Dog Day Afternoon

Yesterday, I woke up to my dog limping. Never a good sign, but usually treatable by a quick examination of one of his furry little paws. For whatever reason, he tends to step on bees in our backyard and they get stuck in his fur. My youngest daughter and I have become experts at extracting the occasional stinger from his paw with a flashlight, tweezers and some good old-fashioned patience. Unfortunately, this one was not as simple as a bee sting. As I did my cursory investigation of his furry little white foot, I discovered a bright red toenail. Ouch! So I made an appointment with the vet. Yes, my awesome vet works on Sundays, and she agreed to see him that afternoon. 

The vet’s office was packed like a shopping mall right before Christmas. Now, I understand why she is open on Sundays. After a bit of a wait, he was finally examined and it was determined that the nail wasn’t actually red. The nail was missing. I know… EWWWW! Somehow he actually lost one of his toenails. My awesome vet cleaned it up, applied some medicine, wrapped his foot in a bandage, and sent us home with antibiotics and the “Cone of Shame.” He hates the Cone of Shame. All animals hate the Cone of Shame.

It was a heartbreaking and (slightly) comical combination, as I watched him try and navigate with his three legs and his massive plastic cone. He sulked around all afternoon. The cone makes him a bit catatonic because he has no peripheral vision with it. He was afraid to walk, afraid to lie down, and confused about how to eat. He ended up using the cone like a makeshift shovel, scooping his food into the cone, and then lapping up the pieces with his tongue. But, later, I realized he wasn’t actually drinking water. His nose became dry and he seemed lethargic. So I decided to give him a break from the cone, got him to drink water, and let him run around cone-less on his three legs for a bit. He seemed a little happier. Even the bandaged leg was no longer a big deal. Unfortunately, the cone went back on for bedtime. 

During my morning meditation, I gave him another respite from the cone as he quietly took his nap next to me on my chair. I thought that maybe he could go cone-less after all, since he didn’t seem overly interested in chewing on his bandage. 

Silly me.

The moment he was unsupervised, he was gnawing on it like a wild animal. So, the cone is back on... and so is his sad face. Needless to say, he might be getting some extra love and attention this week. Even as I typed this last sentence, I could envision my daughters rolling their eyes and muttering, “That’s because he’s the favorite child.”

Other than my dog drama, I had a pretty good weekend. My youngest daughter has made a full recovery from having her wisdom teeth pulled. While it rained on and off all weekend, the sun came out long enough for me to play some tennis and witness a ton of beautiful rainbows. So as I segued from taking care of my daughter (post-surgery) into taking care of my dog (post-treatment), it made me feel like that quote from Maya Angelou: Try to Be the Rainbow in Someone Else’s Clouds.

I am certainly grateful for all the literal and metaphoric rainbows in my life.