Wednesday, February 24, 2010
My dog has had a rough month. Short story long.....
I've briefly introduced you to the family pet - Rox. A 6-pound Poo-Chi. 50% Toy Poodle, 50% Chihuahua (which took me, like, 3 years to learn how to spell), 100% pain in my arse (," she said, lovingly.") I know, I know. All you "Pet Owners of the Year" are wondering how much trouble can a six-pound, non-shedding dog be? Well, he's no Marley, I'll give you that. But he has chewed his way through many shoes, toys, and loose rug strings. Those, however, are common dog issues that one would expect. What I wasn't ready for was his homosapien tendencies at manipulation. The dog is smarter than my 9-year old in this department. Rox has been known to bark at the door until we let him out, hide behind a bush pretending to urinate, and wait to come back in until we offer him a snack. In fact, he'll even run and bark at imaginary creatures, just to force our hand with the running-from-the-kitchen-spatula-a'wavin'-in-a-panic-that-he's-terrorizing-a-neighbor-"ROX, COME GET A SNAAAACK!!" He thinks he's so clever. Well, it was all fun and games, until one day....
Poor Roxy was sick. Just wasn't himself. Stopped eating and drinking. Strained terribly while trying to do his business. A neighbor saw him and said, "Oh boy, I hope nothing's blocking the way, there. That could cost ya." What the - ?? Blockage? What could he have possibly eaten that could be stuck in there? He's over the whole chewing things that aren't food. I called the vet and gave them the lowdown. They wanted to see him stat.
Initial examination revealed nothing. No blockage according to that handy-dandy thermometer the vet whipped out of nowhere. Thankfully, that six seconds was more uncomfortable for me than Rox. On to the x-ray machine. They swept up Rox and left me sitting there, wallowing in my mommy-guilt. I wasn't sure how, but I was quite certain his suffering was my fault. Ten minutes later, the vet comes back with the answer. "Right problem, wrong end," she said triumphantly. Then she held up an x-ray and pointed to a few circlish dots. "Kidney stones."
Seriously? My dog has kidney stones? Weeell, of course he does. I KNEW it was my fault! I shouldn't have tried to buy his love by allowing him his weight in snacks every day. I should have taken him on walks instead of letting him sleep all day in my big comfy bed because he matched the throw pillows. I should have purchased the Wii Fit for Small Dogs that he had on his Christmas wish list. Bad mommy!
And so, Operation Kidney Stone Removal was in full swing. I leave the dog, Doc performs surgery later that day, dog stays the night and probably comes home the next day.
LATER THAT SAME DAY
*Ring* Ring* Operation Kidney Stone Removal has hit a snafu.
"Wow, she was a mess in there," said the vet referring to my male dog. Happens all the time. Everyone expects the cute little poodlesque pooch to be a girl. Especially with a name like, Rox, which we often affectionately lengthen to Roxy.
"What do you mean, is everything okay with HIM?" Doc proceeded to tell me how there was a lot of damage in the urethra and they wanted to watch "her" a couple of days to make sure everything's okay. Again, I'm not often offended when people call Rox a "she," but this lady just operated on his penis. Poor Roxy. Could he be any more emasculated?
Yes. Yes, he could....
*Ring*Ring* Just as Operation Desert Storm has become Operation New Dawn, Operation Kidney Stone Removal has become Operation New Pee-Pee Hole. That's right. That's what the vet told me (kinda). "I had to give him a new hole because there was too much damage in the urethra."
"I'm sorry, wha?!?"
"We're going to hold onto him (after hanging out down there another day, I guess she got used to calling my dog a "he") another day or two and make sure everything comes out okay." No pun intended, I'm sure.
My poor little doggy. The "day or two" ended up being four more days. It was truly touch and go there for awhile. He wouldn't eat or drink. I think the "new hole" was confusing him. So much change in one short week, and no counseling, hormone injections, or even so much as a 'Getting to Know the New You' pamphlet to read. He was taking it hard. When he did finally come home, we had to watch his every move. He had to wear the Elizabethean cone, which really pissed him off, but he was stitched up in two sensitive areas - make that three. One of the vet personnel tried to give Rox a quick "bangs cut" (he had missed his grooming appointment during the whole ordeal) and accidentally knicked him with the scissors. Pathetic, right? Keep reading.
When he finally did come home, he was a miserable mess. I resorted to letting him lick ice cubes out of my hand because he couldn't seem to get his cone-head into his water bowl. I also had to hand-feed him a few morsels of his new special diet food by hand, but with every bite, he hacked, gagged, and threw up a mucousy mess. And, of course, there was the ointment which needed to be applied to the wounds twice daily. We were both a little bitter about that one.
After a couple of days of barely eating, I phoned the vet with the latest. "The antibiotic is probably making him sick." So they prescribed an anti-nausea pill. Super. Now I have to hide pills in his food for him to eat, which he's going to throw up and I have to clean up. "Got any prescriptions for me back behind that little desk of yours, Lady? Just kidding! No I wasn't. Thank you so much. I'm sure this is going to work great." Because everything's been foolproof thus far. The pills did stay down. But don't alert the choir of angels just yet. Five minutes after taking said pills, my dog would bark and cry incessantly, follow me around so closely that he would bump into my calf every three seconds, and shake uncontrollably. It was like a "This is your dog on crack" commercial. The schizophrenia lasted about 20 minutes. He totally scared the children. I decided the pills would have to be administered 5 minutes prior to us leaving the house everyday. Sound cruel? It was for our sanity and his own safety. Oh, did I forget to mention that at this point, he's still throwing up his food?
By now, I'm picking out the casket. I'm writing the eulogy. I'm trying to decide the best way to console the kids. Perhaps an aqua frog for each of them. Lord knows, there will NOT be another dog. Hell froze over once. It's ain't happening again.
A week and a half later (nearly three weeks after the first surgery), Rox trotted down the stairs and headed straight to his special diet food bowl. He had his fill, lapped up a big drink, and turned to me with a smirky smile. Swear. My dog smiled at me. Such relief I felt! I hadn't killed my dog. I am a responsible dog owner! PETA isn't going to put a hit out on me!
A week later, I finally take Rox to his much overdue grooming appointment. I apologize for his shagginess, and hold him "crucified Jesus" style as I point out his delicate areas. "Oh, I see. He has a vagina," says the groomer.
"SSSSHHHHHH," I cover Rox's little ears. "We're calling it a new pee-pee hole." My poor dog. His penis has been rendered completely useless. He shoots blanks and pees from a fabricated va-jay-jay. How will I ever make it up to him?
"Give him a mohawk...and I'll take that spiked collar in the window," I tell the groomer.