Finbar, King of the stupid accident

It’s three o’clock in the afternoon and I’ve just finished lunch after dumping Finbar at the vet’s for emergency surgery. Since he regained his doggy confidence (thank you Congo) he has been the life and soul of every dog party going. This morning he found a new bunch of friends, a right motley crew belonging to a group of rough sleepers. The dogs, six or seven of them, weren’t averse to the kind of rough stuff Finbar excels in when he gets excited, so they all had a ball. Until Finbar and the biggest of the pack had a difference of opinion about who had right of way. There was a bit of pushing and shoving and Finbar ripped his flank open on a broken tree branch.

It looked horrible, blood everywhere and a big crowd gathered including two (friendly) police officers. Most of them probably thought he’d been ripped up by the big dog with the spiked collar and were waiting to see the police perform a summary execution. A sympathetic cyclist phoned her mother to ask could she come in her car and pick us up but mother was at work. The police phoned into the depot to ask if there was a spare van available but the one with a space at the back for dogs was in for repairs. A municipal gardener stopped with his van and tried to make room among his material for Finbar, but it was too full up with trees and bags of compost. Somebody else tried to get him into a pram to push him to the nearest vet.

It was all very comforting except it wasn’t really. When you don’t have a car, and you realise all the sympathetic dog people who offer advice and help are also carless, that even the police don’t have wheels, you feel absolutely helpless. We live in a world that is so car reliant, yet so many ordinary people don’t actually possess one. Taxis won’t take bleeding dogs, so a girl offered to help carry him to the tram stop to get him to the nearest clinic. The police phoned up the clinic. Closed until end of the afternoon.

In the end, husband came to fetch us with lots of torn up sheet for a tourniquet, and a wheelbarrow. Finbar climbed in without a murmur and we set off for our vet who saw to him straight away.

I didn’t have time to post this before the vet phoned to say he was all stitched up and ready to go, so have just been to get him. Poor thing’s feeling very sorry for himself and is having difficulty with stairs. Even lying down is difficult. Being put together like a horse doesn’t help. I’d like to think this will make him more ‘reasonable’ when he plays, but I know it won’t. He doesn’t do anything by halves, and he has a horror of not being boss, not being the fastest. We can probably look forward to more big vet bills for a long time to come.


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Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

49 thoughts on “Finbar, King of the stupid accident”

      1. I have to remember not to let him off his lead, and to avoid any of his ‘friends’. We met a whole bunch of them yesterday, and you’d swear they came running over just to find out how Finbar was!

    1. He always hurts himself when he has a good time. I wish sometimes he was like domestic dogs that run after a ball and bring it back. He just wants to get a whole pack of dogs running after nothing in particular and for them to keep on running and snapping at one another until they all give up but one.

    1. I’ll pass on your best wishes. I just wish he would learn that domestic dogs don’t behave like packs of wolves on a romp. He scares the daylights out of them until they realise he’s all mouth and trousers.

    1. The only dogs Finbar is still wary of are sheepdogs. The way they crouch down then slope off, circling, then crouch again, getting closer each time, just freaks him out. I can imagine him thinking, why doesn’t he just run like a normal dog? He’ll mend soon enough. Then do something similar again.

  1. And there they were helpful to a man and helpless … silly mutley, I hope he will recover well though I fear it will teach him nothing at all. Some of us just are accident prone – or rather some of us are prone to not thinking before we leap into whatever it is. Dogs and humans alike. Your husband and the wheelbarrow had me in stitches (no pun intended … its an affliction – the spontaneous punning)

    1. I have a husband who doesn’t give a monkey’s what other people think of him. It wasn’t until we got home, home being the centre of Bordeaux, that I realised he had also been wearing green wellies.

  2. I thought I was unusual in never having owned a car. Glad to know there are many others!
    Reminds me of the many trips my mother made to the emergency room with my brothers and me…fun and stitches seem to go hand in hand. Hope he’s all ready to go again soon. (K)

    1. In town a car is a liablility and shouldn’t be necessary. But if you’re a big heavy dog pouring blood and can’t walk, using public transport isn’t an option. The children have all been walking wounded except for once when I was called by the school to say that the eldest (seven at the time) had had an accident. arrived just in time to see her being carried on a stretcher into the back of an ambulance. She’d fallen off a wall. What she was doing on top of a wall I never found out.

  3. You may need a vehicle when you move into your country residence. We do. No public transport to speak of, and no shops within 10k. Even school is a 10 min drive… or an hours walk. Poor old Finnbar. He is accident prone, isn’t he? I feel for you. Indi has just survived 8 weeks of confinement after his knee surgery and still limps. Can’t keep him lying down any longer though. Hope he’s better soon.

    1. Thanks. He seems to hurt himself more or less seriously every time he really lets rip with his friends. Yes, we will have to get a car. I hate cars and driving, but for shopping and taking dogs to the vet it will be a necessary evil. Poor Indi. I bet he limps. Six weeks lying down! He must have almost forgetten how to walk.

      1. I’m glad of the car. I love living in the back of beyond, but only cause I’m not trapped there! I just found out that it could take Indi a year to get his knee back to normal, just like with humans. I didn’t know that. Poor mutt! Hows your hound doing?

      2. He cried quite a lot on Tuesday evening. Couldn’t get comfortable. The vet said he’d be very sore. He’d lost a big chunk of skin so she’d had to pull it tight when she stitched him up. He’s limbering up now though. I just have to keep him on his lead when we’re out to stop him racing off and tearing the stitches.

      3. Poor thing. They always think they’re back to normal as soon as they start feeling better.

      4. He still feels very sorry for himself as soon as he notices the stitches pulling. He’s whining his head off right now because he wants mummy to get him comfy on his chair. Mummy can’t. He weighs too much for her to shift.

  4. We used to have an accident prone dog. She actually fractured her lower jaw trying to bite through our fence to get to the Rottweiler next door. She also cut her leg badly among many other silly accidents. She did, however, live to 18, which is pretty old for a large dog. I often said she was too stubborn to die.

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