Earl the McNab

Earl the McNab
Earl the Mcnab

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

McNabs: Keeping Us (and Themselves) in Stitches

McNabs work hard and McNabs play hard.  Our McNabs also love company and tend to get a bit rowdy. They grab the nearest toy and show off for whomever is coming through the door. Being the tough dogs they are, they don't flinch when they get injured in the heat of the game.

One of Earl's most beloved activities is playing ball. He's an All-American dog, that Earl. His preferred type of ball - simple hollow vinyl balls that are easily carried - don't last long around here. If Earl leaves them in the pasture (he often herds the cattle with a ball in his mouth), the cows will eat them. If he and Molly play tug of war with them - a ball! - they are quickly shredded.  Yesterday I stocked up on more balls for Earl.

Today, a friend visited and while the dogs eagerly greeted her, Earl and Molly began vying for one of the new balls.  In the midst of their tug of war, Molly snatched to get a better grip of the ball and caught Earl's cheek. They never quit playing, spewing slobber and blood in the living room, until they were winded and I was able to get the ball away from them.

Earl's scheduled to get stitches tonight.

Earl's ears, each missing a notch
(c) 2017 MJ Miller

This isn't Earl's first ball-playing-injury rodeo.  A couple of years ago, during the same horseplay involving ball and tug, Molly took the end of Earl's ear off. He already had a half-moon notch out of the other ear after having a growth (benign, as it turned out) removed. He's been neutered, is missing chunks out of each ear, and now has a torn lip.  We need to change his name to "Lucky" like the old parody of a missing dog poster that used to circulate.

The Culprit:  A Serial Offender
(c) 2017 MJ Miller
It's been a rough month for vet bills here. At least, I reassured myself, tonight's visit would be covered - Russ carried emergency insurance for Earl, the only animal here that has such a benefit. When Russ got home, I briefed him before he came in that he could expect to see a bloody dog and a very contrite sister dog. "At least," I said, "We can test that dog insurance."

"No, we can't," he said. "I dropped it. My paycheck got too small."

So thank you, dear reader, for reading my blogs and buying my books.  Someone has to keep my vets in new cars and to subsidize their kids' college costs.

It's a good idea to have a veterinary handbook on hand. Here's the one I favor if you'd like to buy it here:  Recommended Dog Veterinary Reference 

Molly, looking unsinkable
(c) 2017 MJ Miller
Injuries - and ultimately loss - are part of the territory when you give your hearts to animals. As an old horse trainer once consoled me, "You're either burying the ones you love or they're burying you." Living the life we're meant to live - and for dogs, that means living the life they're bred to live and instinctively pursue - involves risk-taking. Risks often result in injury and injury often results in loss. In the wonderful, wild, imperfect world we occupy, such things are a byproduct of life. As for Earl, he never so much as yipped when he was injured. Dogs are so much more pragmatic than we are.

(c) 2017 MJ Miller * All rights reserved * No part of this content may be reproduced without permission * Thank you for linking, liking, sharing, tweeting, and otherwise helping grow my readership * Most of all, thank you for stopping by and sharing our enthusiasm for our dogs and all things dog!