Last week we took our Chihuahua/Italian Greyhound mix puppy to the vet so she could be spayed.
Alex calls this her “innocent” face, as in, “I’m so cute, how could I possibly do anything wrong?” or
“Pee? What pee? On the carpet? What carpet?”
It’s hard to believe we’ve had her for six months already, and while she’s grown a LOT (when we got her she fit in my hand, she was so tiny), she’s still a teeny, teeny dog. She’s also taken on more of the Greyhound look, which is alarmingly thin and bony, and when you compare her to our other dog, who is half Chihuahua, half Fox Terrier, he looks positively obese next to her. (So much so that the kids thought we should stop feeding him. Which concerns me, now that I think about it, because where would they learn such a thing?)
Left- regular metabolism. Right- the metabolism I would kill for.
So, anyway, we had Skittles spayed. She came home so drugged she could barely stand up straight, and she cried every time we moved her. It was heartbreaking. (Thank goodness for doggie pain meds. Having had 2 C-sections myself, I can relate.) She also came home with a giant x-ray collar, which I hoped we’d be able to avoid. After all, I reasoned, she was so drugged, she would sleep peacefully through the night.
I was so wrong.
Around 4:00 AM, I thought I heard her yelp. I opened the door to our bathroom, where we housed her temporarily, and I caught her mid-lick, shaking from the pain and raw from who knows how many hours of licking her stitches. It was absolutely disgusting.
I grabbed Kenny, the collar, the stapler and the pain meds, and we put her back together the best we could (the stapler was for the collar, NOT the incision site, FYI), but an hour later she was crying again because she had worked her skinny little neck out of the collar and resumed licking.
I tightened the collar.
Second night home. First night with collar. Taken minutes before the snow-shimmy spectacle.
For a week, she has (unsuccessfully!) tried to get out of it.
It has given our family great moments of joy and hilarity, that collar. For two days, Skittles slept on her feet, propped up by blankets. I’m sure her incision was too sore to lay comfortably (been there!), but the giant collar didn’t help. Also funny? Watching her try to eat. It took several tries for her to figure out that if she caught the bottom edge of the x-ray film under the food and water dishes, she could access them with no problem. Also, the constant scratching is hilarious. You’d think we rubbed the edge in poison ivy before we fastened it around her neck , the way she’s carrying on. She gets to scratching so vigorously that she looses her balance, and with limited peripheral vision, as she tips over, she flops around like a fish out of water.
(We are a bad, bad family for laughing at our poor dog. I know this. I feel some guilt. I also feel great amounts of mirth.)
What hasn’t been so funny is trying to accomodate the collar when she wants to curl up in my lap. Or in her bed. Or under the back stairs, where she has no problem getting in, but can’t make it back out. It was decidedly unfunny to shimmy on my stomach through six inches of snow dragging a flashlight behind me in order to a) find her in the dark, and b) get a finger under her collar so I could coax (okay, drag) her out from under, and then through, the back stairs. It was also unfunny the night she got stuck under the addition and couldn’t move forward or backward to get free. (Okay, that part was funny.) However, it was really unfunny to rip the garden box out with my bare hands (again, in the snowy dark) so she could walk straight out, and it was not at all funny when the noise startled her so much she panicked and ran through the tunnel of garbage instead, pushing her collar backwards like an inverted umbrella. I sacrificed that box for my little dog for no good reason, because, as it turns out, the wood is so old and the nails so rusty, there’s no putting it back together.
On the bright side, the tetanus shot I had last week should come in very handy.
Ah, Skittles. What laughs we’ve had at your expense. (Sorry for that.)
What revenge you’ve gotten for our glee. (Sorry for that, too.)
Let’s take the collar off and call a truce, okay? Just remember… licking = collar, and it seems to hurt you more than it hurts me. (Garden boxes excluded.)