Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Soldier and Samson & The Vet Visit

Thank you so much for your concern about Soldier (and the vet). They are both OK. I have no idea what happened in Soldier's earlier life that made him hate men so much. Whatever it was, he has most definitely not forgotten.

Soldier, now.

A brief recap of Soldier's story and what happened between him and Samson: In 2007, my husband adopted, or I would call it rescued Soldier, from a woman who was going to turn him in to the pound the following day because she was moving to Florida. 

Soldier had spent the first seven years of his life tied to a doghouse and hated men with a vengeance, but when my husband approached and knelt by him, Soldier put his front paws on my husband's shoulders and fell in love.

In 2008, Soldier came to live with me and the other dogs up here in the canyon. Hubby still had his business and lived/worked in Los Angeles. In 2009, my husband adopted Samson, a Samoyed puppy, from a relative. He came to live with me sometime in 2010. He was an adorable puppy. Soldier proved to be very patient and caring with young Samson and they got along very well. 

As Samson began to mature, my husband, much to my dismay, upset, and anger refused to have him neutered. Then nature took its course. Samson began to have fits of rage around Soldier. 

Sorry, mommy.

At this time, Samson also liked to dig holes all around the dog yard. And it was into such a hole Samson flipped Soldier one day. Soldier was on his back in the hole and couldn't get up. His back and hips were severely injured. 

It was so bad we considered euthanasia, but with the help of our vet, medications, a harness sent by blogger friends Terry and David at Moondance Ranch, he began to recover. After six weeks of restricted activities, many medications, and most of all, Soldier's strong will to live, he was going for his beloved walks once again.

The harness we used to get him up.

That, his last vet visit, took place on November 4, 2011. My mom died on November 4, 1986, and I don't think I could have taken it if the vet had told us there was no hope. Not on that date.

Who me?

A few months later, when Samson got so ill with pancreatitis, it was also determined that he had an enlarged prostate and needed to be neutered. Hubby couldn't say a thing and I was much relieved. 

Now to Monday's vet visit: After walking with his beloved daddy for several days with the muzzle on, Soldier has no problems with the muzzle. Since Soldier loves women about as much as he hates men, I tell the staff that they have to send a woman vet tech out to bring him in. This they do. She takes him in and weighs him. No problems -- 68 pounds, a good weight for him.  

Then we go in the room. The nice vet comes in, kneels down, and begins to pet Soldier, talking to him nicely. Soldier is taking this for about 30 seconds, then he lets out a tremendous growl and goes after the doctor. Twisting his body on the slippery floor. My husband pulls the leash back and Soldier attacks him too. We wait to let him (and us) calm down. Then the vet puts his stethoscope in his ears and leans in to listen to Soldier's heart and lungs. Soldier, who has by now turned into a chained-up, furious, junk yard dog attacks again; snarling, growling, and spitting through that cage muzzle. Foaming at the mouth, combined with the most ferocious sounds, would be a good description.

I'm sitting there praying the muzzle won't come off, my heart beating really fast. My husband holds Soldier tight, while he's fighting ~ all the time, trying to get to the vet. The doctor does something. Then he says, "Phew, you know if that muzzle had come off, he would have torn my arm apart. So I think it's best if I send the girl in to give the shot and do the nail trim." By now we all know there will be no nail trim, and I'm pretty sure Soldier has forgotten he really, really likes girls. 

Since my nerves are now sort of on the outside of my skin, my husband thinks it would be best if I were to leave the room. I don't object, but I ask the vet what he was able to do. He tells us Soldier's heart and lungs are good, but he was unable to feel his stomach. Of course he was, there was no way.

After some difficulty, the woman vet tech is able to give Soldier his shots. As we leave, my husband turns to me and says, "boy, am I glad I put that muzzle on so tight." Yes, my feelings exactly. 

Soldier was shook up, stressed out, with some pain in his hind legs, but basically OK. We rested yesterday and he seems fine now. 

We still don't trust Samson, so we keep them apart, but they visit when they go for walks together and through a baby gate we set up. Samson is crazy about Soldier; first thing every morning he goes to the gate and kisses him. Soldier is less enamored. And we are not taking any chances. 

Finally, in response to Manzanita's question: I'm sure Soldier is a German shepherd cross. He's still, at the advanced age of 13, a good guard dog, much better than Samson will ever be, and he was terrific at it when young. He and my German shepherd dog, Angel, were such a great team, I was never once afraid when I lived here alone with them. While he looks like his mix could be Labrador, it's not. Soldier hates water and has no idea what to do with a ball.


Related Posts with Thumbnails