The Doggie Debacle

Dave took our dog, Abita, to the vet on Saturday– Abita is a 65-pound border collie mix. Dr. Frank, at Cedarway Vet Clinic, discovered that she has a wound on her back (possibly from being scratched at the groomers’ but really, who knows). He clipped back her fur and told us to keep some Neosporin on it. Unfortunately, Abita spent the weekend licking off the Neosporin, and on Monday I picked up a lampshade dog collar for Abita to wear this week. Dr. Frank said, “It might take her a few minutes to get used to wearing it, but most dogs do just fine.”

In retrospect I should have just returned the collar right then. I’m pretty sure that whatever I paid for the thing was written up in Dr. Frank’s system as “Entertainment Fee: Abita.” Here is a breakdown of what happened during the 10 total minutes that Abita actually wore the lampshade collar:

0:00 I put the collar on Abita and the clock begins. She immediately panics, throwing herself around the kitchen in a desperate attempt to get it off. (Review breed and weight of dog above to get the full effect of what this looks like in my kitchen.)

0:20 Abita’s flailing sends Addison’s chair 5 feet across the kitchen. Addison, who is currently in the chair, starts freaking out herself.

0:30 Gabby, who had been in her own chair, motors onto the kitchen table at top speed, crying, “Mommy!!! Get it off her!! Get it off her!!!!”

1:00 We’re 1 minute into the freakout. Mindful of Dr. Frank’s advice that she will get used to it, I continue speaking softly and trying to calm her down.

1:30 I’m sitting down next to Adidson now. Abita is pressed up against me, shaking, with my hand on her head. Gabby is holding my other hand. I begin to think it will be alright.

1:35 Addison grabs the collar and yells, “NO NO NO!!!” which sets off Abita Freakout Round 2.

2:15 Both girls are now sobbing hysterically. I wonder in passing whether to focus on the dog or the girls.

3:00 Everyone is calm once again. I remember that Abita needs to take her antibiotics, and foolishly, FOOLISHLY decide now is a good time.

3:30 I gently put the capsules in her mouth, hold her head, and gently stroke her throat. She swallows three times and begins panting, so I assume success and let go.

4:45 The capsules are stuck to the outside of her lip, probably dissolving at warp speed. I reach inside the collar to retrieve the capsules and set off Abita Freakout Round 3.

4:50 …… which, at this point, is really Whole House Freakout.

6:30 Relative calm once again. I go through the capsule routine once again, now on a hair trigger myself.

7:30 When I let go, Abita sneezes. This sends a wide spray of dog antibiotic powder across the kitchen.

7:32 “EWWWWWW! Oh, Mommy– WHAT WAS THAT?!?!?!!?” Gabby wails from her perch on the kitchen table. Addison just continues to sob, snot/ tears/ spit/ probably dog antibiotic powder covering her face.

9:00 I decide to let the dog out and focus on the girls, but Abita can’t figure out how to get outside with the collar on. She keeps trying to go sideways at top speed, and is hitting the wall with her collar: ka-BAM!! Ka-BAM!! Ka-BAM!! (Repeat many, many times.)

9:30 “MOM!!!! WHY AREN’T YOU DOING ANYTHING!!!!” from Gabby, still standing on the kitchen table. Addison seems to concur, as does Abita, who is continuing to wrestle with the fight-or-flight instinct. I belatedly decide that perhaps the collar isn’t working out, and removing it might be best.

10:00 The lampshade collar seems to sense that it has had all the fun it is going to have, and miraculously pops off Abita’s head. Abita dashes outside in dazed gratitude and starts licking the Neosporin off her wound. The girls wind down slowly while I clean up the dog antibiotic powder. (Side note: dog antibiotic powder is a strangely tenacious substance and proves extremely difficult to clean up.)

In perhaps the best timing ever, my sister called almost immediately afterwards. After I had told her the whole story, she posted up with, “You know, I actually have one of those collars for Maddison. I never put it on her because I was afraid exactly that would happen.”


    1 comment to The Doggie Debacle

    • […] Clancy tore the shirt to shreds inside of an hour, like she was Hulk Hogan. And we all remember Abita’s well-documented inability to stand anything on her person. I’ve always been a little scornful of pet owners who put outfits on their animals…. […]

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