Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I knew that I was betraying his trust….
Dash is two years old, and is responding to his inner hormonal promptings. He has turned from a cuddly, lovable puppy into a moody, sometimes obstreperous, young adult. He has no problem recognising my authority as the Alpha Male of the house, but he is challenging Nugget for the place of ‘top dog’ after the boss. The only problem is that Dash is a shortish Springer Spaniel, while Nugget towers over him as a Great Dane/ Labrador mix. This has not put Dash off from his attempts to barge through the door ahead of Nugget, or to challenge for the right to guard their food bowls. This has resulted in lots of snapping and snarling, and the occasional physical encounter which is dominated by Nugget. So the vet suggested that we reduce the hormone rush by giving dash “the snip”.
So I dutifully took him to the vet on Monday. I reassured him that it would be OK (after all, I have been though it too) and then left him looking forlornly at my retreating figure as I climbed into the car. I felt like I had betrayed his trust. His unconditionally effusive welcome later in the day only served to heighten my sense of having let him down. But we were reconciled and happily went home.
Only for me to return him to the vet today. He has an infection. I will not betray his confidence (again) by telling you where, but there is a Rugby team in Pretoria known as the Blue Bulls – and my boy Dash has developed an association with the blue bulls. I marched him to the door of the vet… and it dawned on him that we were back. Suddenly the brave “do not check me skeef” young man dissolved into a quivering jelly. His feet could not move, his jowls shook, and his breathing became a pant. As he gazed beseechingly in my direction I could hear his thoughts: “do not leave me here…. again”.
This time I did not. I held his head as the indignity of a rectal thermometer was endured. I calmed him as the vet prodded his rugby team, and I led a very happy boy out of the consulting room to collect an anti-biotic from the receptionist. Then we drove home with Dash happily sniffing the breeze from the window.
He jumped out of the car and strutted his stuff past the big black dog as if to say “No problem”.
Posted by Rock in the Grass (Pete Grassow) at 3:25 pm