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A Battle of Wills

Posted Nov 14 2010 6:10am

It’s a battle of wills between two strong and stubborn women.

On one side is Gail.  My wife.  The woman I love more than life itself.

On the other, Raven.  My border collie.  Smartest breed of dog.

The battle?

Raven has a “hot spot” on her left paw.  She has licked it and licked it and licked it and licked it down to a raw, hairless spot.

Gail is determined to keep Raven from the hot spot.  In the first go-round of this battle last year, she tried everything from putting “icky tasting” stuff on the spot (which Raven licked off) to different types of bandages (which Raven removed when no one was watching) to a covered with a sock (which Raven would remove, then remove the bandage and lick to her heart’s content when no one was watching) and we finally had to resort to “the .”

This time, Gail is determined there will be no cone.  She says it’s a hassle and the dog really hates it.  Raven is just as determined that she will lick her hot spot and will either wait until no one is looking or hide behind chairs or in far off corners of the house or wait until we’re all asleep to pull off her bandage and lick her wound.

Gail, like the great mom she is, is trying to apply medical science to treat a wound that needs treating.

Raven, like the very intelligent border collie she is, sees the bandage as a puzzle, a problem she must solve in order to do what centuries of canine instinct are telling her lick the wound!

Again, I suggested the cone.  But Gail isn’t ready to capitulate.  In fact, she  thought she came up with an answer.  She modified a spray bottle by cutting it into a shield that she taped in place over the bandage, keeping Raven from being able to GET at the bandage to remove it.  Raven’s first reaction “I CAN NOT WALK WITH THIS HORRIBLE THING ON MY FOOT!”  She would struggle to rise to her feet, she would walk with her left foreleg in an exaggerated limp although she was QUITE able to trot briskly into the kitchen when offered a treat… which she ate and then resumed her struggling… I… can… barely… (choke!)… move… crawl to the living room.

Most of last night was spent with Raven lying on the kitchen floor, whining and casting the evil eye at Gail.  Gail is a good, but hard-hearted mom when it comes to taking care of her dogs.  They WILL do what she TELLS them to do because SHE is a HUMAN BEING and knows HOW to treat .  We didn’t think Raven would want to come into the bedroom last night, but she did… even though she REFUSED to lie in bed with EITHER of us.

This morning at 5:30 or so, Gail got up to take the dogs outside.  That’s when she noticed that Raven had pulled up the shield almost up to her elbow and had removed the bandage and had, no doubt, spent the last several hours happily licking her wound, making it more sore and more irritated.

But not as irritated as Gail.  The bandage is back on.  But the shield won’t go on until bedtime.

This will go on for days.  Gail looking for new, more clever ways to keep Raven from getting at her “hot spot,” and Raven coming up with even more clever ways to thwart Gail.

And then, if it’s like last time, it will end with…

UPDATE:  The shield is back in place after several attempts by Raven already this morning to remove the bandage.  Border collies.  Whatchagonna do!

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