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June 24, 2021: Spay Day

It wasn’t a tough decision, that is to have Shadow spayed. But I did give the matter some thought. She’s such a good dog, and she is an excellent representative of her breed. But I decided against it because we don’t have Aussie connections, which means that the pups could conceivably fall into the hands of irresponsible individuals. And the most irresponsible of them might breed their dogs. Not good. So off we went this morning, to our veterinarian’s place, so that he might spay Shadow.

Zach and his assistant Sarah were to do the surgery at his place, in his mobile unit. This, Pete and I

Shadow with her zen collar and scar

had decided, was preferable to having it done in a clinic, where we’d drop off the dog and pick her up later. We were on the premises the entire time, and Shadow knew we were there until rendered unconscious.

Shadow got to meet Ember, her mother – the two look alike although Ember is stockier and her markings are not as striking as those of her offspring. Shadow is also in better shape.

I hung out with Zach’s youngest child – he gave me the tour, and introduced me to all the animals, ducks, geese, turkeys, dogs, cats, and pony included. We checked out the nearby creek, then spent time in what the family calls Lounge Town, an area where they’ve strung up hammocks.

I had wanted to watch the surgery, but there was not enough room for me to hang out in the mobile unit. I was invited in though, in the final stages of the operation. I watched as Zach put in the sutures and Sarah monitored the vital signs and regulated the anesthetic.

The pair warned me that dogs often start whining when they come to. I didn’t pay this statement much mind until Shadow first began whimpering then began (for lack of any better word) screaming. Sarah held her down. The dog sounded like an opera singer having her arm twisted. It was dog awful. I kept watching Zach and Sarah’s faces, so as to get a clue that something was amiss. Both remained impassive. I was determined not to show undue concern, but I was really worried.

For me, this is a truism. Seeing Shadow first inert, then writhing made me realize just how attached I am to her. I was then glad that I had not been there for the entire surgery.

Zach later speculated that she went on for such a long time because it was, even with the air conditioning on, fairly warm in the surgical suite. I didn’t ask, but at one point I wondered if Shadow had suffered brain damage.

She finally quieted enough for Zach to get a collar of shame on her. It didn’t fit, so we opted to pick up a comfort collar on the way home. I rode with her in the back seat of the Subaru – for us, this was preferable to her being in a crate.

Shadow was glad to arrive home. Pete and I took turns watching her for the rest of the evening. I was most impressed with how Zach gave us explicit instructions about her after care. They were indicative of that she’s not going to be able to participate fully in her final agility class next Monday.

We, I told Pete, are so lucky to have Zach as our veterinarian, and as the breeder of our dog. He said Ember has been bred back to the same sire. Owww, I would like another puppy. But this is the subject of another dispatch.

Next: 175. 6/25/21: Shadow and Ryder Converse

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