“Did you see that Buddy’s ear was bleeding?”
I was midway down the hallway in the kennels after exiting Buddy’s kennel. It was near closing and I was in a rush.
“No,” I replied to the volunteer who had been assisting customers. “Was he scratching his ears?”
The answer was yes. As an owner of many hounds throughout the years, I am well versed in this scenario. “He may have an ear infection,” I suggested, a problem that plagues some dogs, particularly those with drooping ears. Buddy is a Jack Russell Terrier-Beagle mix, and while his ears follow the Jack’s perky shape, that hardly makes him immune. And it explained why, when I reached to pat his head after offering him some food earlier, he backed away.
At the time, I thought it was odd because he is an affectionate little guy. Luckily for Buddy, the observant person noted his problem — if not the cause, the existence. She wrote it on the medical board and I sought out a staff member to give warning.
It was the weekend and the clinic staff might not be available to examine him until Monday. I was afraid someone might inadvertently rub his ear and hurt him. Worse, he might snap and then be put in a forced quarantine. I made a note in the dog walkers’ station as well and crossed my fingers.
Buddy indeed had a nasty ear infection, I was told the next day, a Sunday . He was seen in the morning, and was none too happy to have his ear cleaned.
I saw him the other day near closing. When I called out, he wagged his stubby tail and pranced by me. He is still on ear medications, but is feeling mighty fine, it seems. ©