Saturday, July 03, 2010

Sometimes the rain must fall

Rich is here in Juneau and all is well in the world again. Today, I'm working on being positive and with Rich here, it's easy. We pick up where we left off, just like we were never apart. Must be love. Meanwhile, this week has been the worst yet on the glacier. I'm just going tell this story and then I am all about being positive. Sneaky Pete has had a festering infection in his foot for weeks. Three different kinds of antibiotics coupled with soaking in Epsom salts twice a day was doing very little. A vet came up, took one look at Peter's foot and said how nasty it was and that he needed to be sent down to the ground for a more extensive exam, x-ray and probably some kind of surgery. I was more than happy to send him down because his foot had been messed up for so long. He went down to Southeast vet clinic upon the request of Juneau vet (also a Quest vet) Nene Wolfe and had his foot opened up, drained and cleaned with a culture sent to a lab to see exactly what the infection is. Peter is a young male who is an amazing leader but a hard keeper. With him being on the ground and me being up on the glacier, obviously I was concerned about his recovery and often asked my bosses to ask about him when they were in radio contact with the ground. Thursday morning one of the ground crew told us he had good news and bad news about Peter. The good news was that the procedure went well and was performed by one of the owners of Southeast vet. The bad news was, and this is where I exploded into expletives, Peter 'got away from them' and had been running around Juneau with an injured foot and a cone on his head since the night before. Yes. It's true. They let my dog go. So Thursday, the next day, Rich arrived in Juneau for our lovely, romantic birthday weekend, but I, still swearing at anyone who would listen, was stuck up on the glacier because the fog had rolled in. Rich spent the night with some AIE peeps searching for Peter. When they went home at 10 p.m., Rich stayed out until after 1 in the morning. People had been spotting Peter in various neighborhoods and animal control ran around trying to catch him. To say that Peter was scared is the understatement of the century. Finally, late Friday afternoon, with Peter on the loose for 48 hours, the weather cleared and I got down to the ground. We rallied the troops, my co-workers, fellow mushers and handlers and started searching. We saw him many times but he was not coming to anyone, even me. People in the neighborhood started coming out of their houses to look. Cars were driving past yelling 'We just saw him over there!' and 'We jumped out of the car to try and get him, but he's fast!' A woman even drove up with border collie and tried to herd Peter. It was awesome. I don't know if it was that people cared about our dog, or rather that he was becoming a massive traffic hazard and had dodged cars several times on a four-lane highway. Regardless, we rallied. In the end, about two hours later, it was my former handler Ben who chased Peter into a backyard, cornered him at a dead end and grabbed him. I was so happy that Peter was finally safe and that Rich and I still had a day to relax and enjoy each other. Peter is back at the vet for a second surgery to fix the damage caused by two days of running. He'll stay at the vet until he is sent back directly to me. Positive end to a ridiculously negative story. Sigh. Most of the week was weathered out again. Monday is my birthday. A new year and a new week. A new week of me being positive. Thanks for your help, Juneau.

Peter, on the right, when he was healthy. Here's wishing a speedy recovery to my Sneaky One.


Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

Very glad the pooch is fine. Quite the escape artist.

I'm really hoping you're making enough $ so you can race more this winter, love your race write-ups. And the glacier camp is so very neat!

Brenda's Arizona said...

What a terrific story. You had my crying, expecting the worse of the worse.
Happy birthday, and keep positive!