Tuesday, June 14, 2016


I wrote about Willie a few months back. She's a 12 year old miniature Dachshund, named rather unconventionally after my paternal grandfather Wilbur. Which rather makes sense to me as Grandpa was anything but conventional. As a callow ute during the depression he went to Texas with air in his pockets. His plan was to pick grapefruit and replace the air with jingle. He came home riding a brand new Indian and with enough jingle to start farming and get married.
I'd be pleased with myself too.

Why the wig and hat? Because life is for livin', and because wig and hat!
And the turnip don't fall far from the tree.
Old Man during house remodel.

Anyway, back in February Willie developed an abscess on her neck. I opened it and cleaned it and she healed right up. Good as new.

Willie has been prone to developing these minor infections over the last several years. The neck was the worst but it's not uncommon for her to grow a little bump that turns into an abscess, opens on its own, and heals up. She seems healthy and happy and never (or very seldom) appears to be bothered by the little infections. Which is pretty much normal for a dog in my experience.

She also has Dachshund toenails. That is, her nails grow pretty fast and tend to curl into a complete circle if she doesn't keep them worn down. She does a pretty good job of that, except of the aft, outboard pair. Those don't seem to get any wear at all, and will quickly grow into a circle of keratin. Which wouldn't be bad, really, except they keep growing after the circle is closed, and become painful.

Ideally I'd routinely inspect and clip her nails. Unfortunately, I'm a rather accomplished procrastinator. I think of doing the job often, but usually put it off until she starts limping. Not good enough at all, but there you go.

So, evening before last I was watering the garden. Willie was scampering around in the lilac bushes, trying to catch a bird. Believe it or not, she's a pretty accomplished bird catcher. At some point she started barking, but the tone and cadence of her barks was odd. Not quite a yelp, not quite a bark. Eventually I investigated and found that she was stuck on some ages-old poly twine snarled way back in the deepest heart of the lilac hedge. Somehow a loop of twine had become tangled in the keratin circle of her too long ignored back, left, outboard toenail. She was well and truly stuck!

It took only a moment to cut her loose, and she scampered madly about, frisking and snorting and shaking her big, floppy ears. Free at last, free at last!

"C'mere, Willie," I said.

"Ruh-Roh," she said, "he's gonna trim my damn toenails now."

Which I did. And which she didn't like. And which made the overgrown rear, outboard toenails bleed a lot.

Nice thing about bleeding is that it eventually stops. On way or another.

I'm busy as hell just now. As if I didn't have enough on my plate I decided to expand my garden.

Once the seeds germinated and began to emerge in my new railroad tie frame garden plots, the greenish thumb took possession of my mind and decoded to put in a corn and squash patch.


Then this guy flew over and I felt more better.

Good day to be Loachin' about!


  1. They sure do bleed! My Dad once overclipped the nail on a toe of our dog, Goobs. But it stopped, eventually.

    The photo of he shoot emerging is wonderful.

    Whose Loach, the S.O.? The State Patrol? Some guy with a Loach?

    Did the local badgers come around to snicker at Willie's predicament? Badgers are not very sympathetic to Doxies.

    1. Nature is pretty awesome, no?

      The Loach (actually a 1977 Hughes 369D) belongs to Quicksilver Air out of Colorado and was most likely out shooting coyotes.

      Willie seemed to be quite embarrassed about getting stuck. I'm sure she was dreading having badgers take the piss out of her.

  2. I come here to be edumacated and entertained.

    I am never disappointed.

    1. Thanks Sarge!

      I appreciate the kind words, and in particular, I appreciate the low bar you've set. :)