It turns out my anti-depressant only works when there is nothing to be depressed about. Which seems kind of ineffective. I mean, if your medication isn’t going to help you look on the bright side of things when you find out that your dog probably needs $1500 surgery – TWICE – then, really, what’s the point of taking it?
As I mentioned in the last post, Wonderbutt has been limping. Cap’n Firepants and I could not agree on which leg was hurt, which was embarrassing to admit to the vet. We were pretty sure it was a back leg, but the darn dog has two of those. I was certain he was favoring the left one, and the Cap’n was equally sure it was the right one. It turned out that I was right. And I’ve never been so depressed about being correct. Because the Cap’n was right, too, apparently. According to the vet, it appears that Wonderbutt tore the ligaments in both of his rear knees.
So, first of all, I didn’t even know that Wonderbutt has knees. I still can’t find them. Who’s the stupid idiot who decided to give dogs knees? Next, you’re going to tell me they have elbows, too.
Secondly, the vet does not know this for sure. So we must pay $500 to be certain with X-rays that must be done while Wonderbutt is anesthetized. (Apparently, the vet is doubtful that Wonderbutt will be relaxed enough to get good X-rays done while he is awake.) Then, we get to fork out the $3000. Which should be very interesting since we don’t happen to have that in our Swiss bank account right now.
I came home from the vet, and decided that the best way to deal with this information would be to take a nap.
Another astounding revelation – naps at 10:30 in the morning really don’t help to combat the threat of oppressive veterinary bills and a hobbled bulldog.
In the meantime, our daughter, Dimples (who has a “touch” of scoliosis, and needs to go to a specialist so we can get more specific bad news) is alive with the Christmas spirit. She is cheerfully dancing around the house, decorating, and delighting at placing ornaments in unusual spots for me to find. Her birthday happens to be in a few days, so nothing is going to dampen her good cheer.
And my mother-in-law called this morning to see when we were going to pick her up for Thanksgiving. Which we did. Yesterday.
We all find our own ways of avoiding reality, I suppose.
Our bulldog, Wonderbutt, has been growing increasingly disenchanted with his own bottom lately. To be honest, I know how he feels. But I think his unhappiness might not be for cosmetic reasons.
We took him to the vet yesterday, and she postulated that the poor guy might need a tail amputation.
Have you seen Wonderbutt’s butt? He has no tail.
I pointed this out to the vet, and she kindly explained that, despite the fact that he appears to be lacking in this region, he actually has a very deep “pocket” where the tail was supposed to be. And this pocket seems to be the source of our the poor guy’s discomfort. She showed me what they would amputate, and it looked to be about 1/3 of his butt. “And then it would just be one smooth region,” she said. I almost asked if they offered any two for one deals. But this vet is new to us and, so far, thinks that I am a somewhat sane pet owner. I’d like to keep it that way for at least a few more visits.
Of course, when I explained all of this to my husband, Cap’n Firepants, and showed him the bill for this consultation, he looked at me as though I had just grown a butt on my head and stuck a yellow tulip in the crack.
I am torn between being jealous of Wonderbutt for having a valid medical excuse for surgically shaping his butt and being sorry for him because we have no money in the household budget for a bulldog butt-sculpting operation. The less expensive alternative, which is for me to regularly clean the pocket and try to squeeze some poofs of some kind of magical powder into it, is sure to make both of us miserable.
So, for now, the daily scene in our household will be Wonderbutt running away from his butt and the woman who is trying to catch his butt so she can make it less threatening.
Perhaps the exercise will do both our butts some good.
I have found the perfect doctor. There is just one problem. He is a vet. Wonderbutt, our bulldog’s, vet, to be exact. Don’t tell anyone, but I’m trying to see how I can get this fabulous DVM added to my health insurance plan.
Think about all of the qualities of the perfect physician, and you will be describing Dr. Dolittle. This man is kind, rational, caring, and smart. He is not fresh out of medical school, but he also isn’t ready to retire. He takes his time with his patients, but he doesn’t make you wait 2 hours past your appointment time to see him.
And I think he may have inadvertently diagnosed my recent health issues during Wonderbutt’s annual exam.
I know – it’s typical of me, isn’t it, to make my dog’s medical checkup all about me.
Here’s what happened, though:
Wonderbutt got the usual vaccinations, but the doctor expressed concern about his weight gain and a mysterious hair loss pattern on his sides. Despite Wonderbutt’s participation in our home version of The Biggest Loser, he has gained 6 pounds since his last visit – making him a whopping 71 pounds.
After checking a skin sample for mites, which would have explained the hair loss, the test came back negative. (By the way, as we waited for the results, I was keeping my fingers crossed that it wasn’t mites. That was the wrong approach. I should have prayed for mites, apparently – a lot less expensive than the alternatives.) This is when Dr. Dolittle suggested the possibility of Wonderbutt having hypothyroidism.
A million dollars and a few blood and urine samples later, Wonderbutt and I arrived home. (Happily, Wonderbutt made it to and from the vet without having any “accidents” in the car – probably because Dimples wasn’t sitting in the back seat to scream and wrinkle her nose in disgust.)
I immediately headed to the computer to Google hypothyroidism.
As I read the symptoms, I nearly grabbed the monitor off of the desk to show my husband the list. They are EXACTLY the symptoms I have right now.
This led me to two conclusions: I need to somehow switch my blood samples with Wonderbutt’s, and/or see if I can get double doses of his medication if Dr. Dolittle’s diagnosis is correct.
I don’t want to hear about how I’m a hypochondriac with symptoms brought on by Googling diseases. If you are going to comment, I’d rather get your advice on how to convince Dr. Dolittle that he needs to add humans to his practice. Or, maybe the President can make some minor adjustments to the new Health Plan.
Wonderbutt is having stomach problems. It could have something to do with the piece of panty hose he ingested tonight. Or the strings he managed to swallow off his rope toy yesterday. Or the three low-cal dog treats he got at the vet today.
Talk about good times. I don’t know what I was thinking. Both Wonderbutt and Mrs. P.I.B. needed the same vaccination so I reasoned that it made sense to take them both at the same time. I think grabbing the snake by the neck the other day made me feel like I could do just about anything.
To add to the fun and games, I brought Dimples along. The intention was for her to help out. Uh huh.
Surprisingly, Wonderbutt was quite well-behaved at the vet. He didn’t lose control of his bladder as soon as the receptionist said his name, as he usually does. And he didn’t sulk when the vet said that he, a short bulldog, weighed only one less pound than Mrs. P.I.B., a quite tall golden-retriever, and that Wonderbutt could probably stand to lose about ten pounds. He even it kept together when we heard how much this was all going to cost.
Oh yeah, that was my cue to lose control of my bladder.
So we all piled back into the car and headed home. Two minutes into the 15 min. trip, there wafted a very nasty smell up to the front seat. Wonderbutt had passed some obnoxiously noxious gas.
Nope. Worse than that. And worse than the bladder thing. “Ewwww!” was Dimples’ helpful response. Can’t really say I blame her since his fragrant deposit was on the floor behind me, and she was seat-belted next to it.
So I stopped at a dumpster, and scooped Wonderbutt’s Revenge for Getting Vaccinated to where it belonged.
Two minutes later, the smell was no better. In fact, it was even more abominable. Apparently, he hadn’t been finished getting his message across.
I refused to stop again, reasoning that, at this rate, it was going to take us 24 hours to get home. (That probably isn’t mathematically correct, but I have to wait until next week to pose the problem to my gifted fifth graders.)
We finally made it to our driveway, and after much confusion about how to exit the car without spreading the wealth all over the upholstery, got the dogs into the house. I did my best to oust the stain and the smell before the Texas sun baked it in permanently.
Walked back into the house and nearly water-skied across the kitchen floor on Wonderbutt’s next gift.
Apparently, he had had second thoughts about that vet bill.
I wasn’t planning to post another Wonderbutt blog again this soon, but, true to type, the bulldog pup had his own ideas.
8-year-old Dimples decided to wear a barrette in her hair last night to Meet the Teacher. Dimples has not worn barrettes since she was three. She discovered the box of her baby barrettes the other day, and proceeded to act like she had found a buried treasure, showing me each barrette I had bought for her, and she had refused to wear, like she had made some unique discovery. “I wonder where this came from,” she would keep saying as I finally resorted to rolling my eyes instead of saying, “I bought it for you!”
This particular barrette of Meet the Teacher honor was suddenly her favorite. A small metal barrette with a pink bow made of tulle, it suddenly began to adorn, not only her hair, but her new sparkly white newsboy cap. In the interest of some fashion statement I have yet to translate, Dimples decided to forgo the hat and just go with the barrette last night. Fine.
We got home from meeting the teacher and finding out that the one person she was happy to have in her class was the one person I wasn’t thrilled about, and I left her to her own devices in the living room with Wonderbutt.
About ten minutes later, the girl-who-has-cried-Wonderbutt far too many times started yelling for me. “Wonderbutt has my barrette!”
“Well, get it back!” I returned from the back of the house, where I was trying to compose a witty comment to someone else’s blog.
She didn’t, and after the third scream, I meandered out to the living room to fish the darn barrette out of his mouth.
Nothing there. The problem was, it wasn’t anywhere else either. Which left one other place. Great.
So, I called the emergency vet clinic. Bear in mind that Wonderbutt was racing around happily chomping on his most annoying squeaky toy while I tried to converse with the nurse. (Yes, I rhymed that deliberately.)
The vet’s advice via the nurse boiled down to: bring him in so they could induce vomiting OR feed him fiber and hope it would pass. Based on the fact that he was currently cavorting around the living room and obnoxiously squeaking his toy in the Golden’s face, I decided to choose the latter.
As of this post, I am still checking his Pen of Poop every few hours, hoping to see a pink bow adorning his latest, uh, bowel evacuation.
And back to my Congress and the National Debt reference in a previous Wonderbutt post – you can put a pink bow on it, but it’s still…