Monday, October 22, 2012

Oh My Dog

For the past two weeks I have been playing doctor. This is a role that does not come easy to me. I'm squeamish. Short-tempered. And, if you've read any of the 700 plus entries in this blog, not the soft, mushy type.

But, as of October 12th my best friend, ok the friend that likes to sleep on my chest, my half-shepherd, half-golden retriever has been seriously ill. Her temperature spiked at 106 degrees. She stopped eating. And she started digging large holes in the backyard, which I took as a very ominous sign.

In that time period she has been to two veterinary hospitals and seen 4 doctors. She's been on fluids. And 8 different medications. I'm not ashamed to admit the situation has occasionally brought me to tears.

Of course, this blog does not traffic in tragedy. Unless you consider what is happening to the advertising industry, the repression of human rights throughout the Middle East (pick a country, any country) or the rapid disappearance of courtesy and common manners.

Other than that, I'm here to share smiles.

To that end, I'm happy to report that Nellie (my dog) is running around the base of my pineapple palm tree and chasing two squirrels that seem to be taunting her with half eaten palm nuts.

In other words, she's back to 90% of her old self. And much of that recovery is due to my vigiliant care. I've told my daughters I am to be addressed as FloRich Nightengale. The reference and the bad pun went right over their heads.

My crash course in veterinary medicine did not start well. Because she wasn't eating, it was impossible to hide Nellie's medicine in the beef flavored pill pockets. That meant the pills had to be administered manually. And when I say manually I mean rammed down the back of her throat. Did I mention that many of these pills (the antibiotics) are the size of a SmartCar?

Additionally, the doctor asked me to carefully monitor her temperature. She handed me a rectal thermometer and said, "have fun." This is when things got ugly.

I found a well-lit area of my family room, sat next to Nellie, lifted her tail and was suddenly reduced to a clueless 14 year old boy. I passed high school biology course with flying colors, and was somewhat familiar with dog anatomy, but I could not locate the...uh, exit hole. I poked . And I probed. And I think I got some KY jelly on the carpet.

But I did not get entry. Or a temperature reading.
I mentioned earlier that I cried. This was one of those moments.

The following day, Nellie and I had to return to the vets office. And I had to be shown, by a female vet no less, where to stick the instrument. That was a week ago. Now I'm an old pro and can take her temperature blindfolded if I had to. Though I can't imagine a scenario like that would ever happen.

The point I wanted to make is that apart from some finicky eating, Nellie is getting better.

Before penning this story, I had to do a Google Search for DOG ANUS for just the right picture. Last week I mentioned my penchant for  religious apparitions. So the fact that the first image to come up, looks amazingly like Jesus with outstretched arms, can hardly go unnoticed.

Nor should it.


George Tannenbaum said...

I showed your post to my 25-year-old daughter. She said, "I'm glas there are other people like you out there, Dad."

George Tannenbaum said...


Berk said...

I'm glad she is doing well Rich. You are a softy. And, as for the blindfolded temperature taking, you do have a milestone birthday coming up fairly soon. I'm sure we could work something out... or in. Whatever...