My story, faithful friend, happy companion – a dog.

Sickness Is Just Not Sexy

Many of you know that from a young pup I have had my health ‘issues’. When I was new to Beloved I gave her a real scare one day when I suddenly began screaming after slipping on the shiny kitchen tiles. She rushed me to the vet who diagnosed a subluxation of the patella.

It was then discovered that my shoulder joints were none to good and I have learnt to throw my front legs out a little when I walk to minimize the discomfort. The Princess laughs at me but I don’t care. It means that I only run occasionally but running is over rated.

Then of course there have been the frequent trips to the surgery for the ear infections, skin infections and allergy problems.

I am a dog who has seen my fair share of sickness and one thing I can tell you is that it is just not fun to be sick. It is not cool. I don’t talk about it down at the dog park because none of the healthy dogs want to hear about my physical problems and once they know about it they will begin avoiding me because they are embarrassed and don’t know how to handle it. The few who do know tend to make a quick polite enquiry but are relieved when I tell them I’m fine. They don’t really want to be faced with the reality that physical problems occur, it makes them afraid it might happen to them.

The Princess, being the rather empty headed ditzy Tibetan model that she is has been in the dog hospital a few times. Once, like me, she had to have her ears thoroughly cleaned out. That was a painful experience. Needless to say I was very brave and stoic, she cried.

The second time for The Princess was when she stole some of Beloved beloved’s sleeping pills. This was actually rather amusing to watch. He was packing to go away and had spread his stuff over the carpet before putting them in the suitcase. Any well brought up Tibbie like me would know not to touch, but The Princess just had to have a taste. The first I knew about it was a shout as Beloved’s beloved realized the top was off the container (don’t ask, even I can’t account for how she managed it). Beloved came running and asked how many were missing. They didn’t know (rather irresponsible I think, what if  that had been me?).
Anyway, Beloved looked in the mouth of The Princess and saw nothing and they thought it was okay because they couldn’t see any pill crumbs.

Of course Zena had told me she’d swallowed some and admitted they didn’t taste all that great. Beloved went back to the kitchen and her beloved continued packing. Meanwhile I began having rather interesting interactions with The Princess which should have been captured on film! Finally Beloved let her out into the garden, she staggered in a circle and fell over laughing, that’s when Beloved rushed her to the vet but there was nothing they could do so I had to watch her all night and put up with her hangover moan.

The second time she was sick she ate something in the garden which she told me looked different. You would think she would have learnt, but learning from experience is not her strong point. In fact I’ll let you know her strong point when I discover it.

Again she was taken to the vet who at first thought she had a virus and gave her antibiotics. I watched her eyes turn a funny yellow colour and when Beloved saw that, The Princess was whisked off to a different vet who actually kept her in the surgery for two nights. I love him. Eventually she made such a fuss they had to let her come home, in fact I think they were pleased to see the back of her and my peace was over.

So you can see that between us we have had quite a lot to do with the vet over the years. the Princess is always nervous when she goes but I remember puppy parties at the surgery and I love meeting new dogs to be friends with and the smells there are just amazing.

But I have to admit dignity flies out of the window when sickness comes in the door.

To begin with there is the ordeal of the weighing scales. As you know weight has been a challenge for me lately partly due to the medication I have been on and the last thing I want is for my growing girth to be the subject of the waiting room sniggers. And of course it doesn’t help that The Princess has no such problems.

We had an appointment yesterday and just as I feared my weight was shouted out in front of a rather fine and definitely sleek Pointer. I did try to explain the situation and mention that I had actually lost a kilo but I could see she labelled me as lazy. It is so unfair that so often when you are overweight judgements are made about you. I felt it deeply. She was a very attractive dog.

Then it was our turn to go in and see the vet. He is a nice guy and I hold nothing against him. He has a job to do. Except… is there no other way to take a dog’s temperature? Really!

The consultation quickly became very undignified (and I believe unnecessary). Before I knew it I was held in Beloved’s arms and tipped upside down to lie on the table. I was a little surprised and would have struggled but I am a well brought up Tibetan so I lay there legs in the air whilst the vet examined parts of me which I really would have preferred to have remained private.

With that ordeal behind me, the vet began pulling on my back legs to straighten them out. It hurt and I wasn’t able to extend them back very far which I could see surprised and concerned Beloved. Then of course he demonstrated how far I should have been able to stretch them out on The Princess and she had no such trouble as she delighted in proving to me and to them. Like a limber ballerina she stretched and arched and I think was unnecessarily supple in order to show me up.

I am used to The Princess prancing around me and demonstrating her agility but this was public humiliation. Never fear, I will remember.

Then they moved on to comment on my age and then of course brought up the shameful my uncle is also my father business, will they never let me forget it? It wasn’t like it was my fault.

So after being prodded, pulled and poked I was sent out feeling very inadequate and as if these problems were somehow my fault. Perhaps I am a weak Tibetan, I should be of a stronger character in order to overcome these shortcomings. Would other dogs with the same problems behave in the same way or is it just that I am being a baby? All of these thoughts went through my head and made me feel as if I were failing somehow.

Feeling downhearted  I walked to the car.  I was pleased to see that the Pointer had gone. Sickness is just not sexy or cool.

And to add insult to injury I didn’t even get a liver treat and you who know me understand that I am a dog who likes my treats.

So today I am going to compose myself after the trauma of the visit and have a restoring sleep. By the time I wake up it should all seem like a bad dream and I will endeavour not to let it trouble me and plot my revenge on The Princess. Maybe I won’t play with her later, or perhaps I’ll sneak her lunchtime treat whilst her back is turned, or I could refuse to go out into the garden with her. I’ll decide after my nap.


3 responses

  1. It’s a dog’s life, Zac! What better pooch to live and express it with grace and dignity is there, than you? Sending you some serious paw. o:

    Love your Beloved’s Son’s Beloved

    March 29, 2012 at 12:12 pm

  2. Oh, that Princess…I’m sure you’ll find a fitting revenge and tell us all about it! You handled your visit with much more dignity then she would have if she was in your place, I’m sure! But no cookies? That just isn’t right… Everyone should get cookies after going through that.
    Loves and belly rubs,

    March 30, 2012 at 5:59 am

  3. Anastasia, that’s what I thought. What’s with the no treats. I hope to get double next time. And don’t worry, I shall get my revenge, I tell her scary stories at night when no-one is around. I told her last night that we were going into kennels. We’re not, but she doesn’t know that!

    March 30, 2012 at 11:53 am

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