Thursday, December 15, 2011

Another Day Gone to the Dogs

Having three dogs, life is certainly never boring in our house. Mind you, it was considerably calmer before Tucker came along-one didn't have to worry about shoes or slippers going missing, or furniture suddenly sprouting gaping holes...And I'm sure some would argue those are surprises they'd happily live without. To each their own, I say.

Yesterday was already geared up to be a financially challenging day with two of our pooches having veterinary appointments late that afternoon for blood work to test for heartworms. After discovering Tucker's case of whipworm, the vet recommended all three dogs be put on Interceptor, a monthly worming preventative treatment, since whipworm is so difficult to eradicate. The eggs can lay dormant in the soil for up to five years and continually reinfect your pets. So just treating them once with a dewormer would be useless without some form of continuous follow up treatment. And since Interceptor is primarily a heartworm preventative, the dogs must first have a blood test done to see if they are infected with the parasite before beginning treatment. Interceptor also controls a variety of other worms, including the dread whipworm, so that was the route would we go to help protect our precious pups.

And so our day began with this appointment looming overhead. I was at least happy that Bill had the day off and would be home to help me take Ruby and Sweet Pea to the vet's. One I can handle on my own, but two is a little tricky. While hubby was home, he took some time to attend to a few things I had on his Honey Do List. We'd put off patching the bathroom door where Tucker had stripped quite a chunk of wood one day while home alone (pre-crating days), not quite sure how to fix this dilemma. But, over the weekend, Bill had applied a coat of spackling to fill in the uneven spots where the wood had been stripped away. Then yesterday morning, sanded the spackling and gave the whole door a new coat of fresh white paint.
Door decor ala Tucker
Meanwhile, in the living room, Tucker had discovered another spot where Bill had also spackled the wall where Michael had left a huge gash from trying to climb over the baby (er, puppy) gate one morning only to have it fall under his weight and leave a nice curving dent as the gate gouged the wall on its way down. Curious as Tucker always is, he had to 'taste' a sampling of this patch of white standing out so invitingly against our rhino grey wall. Spackling apparently is quite tasty to Tucker and he proceeded to chew a good tennis ball sized hole into the drywall. Bill, discovering this new cavity, lost his patience and spewed, rather loudly, a mouthful of curses and shooed Destructo Dog out the back door and into the rain. Dug out the bucket of spackling and patched up the wall once more.

A little later, figuring Tucker's time out had expired, I let the chew hound back inside. Bill and I both busy with other distractions of showers and phone calls and normal day to day demands, Tucker quickly found an interesting smell coming from the bathroom door--paint! At first, he simply stuck his nose in it and I wiped him off with a wet washcloth, then proceeded myself to touch the wet paint-twice, aggravating Bill just a little more for the morning as he tried his best to smooth over both of our boo boo's. Then, a little after that, I noticed Tucker's nose and more around his mouth were white again...oh no. He had licked a nice little spot on the door clean of paint. Bill threatened to evict my Tucker from our home and family as I ushered the trouble maker into his crate for another time out and, once again, Bill applied another coat of paint to the bathroom door then reminded me every few minutes that the paint was wet so I wouldn't go and mess up all his hard work yet again. Yes dear....sorry dear...We've certainly had better starts to our days.

Finally, off we went for our weekly lunch date and to peruse the mall for a few last minute Christmas gifts (for me! Yay! Checking off that wish list from the other day! Haha!) Tucker was safely tucked into his crate and the other two, no doubt, snoozed the afternoon away, unaware of their upcoming appointment with Dr. Lombardo. Home in time to wrap up these last few gifts before buzzing up to the bus stop to pick up Michael after school. The paint had finally dried on the bathroom door and Bill made sure the living room wall was blocked from any more sampling attempts of Tucker's. Some semblance of peace was at last descending on our home once more...

Michael quickly finished his homework, lured Tucker back to his crate with a handful of treats, and we rounded up Pup One and Pup Two, Sweet Pea immediately protesting. She hates going in the car and works herself up into such a frenzy, she always throws up, usually all over me. I at least remembered to give her a ginger snap prior to heading out as the ginger helps soothe frantic tummies, and we avoided the usual vomitting this trip (thank goodness for small favors on days such as these!)

The doctor's office was unusually crowded. I'm normally there first thing in the morning which is much quieter. There were our two, two kitties, an adorable Westie sporting a tartan Christmas jacket and festive red painted toe nails, and a nervous, balding German Shepherd, all waiting to be seen. Tellulla Belle, the Westie, was first. Ruby sat calm and quietly while Sweet Pea fussed and moaned, nervously pacing between Bill, Michael, and me. Finally it was our turn and we scooted our babies into the doggie room.

Two quick vials of blood were drawn and sent over for the heartworm test. Bill smartly suggested Sweet Pea should have her nails trimmed while we were there--another task she vehemently abhors, as do Bill and I because she makes it so unbearably difficult. I have to hold her in a wrestler's death grip, feeding her treats continuously, while Bill tries to clip her nails as she fights my hold on her, wriggling and squirming with all her might. Somehow we've only managed to clip a nail too far and make her bleed just once in her five years. Last night, I think more than half of her nails bled from her fighting the tech so bad, and I cried as she fussed and fought and baby blood dripped to the floor. Ruby sitting so patiently and still, oblivious to the trauma afflicting her sister.

Finally she was done as were the blood tests. Heartworm came up negative for our two girls but Ruby tested positive for Lyme disease. Ticks have been simply awful this year. In spite of having the three of them on Frontline, I've still pulled five or six ticks off each of them through the summer and fall. Leave it to my Ruby to be the one to get sick. A prescription was filled for doxycycline for her that she'll have to take every day for the next six weeks. The rest of our bill tallied and paid, we wished the front desk girls a merry Christmas, wishing ourselves to not have to see them again until well into the new year (shots come up in February!) and whisked our little brood out into the night to head home for dinner.

Doors painted, walls patched, blood tests drawn and nails clipped was all a little more than any of us anticipated or needed yesterday. But, we all survived our trying day and hopefully today will seem all the easier in light of yesterday's difficulties.

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