A World of Speculation

When we last met Sadie, she had fallen asleep after an exciting day in Oregon City.

Today, she was decidedly lumpy.

She came into the house with a welt the size of a ping pong ball on her muzzle just below her eye and other lumps of various sizes all over her back and sides. My daughter heard her yelp from the back yard, and though we can’t be sure, our best guess is that during her backyard excavations she uncovered a yellow jackets’ nest.

I called the vet to find out if I needed to bring her in, and predictably, I suppose, I did. So I left work, drove home, picked up the dog, drove her to the vet.

Now Sadie doesn’t do all that well in the car just yet, and I’m learning to take her for a short walk, to get the necessities out of the way before we get into the car. Well, nothing happened, so we loaded up in the car anyway and off we went.

About five minutes away from the vet’s, the necessities caught up with her, and so I had a stinky mess to clean up when we got there (fortunately, we’ve got a dog cargo area with a plastic bottom), and I walked into the vet’s office with a nervous dog and a plastic bag of stinky waste that I hoped the vet staff would throw away for me.

I opened the door, and Sadie poked her head inside. There was a great Dane, 180 pounds, probably four and a half feet tall at the shoulder. He stood across the waiting room, looking like a visitor from the Land of the Giants. Sadie took one look at that dog and said, “Holy sh*t. I’m not going in there.” And she turned and headed out the door.

I pushed at the door, tugged at the leash and kept my hold on the stinky bag and tried again. I said, “It’s OK, Sadie. Come on.”

She turned around, looked through the door at the great Dane and said, “Forget it! The DOG GIANT is still there.”

I dragged her in, closed the door, asked the receptionist if she could throw away my bag for me (I love vet staff; hardly anybody else in the world would treat that as a reasonable request), and sat on the waiting room sofa. Sadie, shedding a cloud of nervous dog fir, sat beside me, as the great Dane’s two human girls (about 5 and 7 years old) made polite conversation about Sadie and their dog, while their mom took Big Boy out to the car.

In a few minutes, it was time for Sadie’s weigh-in. I’ve never had a dog that handled the scale well. It’s a large, flat, stainless-steel plate that the dog needs to stand on for about 15 seconds while the weight gets measured. No pokes, jabs, heat, cold or separation. But they invariably act like they’re being tossed onto an ice arena to be chased by alligators. Having finished that trauma (67.6 pounds), we went to the examining room to wait for the vet.

We’ve had this vet for our series of dogs for more than 20 years: for Strider, Coho, Kenai and now Mocha and Sadie. We moved away and after trying another vet nearer our new home, we drive back to our old town to go to this vet. He is truly extraordinary, great with the dogs. But of course, poor Sadie scurried under the chair and didn’t want to come out. But she got her temperature taken, her ears looked at (Mocha keeps them pretty clean), her teeth glanced at, and a cortisone shot. He warned us that the cortisone shot would make her process more water, in and out.

We paid the bill, loaded her in the car and went home.

What a homecoming! Mocha was there! and the girls! and me! Oh, it was so exciting–that she peed on the floor.

If I tell you, after all that, that she’s worth the trouble, you know how good a good dog can be.