Frozen Fandango

I live in a small town in Illinois called Freeburg.  We were just hit with one of the worst winter storms of all time.  Snow and ice have covered the town.  Plus, we are under a Wind Chill Warning until Tuesday, January 7th.

Since the wind chill is -7, I knew that I would have to exercise extreme caution when letting my fur babies outside to potty.  My husband had carefully carved a path through the 12 inches of snow for the dogs.  I opened the door and they raced happily outside.

I quickly ran downstairs to grab their food.  When I returned, they were pawing at the door.  Flinging the door open I heard a sound.  A sound I had never heard before.  That’s when I saw Adriel…with her tongue frozen to the door. 

Adriel was born with a birth defect in which her tongue is longer than her head, so it always sticks out.  However, she can pull her tongue inside of her mouth when she feels like it. 

Screaming, I told Adriel to hold on.  I was still in my pajamas due to the snow day from work.  I knew that I needed to get a glass of warm water to pour on her tongue.  But, somehow, she managed to free herself and came bounding into the house.

At the risk of being too graphic, blood was flying everywhere.  I was officially in panicked parent mode.  I called my mother (who was also off on a snow day) and she told me to put a warm wash cloth on Adriel’s mouth to control the bleeding.

I hurriedly grabbed the rag and began placing it on Adriel’s mouth.  In just seconds, the rag was saturated.  Blood was on my arms, the wall, and all over Adriel’s Snoopy pet bed.

But, miraculously, Adriel pushed my hand away and dove head first into her food bowl.  Even as blood dripped onto her food, she continued to eat.  I was stunned.

I managed to peel her away from her dish long enough to apply the rag again.  Thankfully, the bleeding slowed and then stopped.  I did call our vet to see if there was anything else that I needed to do.  I was informed that Adriel probably ripped off the top layer of the skin on the side of her tongue.  The wound will heal with time and the only thing that I need to do is watch for signs of infection and make sure that she continues to eat and drink (no problem there).

As I watched Adriel sun bathing on the couch, I felt horrible.  I must be the worst dog mom on the planet.  How could I have let this happen?  What were the odds that Adriel would try to reenact the famous scene from “A Christmas Story?”

I soon realized that Adriel’s mishap was just that:  a freak accident. And I did everything within my power to help her as best as I could.  Now that the bleeding has stopped, her tongue doesn’t look bad at all.  She even gave her “sister,” Penny, a “bath” later in the day.

I have learned many things from this horrific experience.  First, when the weather is extremely cold, bundle up and go outside with your dog (s).  This will ensure that your pooch will not have a mishap like mine.  Second, should your pet injure himself/herself, try to remain calm.  If I would have become hysterical, I would not have been able to think clearly to help Adriel.  Third, be sure to check with your vet any time that your pet (s) experience any type of trauma.  My vet was very compassionate and gave me all the advice that I needed over the phone for free.

Adriel spent the rest of the day happily sitting on my lap.  She even gave me as kiss as if to say, “It’s okay, mom.  I’m fine and I love you.”  I am so glad that pets are more forgiving than people.

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