Lessons I've Learned From Hayden – Lesson 1

This is Hayden, my pooch. He’s so much more than just a pet, he’s my buddy and I learn a lot from him. I adopted Hayden about 6 years ago and every day, he makes me smile. Seriously, every single day. It’s fantastic. But some days, the poop hits the fan and things aren’t as lovely, which brings me to Lesson 1:
When life gets scary, stay calm and smile (even if you have a silly cone on your head)

About 2 months ago, Hayden was playing in my neighbor’s yard. He’s obsessed with tennis balls and was fetching per usual, but when he came back from his last throw, he was limping. I checked out his paw and quickly assessed the problem. He had played a little too hard and split one of his nails. Dogs have a ton of nerve endings in their nails which can cause them to bleed a ton, so after a call to the vet, I was advised to bring him in. I did, and Dr. Rattan (who happens to be the dreamiest, nicest vet in LA, in case you were wondering) cut his nail down so it would grow back properly and then bandaged it up. I was told to take off his bandage before bed and all should be fine. Well, not quite…

Later that night, I came home from dinner with friends and started taking off his bandage. There was more blood than I expected on it but once off, his nail wasn’t bleeding and appeared fine. He started licking the wound and like a dumb dumb, I let him. I went into my bedroom to change and what I saw when I came back still haunts me. In less than 10 minutes Hayden had managed to lick/bite off the scab that formed on his nail and was now covered and surrounded in blood. Lots of blood. WTF?! I yelled to my boyfriend to grab the car keys, wrapped Hayden’s foot in a towel and we were off the the Animal ER (if you have a pet, make sure you know you’re closest Animal ER because when the poop hits the fan, you are way too freaked to start Googling for one).

The ER took him right in back and the nurse quickly came out to assure me that though it looked like “bloody murder”, Hayden would be fine. His vitals were great and the super bloody nail was completely “normal”.

Words cannot come close to expressing how scared, nervous and emotional I was that night. I really thought my little man was dying in my arms. That drive to the ER was only 8 minutes long but felt like an eternity and the whole time Hayden was just licking me, calm and cool as if to say, “It’s okay, Mom, I’ll be alright.”  Thirty minutes later, we were back in the car on our way home.  Hayden, still calm and cool with a silly cone on his head, had the cutest smile on his face.

About 2 weeks after this happened, I got into a car accident. A woman ran a stop sign and rammed right into the front of my car. It was scary as heck and I was nervous and frazzled. Everyone involved was okay and though the situation was not ideal (let’s just say the other party was not accepting fault and acting CRAZY), I managed to keep my cool and stay calm. I may have not smiled at first but once the dust had settled, I was able to laugh at it all. Like Hayden, I was okay and it was all good.

Lesson learned.