posted by dave on Monday, August 2, 2004 at 10:54 AM in category daily

1. An acute, infectious, often fatal viral disease of most warm-blooded animals, especially wolves, cats, and dogs, that attacks the central nervous system and is transmitted by the bite of infected animals.

One of my neighbors has this dog named Dino.

Dino is a very friendly Black Lab that always "helps" me mow my lawn.

By "helps" I mean he follows me around and barks at my mower, and whenever he sees a stick he picks it up and places it directly in front of said mower. If he doesn't see any sticks he'll go into the woods and get some.

That way, see, I'll have to stop and throw the stick to keep from running over it, and Dino (a Black Lab, remember) thinks that thrown sticks are The Greatest Things In The Universe.

Sounds like a pretty smart dog, right?

Maybe, and maybe not.

One of Dino's less brillant activities is to wait for small sticks - those not worth being moved out of the mower's path - to be thrown by the mower blades. When this happens Dino recognizes the sound immediately and rushes out to try to catch these fast-moving little missiles.

So yesterday Dino is helping me mow as usual and the mower kicks up a stick that's about 4" long and 1" thick.

After he caught the stick Dino started making gagging motions. I thought he'd managed to catch a stick in his throat so of course I got off the mower to help him.

Well the stick wasn't in his throat, but it was lodged in his mouth pretty well. One end of the stick had been impaled by a tooth, and the other end was lodged against the roof of his mouth.

It looked quite painful, and there was some blood.

I must have tried for 15 minutes to get that damn stick out of his mouth, but all I accomplished was to make it hurt more.

He didn't really bite me.

All he did was reflexively close his mouth while I just happened to have both thumbs jammed in there trying to get the stick out.

I don't blame him a bit. Hell maybe his fuzzy dog brain thought I was trying to jam the stick in even further.

I gave up on trying to get the thing out myself and called my neighbor. While I was inside putting hydrogen peroxide on my thumbs I guess Dino managed to remove the thing on his own, because when I went back outside to finish mowing he was right there to help some more.

Today I have a lovely bandage on each thumb, but they're more precautionary than medical. I probably won't need them beyond maybe Wednesday.

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