just have been being mean and have shot him on purpose. I am certainly hoping this is not what really happened.
|Recovering at home|
The vet said because the bullet is in soft tissue and did not damage any of the bone, the bullet will remain a souvenir of the time my dog got very lucky and dodged a bullet, so to speak. (Sorry, I could not resist.)
Three days of pain pills and a week of antibiotics combined with rest and Airies will be good as new. However, I have greatly curbed his freedom and now am securing him on a zip line when he is outside until I can afford to build him a dog run. Unless I can be sure he remains on the confines of my four acres, Airies will have to get used to the 70 feet of zipline he is allotted.
Airies has been spending a lot of time relaxing indoors as he heals. He even seems mildly irritated when I put hims on a leash to go outside. However, a good farm dog is invaluable and I don't want to see him come to harm. I consider my farm dog a member of my family.
Lesson learned ... the hard way.