Lend Me Your Ears

About a month ago, Ken was looking inside Atlas’s ears, as one does, when he noticed that they looked dirty. He cleaned them but it didn’t seem to help. On Friday, when Kate came home from school where she’s studying to be a veterinary technician, we asked her to examine him.

“MY ears!” he proclaimed, wriggling around.

“Hold still,” she said. “Hmm. It looks like either ear mites or an infection. Better take him to the vet.”

So we did. Atlas, of course, goes mental with excitement if you ask him if he wants to go for a car ride, but the bloom was soon off THAT rose when he realized that it wasn’t a fun trip.

“MY EARS! MINE!” he insisted, shaking and peeing all over the examining table when the vet took a look, but he calmed down when he realized she wasn’t going to do to his ears what she did to his testicles. Yes, it was some kind of yeast infection. And after two weeks of ear drops, and two subsequent visits to our vet (free-of-charge follow-ups), the verdict was in. “No table scraps or treats for at least a week. He’s only allowed to eat his kibble. That way we can rule out food allergies.”

“Liver treat now,” he told her.

“Sorry, buddy. Not today.”

When Kate and Ken brought him home, I was aghast. “How am I supposed to go a whole week without giving him treats?!”

Because I am the WORST dog mom in the world, and I spoil him completely. He immediately recognizes “cookie”, “treat”, “Krispie”, “special”, “yogurt”, “chewy”, “strip”, “stick”, “delicious” and numerous other words that denote foods that NOW he was unable to have, and which I was unable to give him. At lunch that day, I poured out his kibble, and he came running in the kitchen and stared at the refrigerator.

Me: Eat your lunch, sweetie.
Atlas: Special, please.
Me: No special today. Ooh, look. Yummy kibble.
Atlas: Meh.

Just kibble?

So the food stayed in the bowl until dinnertime. Atlas sat where he always does, kitty corner between me and Kate, hoping that someone would give him “summadis”.

Me: Can I give him just a little bit of salmon skin?
Kate: Mom. He can’t have anything but his kibble.
Me: But his kibble is ‘salmon and potato’ flavour. This is just like his kibble.
Kate: Here’s a rule. Every time you want to give him something, ask yourself, “Is it his kibble?” If the answer is No, then you can’t give it to him.
Me: What about a potato?
Kate: IS IT HIS KIBBLE?
Atlas: Kate is mean.
Me: Yes, she is.
Kate: Do you want him to get better or not? Hey! Did you just give him something?!
Me: No! I was wiping his drool off my pants!
Kate: You BETTER have been wiping his drool off your pants, Mother.

Can I have summadis?

And it was the worst week. At first, he went on a hunger strike, leaving his dinner in his bowl overnight and refusing to touch it in the morning. When he realized that wasn’t working, he started to play on my emotions:

Atlas: Ma. Some yogurt for me?
Me: I’m sorry, baby. I can’t give you any.
Atlas: Was I bad? Don’t you love me anymore?
Me: You can lick the cup. Don’t tell Kate.

But then I realized that if I didn’t abide by the vet’s advice, not only would I face the wrath of Katelyn, but his ears wouldn’t get any better. I started hiding in the bathroom to eat breakfast, and at dinner, we were steadfast. After a few days, he was eating his kibble regularly but he was still mopey, so we went out and bought him some stuffies—a hedgehog, a fish, and an alligator that was advertised as a “tough toy”. He doesn’t normally get things like this because he immediately rips them apart and tries to eat the stuffing out of them, but this time, he was so overjoyed at being given SOME kind of treat that he carried the hedgehog around with him for a couple of days before attacking it and shredding it. Same with the fish. But by the time he’d massacred the alligator (tough toy, my *ss), the week was up. Kate and Ken brought him back from the vet appointment with the joyous news that his ears were all cleared up, and that he could have some treats, but nothing processed, no chicken, and no wheat. I don’t know who was happier:

Me: I put the salmon skin in the freezer for you. You want some?
Atlas: Special!!
Me: You certainly are.

Happy boi

My Week 140: Titus Shows Off at the Vet, Wonder Woman and Sexism

Saturday: Titus goes to the vet

On Friday night, Ken reminded me that Titus had his yearly vet appointment. He’s a pretty healthy dog, so he hasn’t actually seen the vet since this time last year. I had errands to do, but I agreed to go in my car and meet them there—not because I didn’t think Ken could do it on his own, but because I like to make sure we’re not getting soaked for extra tests. You know how veterinarians are always upselling procedures to make a profit. Not that there’s anything wrong with that—they need to make a living like the rest of us—but does a dog REALLY need a hearing test? If you open a bag of chips, and your dog doesn’t immediately appear next to you no matter where he is in the house, then your dog has a hearing problem, and it shouldn’t cost $200 to tell you that.

Anyway, on Saturday morning, I said to Titus, “Hey buddy, guess what? We’re going for a car ride!”

He immediately looked both intrigued and suspicious. “Where are we going?”

Me: The VET! It’s going to be awesome!
Titus: How is that ‘awesome’? The last time I went there, she stuck a needle in my ass. Wait—is that the place where they have those Liver Treats?
Me: Why, yes. Yes, it is.
Titus: Ok, cool.

So we got him into Ken’s SUV, where he insisted in sitting up front, and we both set off in separate vehicles. I got there at the same time as them, and I was all like, “Hey, buddy, did you have fun in the car?” but Titus was too concerned with smelling EVERY CORNER of the door frame, then EVERY CORNER the waiting room, straining against his collar, wheezing like an emphysemic old man, and whispering “So many messages…”. We managed to get him to sit still long enough on the scale to get his weight, which was 41.7 kilos. That sounded like a lot, and I was trying to do the conversion math in my head but failing I just looked it up—92 pounds). I was convinced that Titus had gotten a little ‘chunky’ over the last few months, but when the vet tech came in, she confirmed that his weight last year was 41.1 kilos.

Titus: Ha!! And you called me ‘chunky’. I’m svelte, baby. Cheese slices for everyone!!
Me: Well, I’m sorry, but you looked bigger.
Titus: That’s just my personality. I’m larger than life.

Then the vet tech gave us a form to fill in, because Titus is now technically a “senior dog”, having attained the age of 8 years old. There was a series of questions which we had to answer on a scale of zero to 3.

Ken: Does your pet seem listless?
Me (watching Titus run back and forth between the counter and the door): That would be zero.
Ken: Does your pet urinate outside the litter box?
Me: I’m confused. Is he supposed to HAVE a litter box? How big would it have to be?
Ken: I think this is a generic dog/cat survey, so I’m just going to say ‘Non-Applicable’. Has your pet’s appetite increased?
Me: He’s a Lab. I don’t think there’s an end to his appetite. Is the next question, ‘Has your pet’s appetite decreased?’ cuz you can say zero to that one too.
Ken: Ok. When your pet barks, does he dribble a little urine?
Titus: WHAT?! (Looking at floor)…Actually, maybe a little right then.
Me: No, that’s just drool. Stop staring at the treat jar.

Then our vet came in, and, long story short, she was VERY impressed with his health. Then she tried to extend his back legs and looked a little concerned:

Vet: He doesn’t want me to manipulate his right leg. Has he been favouring it?
Me: No, but every so often, it goes out from under him a bit.
Vet: Could be early hip dysplasia. We’ll have to keep an eye on it, and start him on joint health supplements. Of course, we could X-ray it right now…
Titus: Death Ray?! I’d rather smoke a joint.
Me: A ‘joint health supplement’ is a vitamin, not marijuana.

Then it was time for the shots, which Titus didn’t even notice because he was too busy eating Liver Treats to distract him. We also reluctantly agreed to bloodwork to test for heartworm, liver and kidney function, as well as flea and tick medication, and the dollar signs were just ringing up loud in my head. But after the blood was taken, the vet made him a special bandage with a little heart on it, so that totally made up for the incredible cost. At one point, she left, and Ken whispered. “What do you think? Like, $300?” and I was like, “No way—at least $500.” And yeah, guess who was right?

The best part though, was that when we came out, the place was packed, and everyone turned to look at Titus. I couldn’t have been prouder in that moment, as they ooh’ed and ah’ed over him. “What a gorgeous dog,” said one woman. “He’s a giant!” said another. People commented on his shiny coat, how well-behaved he was, and what a beautiful smile he had. None of this was lost on Titus, who’s nothing if not a showman.

Titus: Let’s do our routine—really give them something to remember. We’ll put that Shih Tzu over there to shame.
Me: OK—ready? Sit. Stay. Bang! You’re dead…OK, you’re just wounded…Fine, you’re alive—roll over.

Then he gave the crowd high fives, and everyone, including the snooty little Shih Tzu, was suitably impressed. So I guess the vet bill, which I put on Visa and will be paying off in installments, was totally worth it.

Women Only

So this week, I’ve been reading about how some guys are really upset because there are special “Women Only” showings of the new Wonder Woman movie. But I understand why they’re upset about this, because every time I’ve done “Women Only” things, men always complain about it:

1) Ringette

When I was 7 years old, I started playing Ringette. Ringette, at that time, was a Women Only sport. Of course, what I really wanted to play was hockey, but at the time women’s hockey teams were extremely rare, and girls weren’t allowed to play on boy’s hockey teams. I played Ringette until I was 14 and it was always an all-girls team. Of course, there was no body checking, or pucks, but it was still a pretty cool game. Then the guys started complaining that they wanted to play Ringette too, so now, of course, there are men’s ringette teams.

2) Brownies and Girl Guides

As a kid, I was really into nature and hiking in the forest, and basically just doing cool stuff, so I joined the Brownies. What I really wanted to join was the Cub Scouts, but girls weren’t allowed to join the Cub Scouts. I became a Brownie and got badges for sewing and cooking instead of making fires and killing bears and sh*t. But hey—I got to dance around a toadstool and my leaders were named after owls. Now, of course, thanks to boys wanting to join the Girl Guides, there are unisex troops, and adventure groups for both sexes.

3) Home Ec.

When I was in Grade 8, I was in a ‘girls only’ Home Economics class. Well, ALL the Home Economics classes were girls only. The boys got to take Industrial Arts where, instead of cooking and sewing and learning to apply make-up, they got to weld and do woodwork. But what I really wanted to take was Industrial Arts, and one day, my dream came true. The boys and girls switched classes for one period, and the Home Economics teacher made cookies for the boys while they watched, and the Industrial Arts teacher made us all key chains. I could have made my own f*cking key chain, but the teacher didn’t want me to burn my fingers melting the plastic in the electronic frying pan. Silly guy—I KNEW how to use an electric frying pan because I’d been taking Home Economics for almost a year. But I guess boys really like to make cookies because now all of these classes are co-ed.

My point? Well, women have lost all the bastions of their womenhood to men. Everything is co-ed now, thanks to men complaining that they’re being left out of all the cool stuff. All we want is the ability to do something without the opposite gender constantly wanting to join in and make things equal. Is that so wrong? I mean, men have been saying that for years.

Sarcasm aside, I think it’s a bit hysterical that a lot of the same men who are upset about not being able to see Wonder Woman would never have complained when women were FORCED to have Women Only things, like the Lioness Club instead of the Lion’s Club, or the Rebekah Lodge because women weren’t allowed to be Masons, or any other “women’s branch” of any fraternal organization, or sport, or activity because they weren’t ALLOWED to be a part of the men stuff. K pointed out that saying it’s ok because men did it to women for years doesn’t make it right, and I told her that I didn’t actually think it WAS right. It’s just ironic. And if it’s any consolation to the men out there, Wonder Woman is still wearing a ridiculously skimpy outfit. But of course, next thing you know, Batman is going to be complaining about why he can’t fight crime in a bustier too, and all the superheroes will be wearing lingerie. But that’s equality for you.