Introduction to Parenthood, Part I

Ben’s sister Hannah is in town for the summer and Ben has been anxious to get her out backpacking. Their days finally matched last week and the two of them headed to Eagle Creek with Bridger in tow (I was working so I stayed behind). I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but our dog is an adventure dog! He LOVES to be outside and you’ve never seen a dog so happy as Bridger when we strap his pack on and head out. He’s a born trail dog!
That being said, we thought nothing of taking him to Eagle Creek (16 miles round trip). The three of us did the same hike last year and we had done a similar hike a few weeks back (Angels Rest). It never occurred to us that Bridger’s feet may not be ready for such a task.
On the way out Ben started to notice that Bridger wasn’t keeping up like he normally does (he’s usually right behind our legs hoping that we let him be the leader), but he was smiling and tail was wagging so they carried on. Eventually, Ben became more concerned and looked at his feet. Bridger’s poor pads were raw! Poor thing! They had no choice to continue on, though Ben carried Bridger’s pack for the rest of the hike and went as slow as Bridger wanted to go.
They made it home just before I got home, but when I walked in the door and Bridger didn’t run to the door to give me a rowdy hello, I knew something was wrong. Poor Ben, he felt so guilty as he retold me the story! While Ben researched what to do, I sat on the floor next to our sick baby and he just laid his head on my lap and let me pet him for a long time (he is normally way too playful to be a cuddle-bug). Because it was late and we didn’t think a trip to the animal hospital was in order, we decided to clean his paws, slather them with antibiotic ointment, wrap them in gauze and reassess in the morning.
We set up a little cleaning station in the living room (so B wouldn’t have to move from where he was laying) and tended to his feet as delicately as we could. Ben was so gentle, though nervous and was a pretty good assistant for me as I wrapped the bandage around our squirmy puppy’s feet. We laughed as we were cleaning up because we felt like we had just had our first taste at the not-so-glamorous side of parenthood. Our baby was sick and we had to do something!
Well, our fumbling did the trick because Bridger was much more perky the next morning and just about back to his old self the next night.
This post may not interest many people, but I wanted to be sure to remember Ben and my first time playing doctor in our home and the time when we tended to our first sick baby.
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