Posted tagged ‘rabies shot’

“Always end the name of your child with a vowel, so that when you yell the name will carry.”

March 3, 2014

It was a put a mirror under her nose to see if she is breathing sort of morning. I woke up at 8 and decided I didn’t want to get up so I went right back to bed. Around 10:30 I finally got up, had time for one cup of coffee and one newspaper then got dressed as Gracie had her senior dog check-up at noon. She loves going to the vets. She is so active the vet said without the gray around her muzzle she would have guessed Gracie was far younger than eight. Because Gracie gets a little excited, they take her out back for her shots, blood drawing and nail cutting. Strangely enough, she is quiet while everything is being done to her. She weighs exactly the same as she did 6 months ago during her last senior dog physical. The vet said she seems great. Right now she is sleeping on the couch and resting from her ordeal.

When I was a kid, we had a boxer named Duke. He never had yearly check-ups. I think he only got rabies shots, but I can’t attest to that as I don’t remember. I’m just assuming. After Old Yeller I think all the dogs got rabies shots. Duke was a fighter. During one fight, a massive dog tore Duke around the neck. My dad said time would heal it. My mother sneaked Duke to the vets where he got shots and the wound taken care of. In those days my dad was away all week as he had been transferred, and we were waiting for school to end before we moved. He was home only on weekends. When he saw Duke and how well the wound was healing, he made mention of I told you so to anyone who would listen. We had been sworn to secrecy so we just nodded and let him think he had been right.

We lived by the motto that what my father didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him. My mother was usually a co-conspirator. We could tell her anything, and she’d pick and choose what to tell my father. It made life so much easier. We also learned how to look repentant when he yelled. Most times we were just blocking him out and nodding our heads as he yelled at us for whatever, but we always looked sorry and a bit sheepish. The four of us perfected that look. He never figured it out.

“Pensive they sit, and roll their languid eyes.”

February 8, 2014

It’s still winter. I still live in New England. It’s still cold.

Before I go to bed every night, I send the dog outside to do the last of her night’s business then I shut off lights. Before I went upstairs last night, I pretty much did the same thing, but the light in the kitchen was already off and the dog was back inside so we went to bed. When I came downstairs late this morning, I noticed I had left the back door open all night. Right away I thought of the woman and the raccoon. In yesterday’s paper was the story of a woman who was awakened by a raccoon chewing her lips and face. She managed to throw it to the floor and lock it in the bedroom. The raccoon was captured and found to be rabid. The woman started rabies shots right away and also had to get several stitches on her face. It seems the raccoon got into the house through the cat door. Gracie’s door is even bigger than that so I’m thinking lions and tigers and bears, oh my, but actually I believe we’re safe as the 6 foot back fence will keep out most critters. I do pity the woman those shots. When I first got to Ghana, we had shot day, including a rabies shot. As the vaccine went into my arm, my knees buckled and I think I yelped or even screamed. I’m not sure which. The pain blotted my memory.

I’m going to count yesterday as productive. I did a load of laundry, went to have blood drawn and stopped at two stores. In one I bought doo-dads. I bought some watch faces and can’t tell you why. They were just neat looking.

My student Grace called this morning. She is trying to finish her house in Bolga. In Ghana houses are finished a bit at a time when money is available. Her house only needs a roof for the outside to be finished. Grace said when I next come to Bolga I have to stay with her. I said I would if she made jollof rice, Guinea fowl and kelewele. She laughed and said she would. I’m hoping I can go back in 2015 so I need to start saving money: no more doo-dads and no more shopping. The trip is expensive so austerity is my new life-style.

Okay, I just re-read this to check for errors. I have decided my life is boring when laundry is part of the conversation.

“To lose the approbation of my dog is a thing too horrible to contemplate.”

September 10, 2013

The weatherman said sunny and warm today, mid 70’s. Right now, though, it is damp, dark and chilly with a strong breeze. Later Gracie and I have to go to the dump, but that’s it for chores. At the vets yesterday, I found out Gracie has gingivitis. We knew she had gum issues but it hadn’t gotten to gingivitis before this. Now she is on antibiotics which only cost me $110.00. The other choice was surgery to cut away then cauterize the gums. Before my eyes flashed a bill well over a $1000 so I went with the lesser of two financial evils. The vet said Gracie is in good health and has plenty of energy. She got her ears cleaned and her nails cut as well. Despite being a crazy dog, she abides getting those done quite calmly. I think it always surprises the toe cutter.

When I was a kid, our dog was a boxer named Duke. The only shot he ever got was his rabies shot every couple of years. There were no well dog visits back then or heart worm treatments or Advantix against fleas. My father would douse him with flea powder periodically or give him a bath. He ate horse meat, a component of dog food back then. There were no natural or healthy foods for dogs. Leash laws didn’t exist back then either. Duke was a roamer, and he knew his way all over town. You might have heard this before, but it’s a great story worth retelling. Duke was uptown and found my grandmother. He followed her right into Woolworth’s and while inside he lifted his leg on the comic books. The manager wanted to know whose dog it was. My grandmother said not a word as Duke really wasn’t her dog, but when she left the store almost immediately, Duke followed, a dead giveaway, but my grandmother never looked back. She wasn’t an animal lover, and I can only imagine the embarrassment she felt. To the rest of us, it was just a funny dog story. Duke lived to be fifteen. He was a great dog, stubborn as they come but protective and loving.

I can’t imagine being without a dog. Gracie is always happy to see me. That boxer stub of a tail goes so fast back and forth it reminds me of helicopter rotors, and I half expect her back-end to go air-borne. Sometimes she puts her head on my arm, looks at me and gives me her please eyes, the look which says a treat would be nice. I seldom refuse. She and I are in constant battle for alpha dog. I always win, but she is never happy about it. She sits then talks back to me. There is no mistaking her tone, and it always makes me glad dogs don’t talk.


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