Thursday, July 28, 2016

Adventures in pet care

The plan I had for this morning was derailed by well-meaning relatives: I had planned to go up, have Mom help me wash the dog, then take the dog to the vet's in a nearby town.  What happened was that my mom and aunts had washed the dog by the time I got there to wash the dog. 

I was left with an hour on my hands.

So, our delightful little super-intelligent dog snapped at the vet twice.  She didn't want him handling the hair around her eyes, and didn't want him to pet her after he'd given her three shots.  She ended up costing over a hundred bucks for a well dog visit and weigh-in (19.88 lbs, if you were wondering, in a front wheel drive dog), with a shot package, worm treatment, and flea and tick treatments. 

She loved the little vet tech, though.

I got her home, gave her a bowl of water and let her sleep for a while, while I fixed something to eat and collapsed.  About an hour later, she woke up and whined a bit, so I figured she needed to piddle, and let her out the back door.  I got distracted for a few minutes (no more than about three), and came back to the dog going batshit insane.  Jumping at something, then jumping back.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  I thought, "oh, shit--she's cornered a snake" and ran outside to get the dog in the house so that the snake could get away. 

Nope.  She'd cornered--and pissed off--a box turtle.  I have never, in my life, seen a box turtle as pissed off as the one our dog had spent no more than three minutes with. 

The turtle was hissing.  I have never heard a turtle hiss, not even the big snapping turtles that lived in the slightly swampy area in my maternal grandmother's pasture. 

So, I pulled the dog back by her harness, and stepped in to pick up the turtle--at which point, it hisses at me, probably for taking so long to make my dog start irritating it--and put it outside the privacy fence gate.  It actually sat there and glared at me for about fifteen seconds before turning to turtle off. 

The dog?  Spent the next half a minute while I hunted for something to block under the gate sticking her muzzle under the gate to see what I'd done with her marvelous new toy.  The marvelous toy that was hissing at her, and tried to bite her. 

After that incident, I went to go rescue my mom from my kids.  She'd been wonderful enough to watch them so I didn't have to control both dog and kids at the vet's office. 

And then, after dinner, Odysseus and I heaped indignity upon injury (blood draw to check for heartworms and shots), and sheared a Scotty dog.  Since my family, who grew up around dogs and other animals, are incapable of reading animal body language, they haven't been able to keep the dog's hair cut, and she had four inches or so of hair length over parts of her body.  And mats.  And embedded dirt within the mats.  We took a Walmart bag full of dog hair off the dog. 

Grooming our particular Scotty is a two person job: one to hold her, and one to man the clippers. 

I will say that after the long snuggle while she was being sheared changed her attitude and behavior.  She went from ears and tail down miserable to ears up, and tail acting like a flag, with a happy doggy grin when she went outside for a walk. 

Right now, the dog and the kids have gone outside to play.  I think the dog has calmed down enough (and the kids grown up enough) that she's not scary to them even at her happiest and bounciest, anymore. 


  1. Don't know which is easier to manage though... sigh :-)

    1. If you're talking about dogs vs. kids, the dog is much easier to manage. If you're talking about confused/sad vs. happy dog, I'd rather have the happy dog even if she is a slightly bigger pain when she's happy.

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