Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A wagging Tale of Jasmine & Gypsy: A Not so Wagging Tail

Be kind to your best house sitters.  A good motto for folks like us who travel more than the average working people. Wouldn’t she be happy if my two favorite canines were bathed and had their nails clipped for our upcoming trip?
The animal hospital had two openings Friday morning. Perfect.

I must admit that a day without both dogs can be pleasant. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t like them gone for as long as overnight. But part of a day gives me some walking-freely-in-the-house space that can I can use well. I began thinking that a day or two a month at Doggie Day Care might be fun for all.

Jasmine wiggled her best and Gypsy jumped on me when I picked them up at 3:30. They were both so happy to head home. They went outside, had their dinner and then rested.

Well, Gypsy didn’t rest. From then until my bedtime she followed me from room to room. When we sat down to watch our evening 40 minutes of comedy on the television, she couldn’t seem to settle. Cute little black and white pup wouldn’t stay off of us and kept her face close to ours, her eyes steadfast on our own. She does that eye thing when she’s trying to tell us something.  This time the Dr. Doolittle in me could not understand her language. We could only think that she was anxious from the bath time, though she had never acted this way before.

The next morning they both slept in till 7:30 almost two hours later than usual. I thought, wow they really did get worn out yesterday. “Gypsy, sit,” my usual command for her to receive her meal and, sadly, one of the only two commands she obeys willingly and quickly. “She’s sitting oddly. I don’t remember her tail coming forward between her legs when she sits.” But I was rushing to prepare for a morning meeting and dismissed the curious thought.

In the afternoon I brought the dogs upstairs to my pretty little writing room. That’s when I noticed. I brought them downstairs to Ed. “Look at Gypsy’s tail. Something’s wrong. It’s going down instead of up and she’s not wagging.”  Gypsy is a wagger whose tail is in constant motion. It makes us smile. But not today. Her dark eyes were cheerless as she looked up at us with ears flattened to her head, sharing our sadness. I felt her tail; nothing seemed broken. She didn’t even wince.

Naturally, the vet’s office was closed. I called the vet on his cell phone and explained the situation. He could not imagine what happened. He was out of town and so was not there Friday when my pups were. He told me to give her a human adult aspirin and watch her.

Sunday morning I had to wake them both at 9:30. Now that was really bizarre. The experience took that much out of both of them? Gypsy’s tail was heading ever so slightly upward and the tip could wag a bit. In the afternoon I gave her another aspirin.

Monday morning it was 85% improved. Ed and I were ready to leave for Colorado but I called the vet anyway. “If you can get her here at 7 a.m. on the dot, I will see her before I go into surgery and see if I can tell what was going on.” Fifteen minutes later, Gypsy and I arrived. I was surprised she didn’t pull back when we got to the door. She really is quite forgiving.

Doc looked her over thoroughly. Nothing seemed wrong. And then when she sat, we both heard a little pop. Like from her lumbar or sacral area. We both decided she probably had twisted the area and was very, very sore. He gave her a week’s worth of pain meds for our wonderful house sitter to administer.

I will admit, Gypsy is a handful. I cannot imagine that bath time is fun. Oh, right, she hates water, too. But I am quite unhappy that no one said anything when I picked her up that she may be sore because we couldn’t hold onto her, or it took three of us to hold her down, or whatever. That part was just plain wrong. Not sure what I’ll do with those thoughts.

We left a few hours late for our travels but the peace of mind was worth it. And now my clean and clipped puppies are with their cousin Nakima and one of their favorite house sitters. I understand they are all happy as they bound through the yard together. Gypsy even had her first experience at a dog park on Monday and loved every jumping minute.

The tail that was not wagging does so endlessly again. I am still considering Doggie Day Care from time to time (but not run by the bathers at my vet). And this tale is at an end.

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Joanne Paskewich said...

I was scared reading this, glad it all was fine in the 'end'... I remember Sophie not barking, wagging or running her usual circles one late night after work, a holiday weekend of course.. I so wish they could talk sometimes, Bill would say "no, I like it this way, there's enough talk from one female in the house"

Cheryl Ann Wills said...

it was scary, you're right.
I think Ed would agree with Bill!