May, 2011. We originally were going to foster "Big Dave” (as we called him) for a week so he could recover from a small laceration on his foot. He was completely housetrained, very well mannered, and got along great with our dog Boomer. They loved running around the deck chasing each other at helter skelter speeds. Sure, in retrospect maybe this dog did have the longest, strongest tail I’ve ever seen. What could go wrong with that? It looked to be an easy foster.
So we put Dave in his crate on Saturday morning for the first time while we left to go workout. We come home and apparently just as I’m about to let him out his tail somehow gets caught between the bars of the metal crate and wags so hard that it gets a nasty cut on the very end.
And so we learned a new term: happy tail syndrome. Dave merrily trots down the hall, apparently in no pain. But his tail is violently slinging red blood back and forth down the white walls of the hallway. Chamber of horrors! My poor wife got the cleanup duty while I took him outside.
So back we go to IndyHumane. They put a hard plastic bulb around the end of his tail and taped it secure. It lasted until he SMACKED it hard against the wall and shattered the plastic. Wonderful dog. Nightmarish problem.
After two weeks of valiantly trying to keep re-taping and re-covering the tail to let it heal, and several more bloody wall cleanings later, the decision was made to amputate it down to a more manageable size. This is much better for Dave but meant we watched him for another ten days while he wore a huge plastic collar so he couldn’t pull out the stitches. He's just as happy and playful as ever, but will no longer be knocking the daylights out of his future owner's walls, chairs, tables, shins...
Dave got adopted the week after he went back. Hurray!