Yesterday morning, my local septic pumper-outers showed up. I’d called them the day before because the front yard smelled awful, and there was some effluent around one of the septic manholes.

They’re working on the system. They’ve already met the dog, she’s back in the house, then my daughter comes out looking panicked and says, “Mom! Come quick! Sugar’s leg is broken!” I come rushing back from talking with the Septic guys to see Sugar, Megan’s 6 year old Tortie with what looks to be a dislocated back haunch. It’s twisted horribly out of shape. So, I head in the house, call the vet. The vet tech who answers the phone says that the vet is at a graduation event and won’t be back until 3:30, but that if we can wait, we could go then. She thinks Sugar ought to be alright until then but that we should confine her so she doesn’t injure the leg anymore. Okay, that’s better than an emergency vet adventure, and I think she’ll handle it, so we hunt around for the cat carrier, finally finding it hidden in the garage because we’re overdue on taking any of our cats in for their annual exams.

Okay, that done, I head back out to the septic guys, inadvertently forgetting to shut the door behind me. We are casually chatting when Cinders (my 8 year old golden retriever/border collie mix) heads out, quietly. One of the guys jokes that he hopes that she doesn’t fall into the open man hole, when she suddenly realizes that they’re still there and rushes over barking her fool head off.

Can you see where this is headed? She falls IN the FULL septic tank. One of the guys, who’s a real dog lover and who happens to be kneeling there next to the manhole, tries to help her back out. Actually, he does manage to pull her out, but not before she bites his hand. One canine bite to the soft part between the top between hand and finger and a smaller bite on the bottom side of his hand. She’s freaking out, barking and spinning, he’s bleeding.

I get up, take her into the sunroom and fumble mightily, trying to put the small panel that goes into the dog door so that she can’t get out of the sunroom. Yes, the back half of her is covered in shit. I figure I’ll just clean up the room when we’re done. I take a few moments to quietly talk to her, telling her she’s a good girl, in a vain attempt to get her to calm down, then I head back out to Jesse to see what I can do to help.

They’ve found the hose and are washing out the wound. It bled a lot in the beginning, which is a good thing, because the blood will flush out anything that went in with Cinder’s tooth. Then we put neosporin (A LOT of it) on the wounds and gauze and tape. In the meantime, Megan has called the gal who lives down the street who was a long-time volunteer on the local Volunteer Fire Team. She brings her medical kit and takes a look at it, reassuring everyone that the swelling at the puncture site is normal and that we’ve done all the right things.

The poor bitten fellow has said repeatedly, “It’s not the dog’s fault; she was scared.”

He said that he wasn’t going to go to the doctor’s and that he was especially not going to get a tetanus shot, even though he couldn’t remember if he’d *ever* gotten one. I repeatedly encouraged him to do so, even though I know that it might mean something bad for Cinders.

They finish up the job (I’ve headed down the hill to take Megan to her planned activities and to pick up my CSA box that’s loaded with lovely veggies! Although not before taking Cinders out back to give her a thorough bath because I know that the minute she calms down and stops barking she’ll try to clean herself and that’s just too gross and scary to contemplate.)

Okay, one issue sort of dealt with, now on to the second. The vet calls at 2:30 to ask if we can come in at 3:00 instead of 3:30. YES! She’s already in the cat carrier, so I pick her up and we head down to the vets.

We get in there, and she doesn’t want to come out of the carrier, which is not surprising, they never want to get out onto the steel table in the vet’s office.

We do get her out and the vet starts moving her leg around. I start to feel nauseous. He asks if they should take her into the back to do this, but I manage to pull it together (breathing deeply and looking away for the worst of it). The cat is purring and laying quietly, which both the tech and the vet comment on. She’s a tortie. Tortie’s are notorious for being particularly unpredictable, so calm was not what they expected.

They need to take x-rays to know what’s actually going on in the twisted-looking foot, so they’ll need to keep her there.

Long story, slightly shorter, they x-ray her, determine that the foot is both broken and dislocated and that to repair that it will require surgery. She’ll need pins in the broken bone side because she’d broken the fibular (that’s the smaller of the two bones leading to the foot and it’s truly tiny) and probably torn the ligament on the other side, which is why the joint is dislocated.

They send her home with us with a splint, a catheter (for tomorrow’s surgery because they’re less expensive and it will save us a little bit of money on this expensive surgery) and a cone of shame. (A cat-sized Elizabeth collar). With instructions to keep her confined, probably in the bathroom, and to give her an oral narcotic at midnight and then have her at the surgeon’s by 8:00.

She’s there now. Surgery is scheduled for 2:00 this afternoon.

I did get a call from the septic guys letting me know that he did go to the doctor’s and they did give him his tetanus shot. They also filed a report about Cinders (it’s legally required). So I think Cinders will have to be quarantined for 10 days, as soon as Animal Control shows to enforce that. In the meantime, we’re keeping her on the property. We know she doesn’t have Rabies. Her vaccine is current and the bite was completely situational, so I’m not worried. I’m not sure what the quarantine looks like, although the vet did say that usually they let you keep the dog at home.

Heavy sigh. It’s been an interesting two days. Not cheap either. Because, in addition to the cat’s surgery, it looks like we’re going to have to have the pump control panel rebuilt, because that’s part of why the septic backed up. The pump guy came out this morning and did some work, fixing floats and other things.

This is the sort of day that I might read about in a novel and think “How implausible that all of that would happen in one day!”

Now I know better.