Tag Archives: Dogs

Draining

Today’s the day.  D-Day.  “D” for Duncan.  “D” for Dog.  NOT “D” for Draining.  Duncan, if he knew what was in store would consider it “D” for “DON’T” or maybe “DAMN!”

 

You're Gonna Do WHAT?

You’re Gonna Do WHAT? To ME?????

I’ve grown up considerably since I first had to take similar action.  And I am now a fake medical expert and a professional Googl-er.

But the old days produced much better stories.  Like this one.

Dogs and Other Nuts

You’ve already met my psychotic German shepherd, Goliath.  The one with the stupid name and the drinking problem.   The manic of a dog I was crazy to take into my life.

As you can probably guess, from the moment I put him in my car that first night, all life immediately revolved around Goliath.  Morning, after-work and evening walks became a ritual.  It was good for my health, which was otherwise pretty crappy.  It was good for my psyche, which was also not tops.  It wasn’t so good for some of the other dogs at the park, though.

Mostly outside Goliath was quite friendly, he liked to play with other dogs.  He made many doggy friends, and their owners liked him too.  But more often than I liked to admit, Goliath listened to his darker angel:

Gotta bite a dog.  Gotta bite a dog.  Gotta bite a dog NOW!”

He would then race across the park towards his would be victim, dragging me behind him shouting:

“No!”

“Stop!”

“Heel!”

God Damn it — STOP!

Goliath was about 18 months old when I finally admitted that something had to be done.  When I knew I had to “fix” the problem.  When he pissed me off so much that there was only one solution:

I had to cut off his balls.

Yup.  Castration.  Dr. Jane, Goliath’s vet, had been telling me to neuter him for months.  Carlos, Goliath’s dog trainer told me to do it, too.  The owners of Goliath’s ‘frenemies’ suggested it less politely.

But I’d never had a neutered dog before.  It seemed harsh.  Cruel.  Unfair.  Plus, I’d always hoped for grandchildren.

Of course I read about what happens to a dog after-balls.  I learned that neutering lowers a dog’s testosterone level – makes him less likely to act like Rocky Balboa at the park.  Less likely to fight with other dogs.  And way less likely to drag me in front of a bus while rushing to attack another dog.  All good things for me.  But for him?  Not so much.

I learned that it’s best to neuter your dog at about six months of age.  But six months was right after I brought home my traumatized, abused dog!  It just didn’t seem nice to turn around and say:

“You’re home now.  Nobody will ever hurt you again.

Oh, except when I cut off your balls.”

And really, I empathized.  I was young, unmarried, childless.  I didn’t want anyone to neuter me.  So how could I do it to my best friend?  I just couldn’t.

At least not until he ticked me off once too often.  (I’m telling you, do not mess with me.)

Goliath

We were at Lincoln Park one night for our after-work walk, when Goliath got that urge to fight.  I struggled to hold him, to keep him away from the other dog, to make my maniac behave.  He didn’t.  He wouldn’t.  It took all my strength to keep him from hurting that other dog.

That was it, the last straw.  I’d had enough.  It was time.  And feeling very much like Alice’s mad Queen of Hearts, I made the decision –

“Off with his balls!”

Goliath and I arrived at the animal clinic that Tuesday.  Unfortunately it was our regular vet Dr. Jane’s day off.  A young vet I hadn’t seen before called my name and led Goliath and me into an examining room.

Handsome vet

(Google image)

I have to admit, I was embarrassed.  Dr. Jane was a woman, and, well, I’d hoped to be discussing my dog’s testicles with her — with a woman.  Instead, here was this handsome young guy who I had fallen for immediately.  And rather than flirting with him, there I was talking to him about castration – hardly the best way to get a date.   My heart sank knowing that my chances with the handsome vet were also being nipped in the bud.

Dr. David quickly sensed my discomfort.  He knew I was wavering.  He could tell that I was about to chicken out and change my mind.

“He’ll be fine,” said the vet, looking Goliath over.   “It’s very routine.  He won’t even notice the difference.  But you’ll be much happier with the results.”

Of course I couldn’t look Dr. David in the eye.  Because naturally I was wondering if he would notice if someone cut off his balls.  I was pretty sure he’d notice.

“Now, I don’t know how much you know about this procedure, but there are actually two different ways of doing this.  We can either castrate him completely –basically cut off his testes — or we can drain the fluids inside.  That has the same effect.”

Drain them?” I said hopefully.

“Yes, we essentially drain him, lowering the testosterone to a more manageable level.  It’s less radical, less risky.  Dog owners are often more comfortable with this procedure.  Now which of those options do you think makes the most sense for this big guy?” he said, looking Goliath right in the eye.

“Draining them sounds much better,” I said, feeling relieved.  I was feeling so good, in fact, that I could actually look Dr. David in the eye again.  They were deep blue …

So I left Goliath with Dr. David and what I envisioned to be some sort of sterile siphon.   I no longer felt even a smidge of guilt.

You know what?  Even doing the procedure late helped.   After the surgery, Goliath was less interested in killing other male dogs.  From time to time one of them really ticked him off and led me to believe that those sacks hadn’t been completely drained, after all.  But the newly drained Goliath was a huge improvement over the old testosterone-filled maniac.  For the rest of his life he was considerably less aggressive.

The draining also left him with his pride.  He kept a bit of flesh in between his legs to chew on.  It eased my guilt — after all, they’d only drained some fluid from him, and doctors and vets do that sort of things all the time.  Goliath was still a man.  He kept the semblance of his balls.  Something to chew on.  He was still alpha dog. I had not turned him into a pansy.

In the intervening years, I married John, a man who quickly became devoted to Goliath.  A few years later, when we had all moved out of state, I took Goliath to a new vet.  Goliath was then about nine years old –getting up there in doggy years.  The poor old guy was having problems urinating and needed some attention.

But when I gave the new vet, Dr. Joe, the rundown of Goliath’s health history, I got an unexpected lesson when I mentioned to the man how Goliath had been “fixed” at 18 months.

“I don’t know if it makes any difference, but I should probably tell you that, you know, Goliath wasn’t actually ‘castrated,’ he was ‘drained.’”

“Excuse me?”

“Yeah, at the time the vet said that either they could castrate him, ummmm, cut off his, ummmm, testicles, or drain them.  I chose to have him ‘drained.’”

I’m pretty sure that all of Dr. Joe’s medical training in delivering disturbing news culminated in this one moment with me.  Every cell in his face solidified so that there wasn’t even a hint of a smile.

“Ummmm, Ma’am?”  he said without so much as a hint of humor,  “There is no such procedure in veterinary medicine.  We don’t “drain” the dogs.  We surgically remove the testes.  All that’s left is the skin.”

“Oh,” I replied.

I’ve never told this story before.  Somehow, I bet both vets have.

79 Comments

Filed under Adult Traumas, Bat-shit crazy, Dogs, Duncan, Family, Goliath Stories, Health and Medicine, Hey Doc?, Huh?, Humor, Pets, Stupidity, Wild Beasts

Vote Early — For Duncan!

He forced me to do it.

“Mom,” he said, “I’m a shoe-in to win the calendar contest.  When have you ever seen a cuter puppy?”

“Well, that’s true,” I responded.  “But you rarely stand still for pictures.”

Duncan laid down and started chewing his butt.

“I know!  Put the one of me in the basket!  The cute one!”

And so I did.  I entered Duncan in the Animal Welfare League of Arlington’s annual pin-up competition:

Their 2015 Calendar Competition!

Duncan in his toy basket

You can vote for me, or you can turn the page. I mean, click on another blog.

If you can, please click on the picture which will send you to my fundraising page.  Each vote costs $1.00 — any critter with 100 votes gets into the calendar.

Click here to vote/donate.

Or on Duncan’s Picture.

Or on the line above the picture.

Wherever.  I’m easy.  So is Duncan.

 

All proceeds go to help needy animals.  And to help make my puppy a star.

Vote Early and Often!

And to get you into the campaign spirit, here’s one of my all-time favorite songs.

Remember, ELECTIONS MATTER!

58 Comments

Filed under Awards, Bloggin' Buddies, Campaigning, Dogs, Duncan, Family, Huh?, Pets, Taking Care of Each Other

Duncan — Back By Popular Demand

I have been remiss.  A bad girl.  No treats for me.

Yes, it’s true.  Today I was reminded that I haven’t posted any pictures of Duncan recently.

You remember Duncan, don’t you?

Toy Basket

Here he is right after we brought him home, sitting in his toy basket.

He doesn’t quite fit inside it any more.

No Room!

Duncan is quite camera shy.  We get loads of pictures of his butt, which, in my opinion, is not his best feature.  The face doesn’t stay still long enough for photo-ops.  Apparently, he will never run for Congress.

But the little guy has had quite a good time.  He is love, played with, pampered.  He has even had a vacation at the shore.  Here he is on a rocky beach in Maine.  When the rocks are wet, looking for Duncan is very much like playing Where’s Waldo.

When the rocks are wet, looking for Duncan is very much like playing Where's Waldo

Got any Sushi?

Now, let’s see if I can do this.  I took some video inspired by Will of Marking Our Territory, alerted me to a fast and easy way to destroy my iPad.  So naturally I tried it!

And I uploaded my very first YouTube video.

Shit, I’m a rotten videographer …. but I’m a great dog mom!  How many dogs get $300 dog toys?

Anybody got an extra iPad?

73 Comments

Filed under Bloggin' Buddies, Dogs, Duncan, Fashion, Health and Medicine, Humor, Pets, Wild Beasts

Angel/Demon

My mother used to caution me:

“Be careful what you wish for,” she’d say.

“Why?” I’d ask.

“Because you might just get it.”

Her response usually baffled me.  As a kid growing up in what I thought was abject poverty (ummm, not even close), I felt like I never got what I asked for.  Or if I did, one of my four siblings had used it first.  Or “it” didn’t really live up to my expectations.  Or getting “it” not precisely what I expected.

Getting what I asked for always held a surprise.

You know what?  Mom was right.  And it is just as annoying now as a grownup as it was when she was right when I was a kid.

You guys know that recently I got what I asked for:

A Puppy! !!!!!!

Yup, here is an update on Duncan, that fluffy little guy who gave us such a scare last week when we brought him home.

You know what?

He came with teeth!  I knew that he would, but I had forgotten what it felt like to have razor sharp puppy teeth inserted into my arms.  Or my legs.  Or, during one memorable cuddle, into my nipple.

He came full of energy!  I knew that he would.  But I had forgotten just how much.  And how much energy went into those teeth.

He came determined to destroy my house.  I knew he would.  But I had forgotten just how many times I can say “no — chew on this”  during a single hour.  4,682 times to be exact.

Yes, this is a brief Duncan update — he is doing great.  He is full of mischief, sharp teeth and a desire to rule the world — or at least the household.  John, Jacob and I are holding our own, but it is only a matter of time before Duncan realizes that he is King Duncan.  And while none of us would ever murder him, I’m not sure I want Duncan to know that just yet.  At least not until he loses those teeth.

Who you gonna believe? I’m an Angel. (Well, except when I’m a Demon.)

 

Thank you all for your concern about the cute little guy.

I really did get what I asked for.  And Mom?  He’s wonderful!

 

72 Comments

Filed under Adult Traumas, Dogs, Duncan, Family, Huh?, Humor, Out Damn Spot!, Pets, Taking Care of Each Other, Wild Beasts

Blame Duncan if I Didn’t Respond to Your Comment

Thanks, everybody, for all the nice comments about Duncan.

Sorry if yours was one of the comments I didn’t answer.

You see, I was afraid.  Afraid of what was happening with Duncan.

Yup, things didn’t start smoothly at all.

Twenty-four hours after bringing our new son home, we were at animal emergency, with a dying puppy.

We don’t know what happened or why, but he developed a fever of 106.3 degrees — dogs are normally 99-102.  Our puppy was sick, and possibly dying.

If I am ever reincarnated as a dog, I want to be my dog.  I’m not quite sure how I can work that out, though.

Anyway, Duncan was admitted, treated with antibiotics and IV fluids (at great expense).  We left him last night, certain that he was going to die.

Thankfully he didn’t.  He spent some more time with our own vet, closer to home, this afternoon before we brought him home early this evening (Monday).

So far, Duncan is acting very much like a puppy — he plays, eats, poops and pees.  We are keeping a close watch on him.

I will never let him see this picture of himself during the interval between the ER and our vet.  Because I fear he’d die of embarrassment.

"This is Embarrassing"

“This is Embarrassing”

When I texted this photo to Jacob, he responded:  “When did we switch to Dish Network?”

Everybody was saying sweet things about Duncan — and I just couldn’t answer when I didn’t know if he was going to make it.

We have no idea what caused the problem.  It may be a bacterial infection, a virus.  It could be all kinds of things.  Tests to possibly determine what caused it would have cost $THOUSANDS, and we opted to treat, rather than investigate.

So far he is doing OK.  Keep your fingers crossed.

 

85 Comments

Filed under Adult Traumas, Bloggin' Buddies, Dogs, Duncan, Family, Pets, Taking Care of Each Other

Crikey! Say “G’day” to Me New Mayte!

OK, I wanted to be clever.

Sorry.  That’s not going to happen.  Nope.  Not today.

I wanted to write something that would make you wonder.  That would keep you at the edge of your seat.  That would make you laugh with joy along with me.

Nope.

Instead, I’m just going to introduce you to me new mayte.

Duncan

Duncan

 

Duncan is a rescue puppy — a mixed Springer Spaniel/Australian shepherd.  He came to us through a program that finds homes for the pets (and their pets’ progeny) of deployed service men and women.  John’s sister found him on-line, sent me a link to him on petfinders.com, our application flew in and it was approved right away.  All of this happened on Monday.  Since then, we’ve been in a flurry of activity getting ready for a puppy.

I’m absolutely possible he will be an angel.  Always.

I will probably be a bit scarce around these parts for a while!

 

72 Comments

Filed under Diet tips, Dogs, Family, Humor, Mental Health, Pets, Taking Care of Each Other, Wild Beasts

Vote for ME Please, If It’s Not Too Much Trouble

One of the many reasons I’ve never run for public office is that I hate asking for things.  It makes me uncomfortable.  It makes me feel unworthy.  Unloved.

Votes have always been especially hard for me to ask for.  So this is really hard for me to do.

But one of my earliest bloggin’ buddies, Lorna of Lorna’s Voice, nominated me for the BlogHer “Heart:  Feel it” Award!  And I need your vote to avoid total humiliation.

It is for my story/blog post, Letting Go.

Letting Go is a very heartfelt piece.  You see, it was written with my dog Cooper asleep at my feet.  Written knowing that the vet would soon come for his last, and saddest, visit with my ailing Cooper.  But it isn’t a sad story.  Because it is about a very special walk with a very special dog who made a very special friend that day.  Or tried to, anyway.  And it happened many years earlier, when Cooper was young and healthy and carefree.  The story really did help ease the pain of his passing, even as I was facing it.

So please click on this link, register (sorry!) and vote.  For me and for Coops.  For Letting Go.  (There’s a link to the post through this link.)

http://www.blogher.com/node/1393485/voty?category=VOTY%20-%20Heart%3A%20Feel%20it.

And pretend you’re in Chicago — vote early and often!

Thanks, Lorna!

82 Comments

Filed under Awards, Bloggin' Buddies, Campaigning, Cooper, Dogs, Elections, Humor, Pets, Writing