We're never going to tell you if it hurts or where it hurts.
A dog who gets hit by a car isn’t going to tell you if he is in pain. And if he is in pain, he certainly is not going to tell you where it hurts.
At the fence that morning after I was hit by the car, my mom saw blood and open wounds but she had no idea how seriously I had been hurt. Because of my silence, it had never occurred to her that I was so deeply wounded. I didn’t tell my mom and I didn’t complain, not a whimper. I didn’t lie down; I stayed sitting up and erect. I did everything she told me to do and I stayed where she told me to stay. My eyes were wide open the whole time and I followed my mom’s every move. Even when she had driven the car to the back of our home and was opening the back door to the car to let me in, I tried to jump in until she said “Joey, NO” and she put the blanket around me and lifted me in and onto the car seat.
The hardest part for my parents was when the first doctor said, “He could die if you don’t get him to Angell right away.”
Since then my parents have been learning a lot about how we dogs are different from humans. For example, today my mom found me licking my splint again. She knows that something is irritating my foot and that this means another trip to the hospital tomorrow to try to determine the source of my irritation – and that in the meanwhile she has to put the sock back on my foot and the cone if my licking my foot continues. She knows that I’m never going to tell her that my foot is being irritated or where it’s irritated. I’m not going to complain. She knows that I’m just going to try to get some relief in the only way I can, which is to lick my foot. And maybe try to chew at the splint.
That’s just my way. That’s our – a dog’s – way.
Ask any dog and he or she will tell you the same.
So my mom and dad are going to keep looking at me and looking at me to see what I’m up to every day, every waking hour. And they’re going to keep the phone number of the animal hospital close at hand.