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   Eleanor's AWOL toenail
Thursday, January 22 2004
Our accident-prone dog Eleanor really outdid herself this morning, somehow managing to snap off one of her claws at its root. When I use the term "root," I mean that there was a trace of bone stuck to the base of the claw. Gretchen found it on the floor looking like a discarded finger from a leprosy patient. Evidently Eleanor had broken it while rough housing (probably outside) and it had hung by a string until she licked it off and it fell on the floor. I'm surprised that she didn't immediately eat it.
Gretchen was horrified and called the vet, but he said it was no big deal, that this sort of thing happens all the time to dogs, and furthermore, the missing claw somehow manages to grow back, much like a skink's amputated tail.
I applied a little antibacterial salve to the hole in Eleanor's toe. It was tender and she winced as I touched it. This new injury is on the hind foot opposite the one with the sprained ankle, and probably resulted from the additional stress of being the only rear leg she walks on. The pain of the missing toenail did much to balance-out Eleanor's gimpyness. She completely discontinued her old three-legged-dog hop-shuffle and resumed the more quadrupedal gates of her pre-gimpy days.

Eleanor's fallen toenail.

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