Easter weekend… a series of bizarre, ridiculous, irritating and improbable situations all rolled up into three days, because my office is too… something… to give me Monday off from work. I could have used today to recover from the weekend’s series of events (some of which were unfortunate, but most of which were just eye-roll and deep-sigh worthy), and possibly catch up on sleep.
When I was younger, I thought we were going to Narnia to visit my grandmother. I know different now, but can completely understand where the mistake was made. Feel free to post a guess as to where we actually went… a hint – South-western Ontario, zero wardrobe-travel, sounds like Narnia, and very few trees. When I was younger, it was a considerably more magical place, with ride-on lawnmowers, rocking horses, an orange hobbit house and a seemingly never-ending supply of home-made cookies and strawberry rhubarb pie.
So, we travelled to Narnia, three-ring circus in tow, packed to the gills for two days worth of visiting friends and family in that area. We visited my grandmother, reunited with our Hogswatch buddies and their adorable tuxedo-clad kittens, visited my aunt and uncle, along with their three-ring-circus, out at their farm house, and went to a surprising stag and doe.
Gwynn isn’t the greatest at car rides. He hates them with a passion, and has a tendency to vomit juuuuust before he gets out of the car when we get somewhere. With a few of these entirely un-fun trips under my belt, I went to talk to the vet about this. They recommended… gravol. And it works very well. I’m not going to give you the amount that they recommended as a maximum dosage for Gwynn, mostly because you should talk to your own vet about it before you try this yourself. However, it works, and I don’t need to get a particular pet-brand. And Gwynn eats anything covered in peanut butter. I make him do a trick or obedience thing before I give him his pill, to make him think he’s getting rewarded, rather than drugged.
On Friday morning, I also took him on a nice long walk before everyone else was awake, so that he could be tired before getting into the van. We walked through our quiet and peaceful neighbourhood, past friendly dogs and unfriendly dogs. We walked through the wide-open area of the park, past ducks and goose-poop and soccer nets, a parking lot, and under the enormously tall willow trees scattered throughout. We walked over the bridge, under more willows, and into the woods. We meandered through the dirt trails in the wood, passing through the fencing that had been cut in a perfect door size, and into the old Munitions lands, where we meandered through the rustling brown grasses. We passed through the fence again, arriving back on the park-side, through to more extensive dirt trails. These trails have been made by the many many people who walk through here – the pounding of footsteps and dog paws has made these trails. They are so well-used that I would never in a million years have expected what came next. Gwynn ran ahead of me – less than 10 feet away, and within the time it took for me to blink, was standing stock-still, eyes wide and trying to tuck his tail between his legs. He was standing perfectly still, looking at me in a way that screamed “HELP!”, and shaking with readiness to start a frenzied escape attempt.
Barbed wire was coiled around him, tight enough that he couldn’t have run or rolled his way out of it, wound around him enough times that it started threaded back between his hind legs and hooked on to his tail, then wound its way twice around his torso, and then again around his neck. The end dangled threateningly near his soft droopy ear.
When Gwynn got his leg stuck in a twist of wire from a plant pyramid in our back yard, he made such a shrill and awful noise – continuous ear-piercing shrieks of terror and pain – that I was terrified that I’d find his tendons severed. Had I not been nearby in the yard, I feel certain that he would have chewed his way out, come hell or high water. This time, he was completely silent, only his sharp panting telling me how anxious he was. This silence was the only thing that allowed me to stay calm and order him not to move, while I patiently and carefully worked the barbed wire out away from his tail, away from the sensitive and thin skin between his legs. I pulled it out of the thick fur around his torso, untangled it from his heavy ruff, and carefully pulled the loop away from his neck. I was pretty lucky that he’s such a furry dog, because he didn’t get a single scratch – the wire couldn’t slash at him through his fur as long as he didn’t move, though I did pull a fair bit out with the wire. I’m also lucky that he’s such a calm and trusting dog, because I know of plenty that would have been frenetic, shaking and rolling and getting all cut-up before you could have caught them to unwrap them from the wire.
So… mysteriously, barbed wire falls off the nearest portion of fence (about 20 feet away), which isn’t missing any sections of barbed wire. It rolls past trees and shrubs, over a section of path, through some more shrubs, and comes to rest entirely hidden, and perfectly arranged for a dog to run through. I’m no Sherlock Holmes, but I’d say there’s some shady business happening in all this!
I didn’t see the wire at all before it was wrapped around him. It had almost no rust on it, and was quite a ways away from the fence (which has barbed wire at the top of it). There isn’t a chance in hell that this wire had been sitting there for very long, and no chance that it could have been something that just fell accidentally off the fence nearby. This is a portion of trail that I walk on regularly. I know it so well, I could probably walk it blind-folded, but I pay attention to the forest around me because I don’t want Gwynn to get a hold of garbage, or dead things.
We have coyotes and foxes in that park, and I’m quite sure that Gwynn wouldn’t have been able to get it off by himself. While I hate to say it, it’s lucky that it was a dog that ran through the wire, because dogs have people to rescue them. A coyote would have ripped himself to shreds trying to get free, and maybe would have survived. And a short haired dog would have gotten pretty cut-up even without struggling.
I walked home, through a park that was just empty enough to make me uncomfortable, through a neighbourhood I couldn’t recognize as my own, and past other people walking their dogs, dog’s leash in one hand, coiled roll of barbed wire held aloft in the other, and felt like I was walking through a strange and dangerous place. The only times I stopped to talk were to explain the barbed wire, and pass on the warning that a walk in the park isn’t as safe as it ought to be.
We loaded everything up in the van, and took our three ring circus on the road. I wished like hell that we were going to Narnia for real, because the White Witch isn’t nearly as cruel and sadistic as some human beings.