Recent balmy days have meant that parks around the city came alive for the first time this year. Always a heartening sight, but sadly, a minority insist on leaving a trail of rubbish in their wake.
Burnt-out BBQs, food wrappers and, worst of all, glass bottles. More often than not these bottles are smashed to smithereens as carefree revellers toss them aside having drained them dry.
Our nearest park has been a scene of devastation since the hot weather. The council (yes you, East Dunbartonshire) appear to have recently cut the grass but, save for a cursory tidy up of the worst rubbish, the vast tract of broken glass has been left exactly where it fell - specifically, around the children’s play park.
The other day, on his morning sojourn, Mac paid the price for the wanton vandalism of the halfwits who think a satisfactory end to a day in the park is to leave jagged shards of glass where there should only be soft grass.
We were halfway through our walk when Mac spotted a deer. He froze, all systems on high alert as he regarded this strange, lithe-looking creature.
Likewise, the deer stopped in its tracks and the pair silently eyeballed each other. Before he could break into a chase, I managed to distract Mac with a stick but it meant venturing closer than I would normally to the permanent gauntlet of glass near the play park, the doggie danger zone. However, we stayed away from the worst of it and seemed to get by unscathed.
It was only when we got home and the adrenaline stopped pumping that we realised. A trail of bloody pawprints across the room told their own story. Mac immediately started licking his wound but we pulled him away. A quick glance at his slashed paw and we knew this was one for the vet.
Ten minutes later he was being examined at the surgery and the vet was shaking his head. The cut was so deep that it had (Gore Alert) completely slashed through the pad of the paw and into the tissue below. Surgery was recommended. And so I found myself having to leave him there at the vets with his tail forlornly between his legs and his eyes scared and confused.
He doesn’t enjoy the vets generally but to be abandoned there . . .
While I attempted to concentrate on work, Mac was put under a general anaesthetic and then the vet carefully stitched the paw back together and secured it with staples.
A few hours later, I arrived to pick up a rather subdued Mac. His tail gave a hearty couple of wags when he saw me before giving up again. He was still groggy from his op.
Adding to his trauma was the big bright blue bandage on his paw and the waterproof pouch on top of that. Most insulting of all, however, was the big plastic lampshade around his neck which seemed to shame him to his core and didn’t seem to budge not matter how vigorously he shook his head.
“He’s feeling a bit sorry for himself,” said the vet. “He obviously doesn’t enjoy being kennelled.”
We are lucky enough to know a squad of dog-lovers to call upon when Mac needs looked after and so he has never been to the kennels in his life and was clearly not impressed with his caged accommodation.
Once home, he hardly moved for the rest of the day, which is just as well as we’ve been told that walkies are cancelled for the next few weeks and he should only go outside to relieve himself.
For a bouncy four-year-old collie, this is going to be next to impossible but we have no choice.
If the stitches burst we are back to square one. It’s going to be a long couple of weeks . . .
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