Monday, October 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Convalescing at home

After Sparkle's sutures come loose, the Seeing Eye vets make a decision on what to do next.

Convalescing at home

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Wearing an Elizabethan cone collar, Sparkle sleeps soundly amid Josh's toys and books after coming home from her surgery. Incidentally, the collar, which is used to prevent dogs and cats from biting or scratching at their wounds, was featured in the Pixar movie "Up" as the "cone of shame" used to humiliate a dog.

After Sparkle  got bitten through the backyard fence by a dog visiting next door Sunday evening, we whisked her over to the emergency vet and had her lip sutured. (If you are a pet owner, it's prudent to know ahead where the nearest 24/7 vet hospital is and to keep the phone number handy.)

Unfortunately, Sparkle's sutures pulled out a day later. A decision had to be made. Would the vet make another try?  Cathy and Betsy e-mailed photos of the wound to the Seeing Eye, and the staff veterinarians studied the close-ups before deciding that a re-suturing would be too difficult and prone to failure. It will be allowed to heal by itself.

This morning, I took Sparkle back to the local vet and had the remains of the sutures removed. She still has a suture on her nose, so we'll be going back next week to have that removed, and she is still wearing the clunky Elizabethan cone collar.  She'll be taking it easy the next week, and hopefully, when we go back out with her, she'll still be the same confident, eager pup.   

George Carter
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About this blog
George Carter, The Inquirer's weekend national/foreign editor, has always counted dogs among his closest companions. According to family lore, he learned to walk by clinging to the side of a saintly patient mutt named Spanker. In turn, one of his earliest hazy memories is of tossing treats to the family dogs gathered expectantly on the porch of their Maryland farmhouse. It was only natural then, that when George saw a newspaper ad looking for families to raise puppies for the Seeing Eye of Morristown, N.J., he bit at the chance. From the start, it has been a family project, with teenage daughter Betsy as the official puppy-raiser. First there was Porter, a big-hearted yellow Lab born on Memorial Day 2004. A few years later, the Carters raised Velma, a gorgeous Lab/golden cross. Just a couple weeks ago, Velma's 7-week-old daughter Sparkle arrived as the latest family charge. George, Betsy and mom Cathy are thrilled that Sparkle is from Velma's very first litter. You can reach George Carter at 215-854-2411 or by clicking here. Reach George at gcarter@phillynews.com.

George Carter
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