You know when you experience those lightning strikes of sheer brilliance, when you think to yourself, "why didn't I think of that before?" and you've just got to share it? I'm having one of those (rare) awe-inspiring "man do I rock!" moments.
I've discovered a new use for old socks.
I'm all about sewing and darning old socks, but there comes a time when there's just not enough material left to darn. My husband and son wear the heels and toes through sports socks in no time; I even have a basket in the cellar relegated to discarded and mismatched socks.
I've found they're handy for rags and crafting, but I'd never thought of their use as a veterinary aide.
It started this morning as I stepped through the barnyard gate after finishing my chores. I noticed Henry lying nearby licking his foot, but as he's taken to collecting sticky ice chunks between his toes, I thought he was simply removing them. Then I noticed the blood-stained snow. Turns out he'd ripped open the carpal pad (the one on the back of his leg, above the paw). The bleeding had stopped, but being a dog, he wouldn't leave it alone.
I brought him inside, cleaned the wound and wrapped it with some gauze. He sat there, ears pressed against the sides of his head, holding his paw up in front of him like a lady waiting to have her hand kissed. I don't think it was the pain that wounded him -- it was the indignity of being subjected to this kind of swaddling.
I settled in my office to get some work and Henry joined me at his post -- the rug behind my desk. Then I heard it: the slurping, licking, sloppy sound of his massive dog tongue working away at the gauze.
I started thinking of all the ways I could secure the gauze, just long enough for the pad to seal and begin healing: Packing tape? Too crinkly. Duct tape? Too sticky. Surgical tape? Yes, of course... but we're out.
Then it came to me: a doggie sock/leg warmer.
I grabbed one of Jack's old sports socks, cut the leg off and slipped it over the gauze. It worked perfectly. It secured the gauze and stopped him from licking.
Henry was none too impressed. Not only was he now wearing human clothes, but I'd taken away his sloppy yucky pastime.
That's his "you've got to be kidding me" look.
It could be worse: At least the sock doesn't have rainbows or fairies or heaven forbid, cats on it.
Just wait 'til the next time he goes outside and I put the plastic baggie over his paw. I just hope the donkeys don't laugh at him.
Ed. update: Six hours later, Henry needs a bigger sock.