Covered in dog hair and blood, I had a moment. And while I was having it I was very conscious of the fact that it was not special. Everyone feels this way about their dogs. They drive you nuts until something happens to them.
A bunch of boys were over here playing on the Wii. Bella and I were finding back-to-school clothes on the computer. Aidan asked suddenly, "Who's bleeding?" We looked at the floor and there was blood all over, like someone had a bloody nose and walked it around the room. We followed the trail, all five of us, and it led to Nigel Pugmann sitting under a chair with his foot limply dangling there, bleeding and swollen. Aidan got a towel, I grabbed the dog and called Brett and we all went straight to the Vet. Who was closed. So we went to another Vet, who wouldn't take him. But if they weren't helpful at least they took forever. Brett got the most absurdly detailed directions from a woman at the front desk who's assistant just handed us a freaking card with a map on it for the Pet ER on 8th N. Meanwhile I am trying to hold him down and there is blood just everywhere. We finally arrived and a nice woman who smelled like so many Camel Lights helped us. She said he most likely was hit by a car. His foot was smooshed. He lost a foot pad, two toe nails, broke a toe, chipped the bone at the "knee" and dislocated a ligament, which is why his foot went all loosey goosey. He got weighed and we tried to take his (ahem) rectal temperature to no avail. So he got sedated, x-rayed, some cleaning solution for his ears and a little blue cast. He got a bunch of pills he won't take and then sent home.
I was holding our little broken guy in a towel on the way to the hospital when I realized he might actually have internal damage for all I knew and that he could maybe actually bite the black banana. I told him he was a good dog and we loved him and I found that I kind of meant it. Most days we, and by "we" I mean "I", hate this dog. He chews his feet loudly, he licks the wood floors obsessively, he is always underfoot. He sheds, he stinks, he barks at the birds and sneezes in our faces. And we wouldn't be the same family without him. Like Aidan said, "Who else would we all hate for being so dumb?"
We love you, Nigel. Thanks for not being as stupid as we think you are. You were at least smart enough to move a crucial 6 inches in one direction to save your own fat butt.