February 28, 2007

Dayquil, My Savior

Okay, I'm just gonna let this out: I am COMPLETELY OVER dog ownership. Seriously. I love dogs, but I will never, ever have another one, and not because I think that the one I have now, Gertie the Weiner-Beagle from hell, is irreplaceable. Nope. It's because Gertie the Weiner-Beagle and her 14 years worth of bizarre medical problems, food-related trauma, and random acts of stupidity have finally convinced me that I will be better off as a cat person, even if my cat regularly perfoms rabbit decapitations and snake ceasarians on my sidewalk, and has a sinking eyeball. Compared to Gertie, Keat is so low-maintenance as to be nearly invisible.

"So, what does this have to do with DayQuil consumption?" you may rightly ask.

Come with me, friends, on a journey to last night.....

Gertie has recently been diagnosed with Cushing's disease. Long story short--her body is producing many, many steroids, which cause symptoms like lethargy, increased water consumption, and lots of pee. The treatment is $5 per pill, AFTER a couple hundred dollars worth of testing and then another couple hundred dollars worth of re-testing to make sure we got the dosage right. Okay. The pills are only given weekly, so after the initial outlay, $20 bucks per month in the interest of clean carpets is something I'll be willing to do for a while--maybe. But that's neither here nor there, as we haven't gotten to the testing and treatment yet (by "recently diagnosed," I mean "this Monday.")

In the meantime, I've been offsetting the copious pee problem by sleeping with one ear alert for the tiniest bit of movement from under the bed, where Gertie sleeps. And therein begins our tale.

At 4:19 a.m., there was under-bed stirring. I checked the clock, deduced that if I let the dog pee now I'd have enough time for a decent REM cycle before the alarm went off, and so I followed Gertie to the kitchen, waited for her to drink some water, then let her out.

Then I waited. And waited. She'd done her business immediately, but seemed to be stuck sniffing a blade of grass beside the sidewalk. I opened the door, leaned out, and snapped my fingers at her, but was ignored. So I peered cautiously around, because I was in only a nightshirt and underwear, and then dashed quickly outside and, balancing on one leg on the sidewalk (didn't want wet feet in addition to cold feet), poked the dog with the big toe on my other foot. She moved away from what she'd been sniffing, and I recognized one of The Boy's shoes, which he had left on the porch after a mud incident. I checked the porch - both shoes were missing.

Suddenly, the jingling sound of dog tags could be heard approaching from the darkness, and the next-door-neighbor's dog came flying over, drooling and jumping and generally being a big, stupid, half-boxer mutt puppy who had apparently climbed out of his pen and was in the process of stealing The Boy's shoes.

He wanted the second shoe. He stepped on Gertie, who squeaked, and then it was on. The rest was a blur. Just picture a 30-something brunette woman in underwear roaring around the front yard brandishing a toddler size 12 shoe at a bounding, barking mutt, followed by a short brown blur of growling fur and teeth at 4:30 in the morning, and you'll get the general idea. Not a pretty sight.

Needless to say, impromptu front-yard dog aerobics in 30 degree weather at 4:30 a.m. make it a bit difficult to get back to sleep immediately. Thus the DayQuil.

And my decision to become a cat person.

Posted by Big Arm Woman at February 28, 2007 12:57 PM

Sleep fully dressed (except for boots). Not that it helps get back to sleep. I just stay up, and the dog goes back to bed. That's what the internet is for.

Vicki, the current dog, does not know it's possible to jump off the bed, so announces an urgent need for this or that by walking up and down the bed, which, at 80 pounds, gives plenty of warning.

You won't get that from a housecat.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at February 28, 2007 03:44 PM

Gee. thanks for the preview. Argyle gets the cushing's test this friday.

Posted by: Michael Tinkler at February 28, 2007 03:58 PM

Just so you know Mr Possum is to blame for this. Anyway I'd sure liked to have seen this escapade, you 30 something youngns just seem to love trouble. :-) Why just last century I was, I think, in trouble... prolly in my 30s too. Well Miss Tobiko (my katz) is headbutting me to brush and pet her. Off I go, nice to meet you also.

Posted by: Chef Tony at February 28, 2007 10:22 PM

Ron -

True, but that's because the cat will just get up, use the litter box, and be on about her business.

Michael T -
Sorry about Argyle! One bright spot, though--my vet said that if you look up Cushing's on the web the literature will give a dog 2 years post-diagnosis, but she told me that out of all the dogs she's diagnosed and treated, most are still up and at 'em 4 (or more) years later. So if you've got the cash, the dog should have a good life. Gertie's almost 14, so 2 years would be amazing, but I don't think Argyle is quite that old, right?

One detail I left out - Vomiting. There'll be more of that, too. After the nighttime escapades, Gertie decided to add a little vomit to the decor. Upon reflection, I realize that I should have just stayed in bed.

Posted by: BAW at February 28, 2007 10:51 PM

May I suggest GoldFish?

Posted by: simon at March 2, 2007 05:08 PM