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Monday, November 22nd: my dog has been cooped up in the house for almost two weeks, recovering from an injury he sustained while in South Dakota, the result of a tangle he got into with some barbed wire while chasing after a wounded pheasant. He injured his back leg and the puncture was quite deep, having reached a joint. I was instructed by my vet that he really needed to sit back and enjoy some butt kickin' pain killers as well as a heavy dose of antibiotics to ward off the possibility of a serious infection that could diminish his performance permanently. With those words ringing in my head, I wasn't taking any chances!
Now.... I'm here to tell you... dogs, particularly gundogs, DO NOT know they are injured five minutes after the injury occurred, especially when they are nine months old. I'm not sure if any of you have ever attempted to keep a nine month old GSP quiet and inactive for an extended period of time, but I can assure you it's an exercise in hopelessness. Fuel that fire a bit with a two year old toddler that just got the flu, the anxiety that comes with planning a huge family Thanksgiving dinner, and you've got yourself a recipe for some household tension. If I could just make it to Friday, I would find relief in the form of grass, a dog off the IR, solitude, and birds.
November 23rd: my son develops the Flu and I still need to get to the grocery store. Fifty percent of the household is now sick. The dog is losing patience, taking his frustrations out by chewing up one of the two remaining binky's my daughter has left in the house. Without those, all hell breaks loose. Friday is just around the corner. I tell myself I can make it.
November 24th, 2:00 a.m: my wife develops the flu, throwing up everything but her toenails the majority of the night. Both kids are still very ill. I ask myself, what am I going to do tomorrow?
November 24th: tomorrow's here and I'm in deep poo. The kids are showing signs of improvement but are still feeling crappy. My wife is completely incapacitated. I glimpse a devious look in my dog's eye and now realize that he's formulating a plan to pilfer the last remaining binky the minute I let my guard down. I still have to go to the grocery store... the day before Thanksgiving. I'm in over my head. Friday is just around the corner though so I press on.
November 24th, 5:00 p.m: I catch my first break. The family calls and tells me they don't want to come over due to the toxic contaminated air that's bound to be hanging around by Thursday. No cooking! I think to myself, I could be making the turn as I throw the bird back in freezer and cancel plans to do battle with the supermarket. It never occurs to me the risk of contamination is a distinct possibility. Friday is almost here and visions of sunrise, pheasants, golden grass, and my young puppy frolicking through the field begin to creep into my head.
November 25th, 3:00 a.m. disaster strikes. I'm down and out through the weekend. Next year... flu shots all the way around I suspect. The dog still looks pissed as I put the gun back in the safe Sunday evening.