b Papa Dog's Blog: A Brief Interval of Guilty Pride

Papa Dog's Blog

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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

A Brief Interval of Guilty Pride

Yesterday I took Doggy Dog for a twenty-minute walk in the rain so he could go get a rabies booster. I called the vet to see what was necessary after his encounter with the possum. She said he was due for a rabies shot in the summer, so he might as well come in early just to be on the safe side.

When I first called the vet’s I tried to skirt the details with the nurse/receptionist who answered the phone, a little ashamed to say why my dog needed to be seen. She persisted in questioning my generalities, and I finally blurted out “He killed a possum last night.” When we arrived at the clinic, they pulled the chart and a different nurse/receptionist said, “Oh, he got a possum, huh?” I looked at my Baffin Boots and said, “Yeah, he did.” The guy next to me in line looked up, eyes wide. “He got a possum?” he asked, pointing at Doggy Dog. The guy was clearly impressed, and I felt my attitude helplessly lurching from “ashamed urban dog owner” to “guy who has a tough-ass muh’fuh’n dog.” “Yeah,” I said with practiced nonchalance. “How big is that?” “Oh, just about the size of a really big cat,” I said, modestly downplaying. I held the leash close to the collar. Stand back – vicious beast here. Rip your balls off if I tell him to. “He ever take on a raccoon?” “Naw, I hope he never does. He’d probably still kill the raccoon, but he’d get hurt. They’re vicious fighters.” “Yeah,” the guy agreed, “big claws. Tear a dog open.”

I was told to expect a 20-30 minute wait before we’d be seen. Doggy Dog’s not very good in the waiting room – he eventually starts to whine and bark, and gets agitated with the presence of other dogs – so I said we’d go for a walk. I had my cell phone with me and miraculously dredged up the number from the memory of Mama Dog telling it to me just before we went to Edmonton. I had to have them call it just to be sure. We went back out in the drizzle, malingering all the way up to the Walgreen’s. When we got back to the vicinity of the clinic, my cell rang and we went in. A nurse took us in to weigh Doggy Dog. She looked at his chart and said, “So he got a possum last night?” “Yes he did,” I said unequivocally. My dog kills! He also weighs 89.5 pounds, all the diet and exercise since our last visit having apparently had some effect.

We waited a few more minutes until a tattooed tech came in to take his temperature. She looked at the chart. “Hey, he killed a possum, huh?” “You bet!” I enthused, holding Doggy Dog’s head so she could slip the thermometer up his bunghole. Temperature normal, condemnation negative; we got a cookie.

The doctor finally made an appearance. She looked at the chart and said – all together now – “So he got a possum last night, did he?” “Killed the hell out of him!” I averred, patting Doggy Dog’s head. She checked him for cuts and scratches (none) and gave him his shot. Good for another three years. Then we went out into the lobby for the interminable wait for paperwork. I paid and we got the rabies certification to be turned in to the OPD. The rain had stopped when we finally left. At home, the possum carcass was still sitting under the washtub outside our gate. Animal Control was apparently not working on the day after New Years. Hope they come today. Once that thing starts stinking I’m sure I’ll make a rapid return to ashamed urban dog owner.


Anonymous Mama Dog Duvalier said...

I can relate -- I always get a perverse sense of glee when I tell inquisitive neighborhood children: "No, he's NOT friendly. Better stay away." I love to see their little faces contort with fright as they run to the other side of the street.

Next time, we should tell the people at the vet's office that DoggyDog took down a jackal -- or something equally exotic!

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Charles (Canadian in Hong Kong) said...

I stopped by to check in on your blog and wish you a Happy New Year. May all your dreams come true in 2006!

9:21 PM  

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