I got the call a couple days ago. The clinic’s current supply of blood was due to expire and Blue was next up on the donor list. So after dinner on Thursday, I bundled Blue up and we made our way to the clinic.
Luckily for us, it wasn’t busy at all which meant he got right in. I must confess to having a small fantasy that we would arrive at the clinic in the nick of time to save the day for some poor dog at death’s door. Blue would gallantly lie down next to the unfortunate canine and give a patient to patient transfusion thus saving the dog from certain extinction. Yeah right.
Instead, they took Blue out back and I read the newspaper while they drained my big guy. After awhile, Blue came out staggering slightly, looking a bit woozy. The clinician explained that they had actually had to tap both sides since the first attempt caught him by surprise and he jerked his head, collapsing the vein. He was prepared when they got to the other side though and she said he was the very model of a perfect canine blood donor.
One of my big concerns about letting the kids be blood donors was that it may traumatize one or both of them. Any concerns I had about Blue were allayed when the clinician made a big deal of him for a bit and then turned to go back to the treatment area. Blue started in after her, clearly not traumatized at all by the woman who had just pierced his neck with a fire hose. That’s my boy. He doesn’t care what you are doing to him, as long as you are touching him. He had two staff members’ undivided attention for 40 minutes. For Blue, that seemed well worth the vampiric experience.
I put his coat on as they warned me that, as a white dog, he would bleed some more. I am familiar with Blue’s penchant to bleed more than normal and bruise terribly at the slightest hint of a breeze wafting by and inadvertently brushing his skin.
There was fresh blood smeared all over his neck, chest and jaw. Small rivulets of blood were still trickling down each side of his neck from the newly minted puncture holes. The skin underneath all that gore was nearly black and he had a puffy, squishy dewlap of pooled blood just under the surface.
Two rolls of paper towels later and fifteen minutes of direct pressure managed to bring the flow to a level small enough to allow me run to the trusty medical stash and grab him some Yunnan Baiyao capsules. This is a Traditional Chinese Medicine remedy that we used on Girly Girl when her lungs were filling with blood. It is nearly miraculous in its ability to stop bleeding anywhere on or in the body. Within a couple minutes, the bleeding stopped completely.
I then turned my attention to clean up. Another roll of paper towels later, I had managed to clean up much of what could only be described as a scene from a slasher movie. There was blood on Blue, blood on me, blood on Bettina, blood on the floor…you get the idea. I even wrung another pint or so of blood out of Blue’s coat. I certainly hope no one investigates my garbage too closely. If they do, I’ll surely have law enforcement on my doorstep.
After a short siesta and some more treats deftly extracted from mumma, Blue rallied. His eyes were bright again and he spent some quality time with his favorite bone. I was relieved to see that all was well. Poor Blue had given twice the normal donation amount. We’ll have to come up with a better solution next time because my budget can’t afford another clean up on seven. And they’ve already informed me that Bettina is up next month.