Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Over the weekend, I took Oliver to the vet for a re-check on a few cysts I had been monitoring for the past few months - a red bump on his belly that had grown noticeably bigger and two smaller lumps on his head. We shared the waiting room with a miniature dachsund and a presa canario mix, neither of whom wanted to be there.

The dachsund was a shaky mess who tried to hide inside his owner's shorts, and the presa canario mix couldn't stop whimpering. I was very proud of the Pug, who sat silent and brave, but once on the vet's examination table, it was a different story. He snarled and clawed and reared his stubby little head as the nurse tried to weigh him, look at his teeth, and exam his lumps. The only time he didn't fight was when his temperature was taken. Rectally. Hmmm. Anyway, the vet recommended surgical removal and biopsy of the cysts. She also suggested having a full blood panel done because "he's approaching middle age." Finally, to add insult to injury, she said his teeth were "pretty bad," so he'd need a dental workup done, cautioning that extractions might be necessary. I was already getting teary hearing that my beloved was a middle-aged pug who needed surgery, but man, the teeth thing made me feel just AWFUL. It was like being the parent of the kid who gets sent home from school for having head lice. I hung my head in shame as I left the office.

After dropping Oliver off for surgery the next morning, I spent the workday wringing my hands and torturing myself with images of a small and defenseless pug on the operating table. At 5 o'clock sharp, I raced back to the vet's office. As I waited for the nurse to bring him out, I had to choke back tears, but the second I saw him, I found myself having to choke back a laugh instead: He looked like Frankenstein. His head had been shaved, and across his bald puggy pate was a line of stark black sutures. There was a similar line of sutures on one of his pug udders, too. In my own defense, I will say that if he had seemed more upset or tore up, I would not have been so amused. But he was the same wriggly, wiggly Oliver, only more Frankensteinian. And no extractions were needed, which meant I wasn't quite as horrible of a mother as I had thought. We left with strict instructions to give him his meds and carry him up and down the stairs.
That night, he woke us up about every other hour with hacking and coughing, a side effect of having been intubated. Vince and I took turns getting out of bed to comfort him. I was a little grumpy over losing the sleep, but I suppose we could consider this practice for when our human baby arrives. In the meantime, we'll just enjoy taking care of the baby we have now.

No comments: