Sunday, March 01, 2009

Valley of the Dogs

I picked up my dog at the vet a few days ago. She had minor surgery to remove a growth that went from the size of a pea to the size of a grape and then to the size of a pea again; then it grew again and she couldn’t stop licking it. My local vet is scary. I think he might be German and he has Wagner blaring from speakers in the ceiling in a Jewish neighborhood. It’s a little creepy. However, basically everyone around here recommends him. His office looks like a set from Scary Movie 8: The SAW Chronicles. He has old National Geographic magazines from like 1952 and Field and Stream placed perfectly on the waiting room tables. I'm afraid to move them, lest I get them out of their perfect chronological order. Our old boxer, God rest her soul, hated him and almost bit his face off when he tried to trim her nails.

Peaches had only been there once to get a second rabies shot when we couldn’t get the paperwork for her first one. She was reluctant to enter, as most "children" seem to fear the possibility of a shot. My eighteen year old son still has to be distracted when a needle appears, “Hey, I was thinking about buying you a car! (‘OUCH’) NOT!” Anyway, my stomach was in knots when I went to pick up Peaches, an hour earlier than scheduled. Dr. ich bin ein Berliner told me I could take her home and that she was fine. I didn’t realize that “fine” meant that she was high as a kite and stumbling like a drunken lumberjack on a log roll.

He brought her out into the lobby where I had a new toy monkey waiting for her. She stumbled into my arms and tried to lick my face, missing my lips every time. Then she turned back to the vet and ran at him to kiss him into oblivion. She kept running back and forth between us, her look saying, “I love YOU vet! I love YOU!” “Thanks for the monkey, mom! Is this my monkey? I can’t keep it in my mouth. Is this my monkey? Carry it! Wait, I’ll take it! NOPE, YOU take it!” “I love you vet!” This dance went on for a good two minutes before we left the horror film set and cartwheeled toward the car.

She spent the rest of the afternoon falling into walls and acting like all the toys she’d recently become bored with were now the most interesting and exciting things on the planet. Her brother stood by and watched; his brow furrowed in confusion as his sister spent the next few hours on a trip that was clearly the result of the antiquated canine barbiturate doping system. James was absolutely aghast that a milder, “less fun” sedative hadn’t been used. As for me, I was thrilled for her and am now contemplating having this chicken pox scar on my chin removed. I wonder if being a Dr. of Veterinary Medicine also qualifies you to operate on humans. All I could think was, “I want what she’s having.” I still don’t know if she was smiling all day, or just couldn’t keep her twelve inch tongue in her mouth under the influence.

I don’t know how to break it to her that next time she goes to the vet she probably won’t be getting the same treatment. We’re both going to be very disappointed.

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