Friday, September 4, 2009

My million dollar baby – the sequel

Those who knew my last dog Hudson know that he was the light of my life, my sweet little man, my best friend, and I still miss him every day.

He was also about the biggest money pit there could possibly be.

Yes, if there were a way to get into a scrape of some sort or injure himself, he was all over it. Eating tape from a cassette and having it lodge in his intestine, requiring surgery at the circus in Kiev after I managed to get all the necessary drugs and supplies on the black market? Check. Finding whatever sticks are poking out of bushes so he could run into them and injure his eye? Got it. Breaking off part of a marrow bone and having THAT cut his intestine? You betcha. Jumping over a log and tearing his ACL? Of course. Getting bladder cancer that turns out to be treatable, when is usually isn’t, prompting my vet to note that Hudson is on his 10th life? We’re so there.

You get the idea.

Based on the fact that paying for all of this would have bought every cream puff at the WI state fair in any one particular year prompted me to nickname Huddy my Million Dollar Baby. And in case it’s not clear, I didn’t mind the money – I would have paid any amount to keep my little guy healthy and happy. And if there had been treatment options for the cancer that finally got him at 13 ½ years, I would have gladly paid for that too.

Enter The Kone. Perfectly healthy young dog, so I’ve just had to take him for the usual annual shots, check-up, heartworm pills, etc. Okay, and one time for goopy eyes, though that seems to be a kind of chronic thing with him. And okay, I did have my current wonderful vet Dr. Luke at Becker Animal Hospital run a thyroid test on him, to see if a sluggish thyroid could help explain his chunkiness. Because I’m quite sure that the loaves of bread that he steals on a regular basis have absolutely nothing to do with it. Or the petite scone from Starbucks that he gets every morning. It’s truly a puzzle.

Wednesday night I get home from the monthly Tri Club meeting, during which I was on a panel discussing the topic “So you want to do an Ironman. What the hell?” In my usual magnanimous way, I doled out some gems of wisdom regarding training, those that have been key to my triathlon greatness, like sleeping 5 hours or less a night, and ramping up in the week or two before races. The crowd was enthralled. And I had even managed to find a parking spot WITHOUT a meter (who knew they even still existed in the city?), so all in all it was a good night. I get home and am puttering around on the computer, composing my most recent artful letter to the city of Chicago (“Dear Property Tax Assessment Board: In your recent letter, I noticed that, all evidence to the contrary, you seem to think that property values have sharply risen within the last year. Hence I must ask you: are you all on crack?”), when Kona comes tottering up to me, holding up a paw. Lo, what fresh hell is this?

Kona, in his infinite doggy wisdom and dexterity, has somehow managed to get a rawhide stuck on his paw. Yes, a rawhide. On his paw. You see, they sell these twisty spiral rawhides (I think they’re actually tendons of some sort) called Flossies, and the end of one was completely wedged on Kona’s paw, kind of wrapped around the biggest pad. I keep trying to get it off, and he cries and whines and runs, but then comes back to me holding up his paw. And it finally occurs to me, rather incredulously: I need to take Kone to the emergency vet. For a rawhide. Universe, are you kidding me? I wish I had taken a picture of this phenomenon, but when your baby is crying and in pain you don’t really think to grab a camera to document the moment – or at least I didn’t.

So off we go, and $163 and some sedation later (for him, not me), the Kone and I walk out, him lurching around like a drunken sailor, me still just shaking my head. And thinking about the fact that he’s 1 ½, will live another 20 years or so god willing.......and is another little money pit in the making. Sometimes I wonder, how do I get so lucky?

On a separate note, at YSC we lost another young woman to BC yesterday. I didn’t know LisaP, but the loss is still great, and it seemed like a better day than most to finally put the appropriate bumper sticker on my car. Rest in peace, Lisa. Could someone please find a fucking cure already?


mdraeger said...

As the owner of the dog who napped on a spider nest (resulting in the most disgusting giant lump on his neck) and later on managed to get hit by a van requiring extensive testing and an overnight in the emergency animal hospital only to find that there was in fact absolutely nothing wrong with him (at least physically) I can say, I feel your pain sister. I feel your pain.

t-odd said...

We got a dog that is already pre-f'd up - three-legged pit bull. So we thought he would be immune to expensive injuries. Well in less than three months he had been to the emergency vet because I thought he had ingested my watch - the whole watch. Alas, he had not, but it took $385 dollars to find that out.

Dogs are bigger money pits than kids.

Sorry to hear about LisaP. I agree, find a cure already!

the infertile breeder said...

I hope you saved the Flossie for snacking later on. Mmmm.. Flossies.

Tasha the Triathlon Goddess said...

It's kind of nice to know I'm not the only one out there in spaztic-dog land, where you go in to see the vet and they invariably say "Hmm, that's the first we've seen of THAT particular problem!"


JoJo said...

Just when I was feeling sorry for myself because one of my babies, Roxy, single-handedly dismantled $2000 of window treatments and chewed through 4 doorknobs and locks in her (as yet) futile attempt to escape the terrifying thunderstorms down here in sunny south come along with Kona, and I realize it could be worse...or could it? My other baby Max got hit by a Bronco and now has a large plate and 6 screws in his leg. He also blew up like a balloon after licking a toad. Then, in another of her terrified rampages, Roxy stripped the cover off one of her nails leaving only quick. She's also broken mirrors, pulled down shower doors, and a miriad of other crazy acts. But the worst part is, she's a totally neurotic dog who takes puppy prozac and still can't deal with thunderstorms - and I feel helpless not knowing how to explain to her that she's safe. Help??

Anonymous said...

oh please.......get out and run, swim or wonder you can't improve on your PR.
I want trinews not some wimpy story on the dog.