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(I missed going into Toronto Animal Services South this past weekend which means I've got no new photos of dogs to upload so instead I'm going to tell you about what Smitten did last week.)

Elizabeth and Smitten are already at the front door and I'm still putting on Rocky's jacket. Elizabeth opens the door. Without looking up, I hear a scramble and then Elizabeth yelling, "Smitten!" and then something else more guttural.

I look up and see the tail end of Smitten round the end of our fence, bolting into the neighbour's yard. Elizabeth chases after her.

I finish dressing Rocky and step outside with him. Elizabeth has Smitten by this point and comes back over.

"Look what Smitten did," Elizabeth says and she shows me the ring finger on her left hand. It's bent halfway up the first joint at a weird angle. "She broke my finger."

You know that latest Rambo movie that came out a couple of years ago? I watched it. Didn't flinch once at the slop buckets of on-screen carnage but show me a real life injury and I get woozy. I look at Elizabeth's busted finger. Now that's quite gross, I think. I try not to faint.

"What happened?" I ask.

"That stupid cat was on our porch and Smitten took off after it. The leash caught my finger," Elizabeth explains somewhat calmly. I don't understand why Elizabeth isn't screaming in pain. I'm pretty sure that's what I'd be doing.

One problem with having a ring finger snapped into an odd, distorted angle is that it becomes impossible to take the rings off. There are three of them. By the time we get to the hospital, they are constricted around Elizabeth's now ultra swollen finger like string tied between two links of sausage.

The receptionist suggests that Elizabeth try to take the rings off. Camel through the eye of a needle, I think but Elizabeth still tries. The receptionist gives her a tube of polysporin for lubricant and I slather it on the finger. Elizabeth starts working at the first ring.

"Is it budging?" I ask.

"I think so," she says.

She's really tugging at it, twisting it around, trying to squeeze the swelling and the broken bone through it. I can't look anymore. A few minutes later, it's apparent the ring isn't going anywhere.

As we sit in the hallway waiting, the pain really starts to kick in. A nurse says she'll bring by some pain killers but she doesn't. I walk around the hospital looking for some ice. Someone tells me the ice machine is around the corner. I go around the corner and I'm told the ice machine is broken. I ask for a plastic bag. I go outside and fill it with snow. I bring it back to Elizabeth and she wraps it around her finger. There's some relief.

Later, various doctors and nurses tell Elizabeth things like, "Wow, that looks painful," and "That's really going to hurt to get those rings off."

At some point, a couple of hours later, Elizabeth is brought into a room by a nurse. The nurse closes the door. I don't hear anything for a few minutes and then I hear an electric whirring sound. I hear it off and on for the next 45 minutes. Finally, Elizabeth comes out of the room. She shows me the remains of the rings.

"The wedding ring was especially difficult," she says.

Another wait and finally a doctor sees Elizabeth, puts a splint around the finger. She has to phone back in the morning and make an appointment with a plastic surgeon who will do the final set for the bones. Who knew that's what plastic surgeons do.

We get home and Smitten and Rocky greet us at the door.

"This is your fault," Elizabeth says to Smitten but it doesn't sound like she means it.

8 Comments to “Snap”

  1. Erin says:

    Ow, ow, ow! A good jeweller will be able to fix her rings. I hope her pain is managed well and that the finger heals quick and no doubt dog kisses from Smitten and Rocky will help!

  2. monica says:

    Two years ago this apr. I broke my pinky when it got tangled in a dog leash & also a bone in my hand. It actually wasn't that painful when it happened - I just heard a crack - when I looked down & saw it dangling there that is what freaked me out. My hand swelled up like a balloon but I was able to get my rings off myself after the x-ray. Five weeks in a cast up to my elbow, numerous x-rays & about eight weeks of physio therapy. I wish Elizabeth the best - I know what she is going through.

  3. Deva says:

    So sorry to hear that. I hope Elizabeth is a sensible woman and will give the finger time to heal. Same thing happened to a friend (but a squirrel was at fault) and she insisted on playing golf with two broken fingers - ended up needing lots of therapy for the hand.

  4. Biscuit says:


    Is she left-handed? I am, and a broken finger would definitely put me on the DL for a about a month.

  5. Joanne says:

    Fred, now you should have some understanding as to why women have children and not men. I would have had the same reacation as you...lurching stomach, hot sweats on the back of my neck, prickly sensation and want to puke. I hope Elizabeth is on the mend and at least pain-free..hey good drugs is the upside maybe with some time off work. I have been fortunate enough to never have broken a bone but the mere thought makes me queasy and dizzy. I have many friends who have broken many body parts and I am such a quick study (hahha - just petrified of pain) that I have learned (i) not to walk or run in high-heeled boots in the winter; (2) not to walk with my hands in my pockets any time but especially in winter; (3) not to wrap a dog leash around my fingers, hands, legs; (4) not to shut my hand in the car door; etc.

  6. Lynda says:

    Oh wow, that's unreal!! Please give my best wishes to Elizabeth. I hope she heals up nicely and quickly and that you can fix the rings.

  7. Laura HP says:

    Ugh, I broke my finger a few years ago (the night before an English exam, of course). They are tricky to heal right - even though the hospital enforced what I thought was an overload of physical therapy (mostly playing with clay), my finger is still crooked. I hope Elizabeth is doing ok (and her finger turns out straight)! She sounds incredibly sensible about the whole thing, even with her finger snapped. And hopefully the rings can be put back together by a good jeweller.

  8. Ack, ack, ack. I feel for Elizabeth, my hopes and best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery. I've had several broken bones and almost lost one finger when a nylon leash (stupidly) wrapped around my fingers was torn off by a dog tearing off; the burn from the nylon was deep, deep, deep. Leather leashes only from then on. Guess it's time to teach Smitten to sit at the door until told to go.

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A request

The reason for this blog is to help get specific dogs adopted from TAS but equally important is to try to normalize the idea of shelter dogs being just as good and just as desirable as any other dogs including those which are regularly merchandised by backyard breeders, puppy millers and those few remaining pet store owners who still feel a need to sell live animals. The single greatest stigma shelter animals still face is the belief that shelter animals are substandard animals. Anyone who has had enough experience with shelter animals knows this is untrue but the general public hasn't had the same experiences you've had. They see a nice dog photo in a glossy magazine and too many of them would never think of associating that dog with a dog from a shelter. After all, no one abandons perfectly good dogs, right? Unfortunately, as we all know, perfectly good dogs are abandoned all the time.

The public still too often associates shelter dogs with images of beat up, sick, dirty, severely traumatized animals and while we definitely sometimes see victims such as these, they are certainly not the majority and, regardless, even the most abused animals can very often be saved and made whole again.

Pound Dogs sometimes discusses the sad histories some of the dogs have suffered. For the most part, though, it tries to present the dogs not as victims but as great potential family members. The goal is to raise the profiles of animals in adoption centers so that a potential pet owner sees them as the best choice, not just as the charity choice.

So, here's the favour I'm asking. Whenever you see a dog picture on these pages you think is decent enough, I'd like you to consider sharing it on Facebook or any other social media sites you're using (I know many of you do this already and thank you for that). And when you share it, please mention that the dog in the photo is a shelter dog like so many other shelter dogs waiting for a home. If we can get even five percent of the pet buying public to see shelter dogs differently, to see how beautiful they are and how wonderful they are, and to consider shelter dogs as their first choice for a new family member, we can end the suffering of homeless pets in this country.