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Working Ranch April/May 2016

ask the vetBY DR. ARN ANDERSON, DVM Icould not get a word in edgewise. The after-hours caller seemed It seems she followed as closely as possible driving down gravel roads, through unlocked gates, over cattle guards and across hay fi elds as Carl, dressed in his shorts, sneakers and untucked Ralph Lauren shirt, chased that hound through three fences and across a freshly cut hay fi eld. She described their dedication; Carl dodging around round bales, tripping over a ball of hay netting, and diving into the briars at the fi eld’s edge as Mrs. Symington kept the sedan in granny gear and yelled encouragement from the partially rolled down window. Even when involved in a “hot pursuit rescue” I guess she did not want to waste the AC. They would risk their lives for a mistreated pet and I should know that. Still this woman had not stopped to breathe and I had said nothing beyond hello. It seems Carl continued his assigned task, chasing the Bassett through the creek, up the sand embankment, nearly grabbing the forlorn creature before slipping in a fresh cow pie and losing his grip. Mrs. Symington recounted driving around to head off the chase and block the dog from escape. Obviously driven by fear, the “malnourished” canine ran through a culvert followed closely by the husband. Both emerged on the other side - the Bassett with its tongue out and Carl covered in green algae with his shirt torn. It was an expensive shirt, but there was no cost too great to rescue this poor creature. Finally Mrs. Symington reported that her husband had cornered the dog by the Highway Department’s road grader and was able to scoop the pet up, and they were now speeding to the clinic and I had better be there or they would fi nd another vet. I still had not said a word but I had counted the word “rescue” twelve times and the word “abuse” three times. Still not sure what my role in this mission would be I said I was on my way as Mrs. Symington could be heard yelling at Carl to drive faster. As I pulled into the parking lot the Symingtons slid in from the other direction and Mrs. S. emerged from the mud-splattered car cradling a bundle wrapped in a quilt. She shuffl ed toward our clinic’s front door. Before I could get the key into the lock she began frantically yelling to open the door or they would head to Oklahoma City to a real veterinary hospital. I could see a nose poking out from under the blanket and I helped her lift the dog onto the exam table while she cursed people who could hurt innocent animals declaring that they should be punished and locked up. Mrs. S. pushed my hands away and to not even breathe as she unveiled a rehearsed dissertation on the events of her afternoon. Without a single audible inhale or exhale Mrs. Symington described the pathetic scene. From her point of view she and her husband Carl were just driving around when they came upon the tragic case of animal abuse and depraved human cruelty. Without stopping she painted the picture of a forgotten pet struggling to survive when she and her husband luckily happened upon the Bassett Hound laying under a post oak tree on that dirt back road. She pointed out that the dog must have been abused by a man since it ran when Carl jumped from the vehicle and tried to rescue it from its eminent demise. Still without breathing, Mrs. Symington continued vividly recounting the events. 96 I WORKING RANCH I APRIL / MAY 2016


Working Ranch April/May 2016
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