Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Three Dog Night

Two of my best friends and I are total wimps when it comes to our pets.

I took Tess in for a routine teeth cleaning and she ended up needing eight teeth pulled.  I was devastated.  Partially because of the hit to my pocketbook, but mostly because Tess came out of surgery with quite a few teeth missing and several holes in her gums.

The poor baby.

She looked miserable when I picked her up at the vet, yet that did not stop her from running all over the place trying to sniff whatever she could and peeing on tufts of grass like the male dog she isn't.  Really, there isn't much that keeps this dog down.  The receptionist at the vet said she was up and tail wagging almost as soon as the anesthesia wore off.

That's my dog.  barely out of surgery, eight-and-half years old, and still acting like a six-month-old pup with too much to do and too much to see.  I wish humans could be as unassuming and drama-free about being sick or injured as my dog.  It does make it kind of a pain to keep her quiet and resting though.

Once I got her home, however, the excitement of being picked up from the vet started to wear off.  I softened food for her and kept her inside with her doggy bed while I went back to work.  Of course on the day my baby had to have surgery I had to work until nine.  I worried about her (and the hit to my pocketbook) pretty much all night and just wanted to go home so I could cry.

I don't like to fall apart in public.  I prefer to do my bawling in private.

When I got home I discovered blood all over the floor and a very ashamed, very upset dog who was clearly in a lot of pain.  I felt like a jerk.  I had softened her food, but there were a few pieces on top that hadn't quite soaked through and she'd tried to eat them.  There was blood on the carpet around her food bowl and all over the tile floor where she'd removed herself to because she's just that good of a dog.  When she's about to make a mess she makes sure to do it on the hard floor where it's easy to clean up.  What a good girl.

She looked at me like she'd done something wrong, like I was going to yell at her, and the tears just came unbidden.  I could not stop bawling as I got her medication - three pills of antibiotics and painkillers - but the dog would not let me near her mouth, not that I blamed her.  I finally managed to get the pills down her throat by burying them in globs of peanut butter.  I do have to say, I am very lucky when it comes to my dog and pills.  She gulps pills like candy.  I have no problem giving her medicine.  Even her heartworm pill is like a lollipop to her, unlike the cats who I have to wrap up in a towel and shove liquid medicine down their throats.  That's a disaster of epic proportions.  I usually come out of that bloody.

Tess on painkillers is simultaneously funny and sad.  She's such an active, energetic dog that she does not like to be quiet and still.  She clearly doesn't know what to do when her body betrays her.  The painkillers make her woozy and she's on two different ones - a fast acting one and a long term one.  They make her wobbly, loopy, and downright doped out.  It's funny to watch her try to stagger around the house on her usual nighttime routine.  It's also rather sad, and then the other night she fell down the stairs because she was so disoriented. I had just turned off the light to go to bed and I heard a huge crash and a thump.  I turned on the light and ran downstairs and there was Tess, her hind paw slightly elevated, looking rather foolish.  I made her come upstairs then and stay.  I'm a little jealous of her medication - I kind of wish I had some of her painkillers - but I'm more upset at the fact that she's obviously in pain but acting like she's the same old dog as always, even doped out.  I've spent most of the week - when I'm not at work - drinking or eating hunks of chocolate so I don't burst into tears whenever I look at her.  She spends most of the time looking at me like I'm crazy and wondering why I keep puddling up.

When Percy punctured his paw on a stray nail from the carpet I about had a heart attack.  This was maybe over a year ago and I  noticed one morning that kitty was limping around the house, not putting any weight on his front paw.  I freaked out, screamed, "Kitty!" and rushed him to the vet.  They put him on antibiotics and said he spent the whole time he was at the vet's purring and rubbing against everyone.  I was in hysterics.  The vet must have thought I was crazy.

My best friend in Colorado has a little Bengal cat that is basically the love of her life over her husband and her stepdaughters.  Breyer has been sick for over a week and it turns out she's got an impacted intestine.  My friend has spent most of her week bawling over the cat, spending ridiculous amounts of money on vet bills and enemas, and force feeding the poor cat different brands of food.  I get constant texts on the Breyer's progress, whether she's eaten, and how much.  My friend is as bad as me, obsessing over the cat, why won't the cat eat, the cat has barely drank any water, why won't the cat get better NOW??  Breyer is finally on the mend.  My friend is about to check herself into the Funny Farm as my roommate.

My best friend here in town has a rottweiler who is her soulmate.  He has been diagnosed with bone cancer.  She's spent three days shut up in her house bawling and working out alternative care to improve the quality of life for the time Zulu has left.  When her Pyrenees died she was a basket case.  I don't think she stopped crying for a week.  Zulu is her baby, though, and now she is taking him to Colorado State University to work out some options.  I have to say I would probably do the same thing if it was Tess.  My friends' pets are going through worse than Tess and I'm acting like the world is coming to an end.  Tess doesn't need the sedatives, I do.

To be honest I cry when someone squashes a spider.  I think I actually miss my ex-boyfriend's tarantula, Scary Alice, more than I do him.

When it comes to animals my friends and I are wrecks and we see no reason to apologize for this.  Yes, there are worse things in the world, but to us, the animals are our world.  Tess is my longest serious relationship, Breyer is my friend's sanity, and Zulu is my other friend's soulmate.  They touch our lives in a way humans can't.  Tess has been with me through multiple boyfriends and she's outlasted several friendships.  Even when it seems like everyone's walked away she's still there with her big brown eyes and those adorable radar ears.  I can't imagine my life without her, though one day I know I'll have to try to go on without her.  For now, she's my closest companion and as long as she's in pain I will codependently feel sympathy pains with her.

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