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Over the years I've learned how to vaccinate cows, help deliver calves, treat the scours and even give a calf a pinkeye shot in the eyelid.
These are things a farmer has to do. It is impractical--and expensive--to call a veterinarian for every little problem.
I have also occasionally applied my medical expertise to dogs.
Once, as a teen, I took my grandmother's needle and thread and sewed a flap of loose skin back on an old hound dog that had been hit by a car. He got along just fine.
The most prominent doctoring incident of my medical career came when I noticed one day that there was something wrong with my old beagle, Rouser.
I really don't remember which Rouser this was--all my beagles have been named Rouser except when I had two dogs. Then the other was always named Rattler.
Well, that's not exactly true. Once I had a pair, brothers, I called Little Dog and Big Dog. As you might guess, one was bigger than the other.
But back to Old Rouser. I happened to look at his back one day and there was a hole in the skin. Now you don't expect to see a hole in your dog's skin, even if it is a perfectly round one like this hole.
The hole was about the size of a .22-caliber bullet so I thought that perhaps the dog had been shot. The odd part was that the hole was on the top of his back so the angle of the shooter would have had to have been almost straight down.
That didn't make sense unless somebody was shooting at a squirrel in a tree and missed. The bullet could have gone way up in the sky and then fallen back down, hitting Old Rouser in the back. That seemed the only logical explanation.
If that old dog did have