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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

My Medicated Mutt

I took my dog to the vet on Saturday. She’s got this raised, raw patch of skin on her leg that she keeps licking and aggravating.

(That’s my dog with the issue, not the veterinarian. If the vet’s got a raw patch of skin on her leg, I certainly don’t know anything about it.

On the other hand, if she’s been licking it, too, I’d be interested to learn more. I might even pay to see that. For clinical comparison purposes only, of course.)

My dog’s pretty amazing when it comes to vet visits. She’s always a sweetheart with people, even strangers, but doctors are often different. Especially animal doctors. There’s simply no way to translate ‘bend over and cough‘ into dogspeak, so they can’t possibly see it coming. So to speak.

“There’s simply no way to translate ‘bend over and cough‘ into dogspeak, so they can’t possibly see it coming. “

To her credit, though, my dog takes it all in stride. The prods, the pokes, the needles when necessary — she even stands still and quiet when they flip her around and take her temperature. Sure, she looks up at me with those sad, accusing ‘who are these people, and why the hell aren’t you stopping them?‘ eyes. But she doesn’t make any obvious fuss.

Which to me is simply astonishing. Personally, if some bozo tried to stick a tube full of mercury up my caboose without explaining why using life-size diagrams and forms filled out in triplicate, I’d bite the bastard without a second thought. Which may explain why they insist on muzzling me when I go in for a physical, but that’s not important right now.

The good news is, my pup checked out okay, though the doc prescribed antibiotics to ensure the wound has a chance to heal properly. I’m not convinced there wasn’t some mistake made, because these pills look suspiciously like pills for people. In fact, they’re caplets — exactly the same size as Contacs or other cold medicines.

And for all my doggie’s patience with the vet, she is not happy about ingesting something against her will. This is the same dog that went through a ‘poop-eating phase’ a few years back. Who’d have known she’d go all fricking gourmand on us?

So far, things have gone reasonably well. It’s been a while since I had to cram medicine down the dog’s throat, so the first dose was a nightmare. The pill was in her mouth four times, and spat on the floor four times. Somewhere near the end of the process, the caplet broke, leaving medicinal powder all over her snout, my hands, and the kitchen floor. I knew I could probably rub a strip of bacon over everything to get most of the stuff into her, but at that point, she’d suffered enough. As had I. I called it a ‘draw’, but remembered my old ‘dispensing to a dog’ technique in the process.

The next day went much more smoothly. I gave her a chance — knowing she wouldn’t take it — to swallow the pill buried in a Snausage. She didn’t realize the alternative, of course, so she refused. I managed to get her mouth open, splop the pill as far back in her mouth as I could, and massaged her throat until she swallowed it whole. It’s the same thing I imagine some orderly doing to me when I’m cantankerous and senile. Like, say, in a few months.

Since then, the mutt has actually chosen the Snausage route. Not entirely willingly, mind you. I threw her three treats, one adulterated with the offending caplet. The two pure Snausages were snatched out of the air and swallowed in one motion. She grabbed the third, too, but realized something was horribly wrong mid-gulp, and spat half of it onto the floor.

Luckily for me, it was the Snausage half, so she ended up swallowing the pill. No muss, no fuss — and she gets to eat slobbery half-eaten Snausage off the floor to cleanse her palate afterward. That’s what I call a win-win. I think even my finicky pooch would agree.

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