Thursday, January 20, 2011

Good Dog

I am not good with discipline. I want creatures to like me so I'm generally lenient - even when I try to enforce rules, I often change my mind in an effort to please someone.

Raised with me as her primary person, Chienne isn't so well behaved. She jumps on people and whines incessantly and demands attention she feels is her right as a pretty girl. She is much loved and very spoiled but likely obnoxious, especially to those not overly fond of pampered canines.

Still, she is my girl and I love her bunches so I waited for her to potty before we climbed in the car and made the trek across town to her eye specialist. I coaxed her on the scale (60 pounds) when we arrived and she dragged me to a room, tail wagging and demeanor happily curious.

I like her eye doctor - he's a sweetheart who seems to love dogs as much as I do - but I was nervous. She's been blind in one eye for 2 years now, I think, and I recognize that glaucoma will steal sight from the other one at some point. Going with a 'keep using eye drops' and 'ignorance is bliss' strategy, I've avoided going back to have her pressure checked.

"Ten," the doctor announced of the bad eye and I grinned at him. The seeing eye was between 12 and 14 which he pronounced acceptable but suggested doubling the dose of drops. Chienne gave him kisses on the chin and tolerated the prodding of her eyeballs with cheerful grace.

"Well, thank you," her doctor offered when I leaned to kiss her head and my lips landed on his fingers instead.

"Sorry," I replied with an embarrassed shrug. "You got in my way."

I did not much want to kiss his hand when he noted there were skin growths near her eyes, noting that he'd like to remove one of them and send it for testing. I cocked my head and peered at it myself, making a face and resting my head on Chienne's.

"I don't know," I hedged. "Would she have to go under? How long would it take? Will she hurt afterward?"

And so I have ended up babysitting my bestest of friends for the past two days. She wobbled yesterday because I wanted her home as soon as possible. I finally reclined on the couch and she rested all 60 pounds of her little body on my chest, began to drool on my shoulder and went to sleep.

When she got excited by happenings outside, I closed all the shades and tried to keep her in calm darkness.

I put in drops and kissed her head and opened the sliding door when she refused to use her dog doors.

We rest. I do work distractedly. My head aches so we rest some more. And I'm damnably sad. For she grows older and will someday leave me. As others have or will. And I have dreams where I hide in terror from those who chase me or conversely accelerate toward the ground because nobody was there to catch me when I fell.

But when I wake - at least for now - there is a warm weight resting behind my knees or curled at my side. I find I miss it when I travel - that gentle nudge to remind me she wants the last bites of my dinner. The blinking greeting when I come back to bed in the middle of the night or gentle sigh as she settles against me before we sleep again.

And as conflicted as I am in general - I love my job to pieces but the one component I hate is growing ever larger and hurting me every day; I don't think I want to get married so what the hell am I doing trying to date? - there is something simple and lovely about shooing Mr Sprout away when he tries to bat at Chienne's nose, of smoothing her coat as she closes her eyes again, coaxing her to take a pill when she paws at her eye.

I do think she's doing better. And I hope I soon will be as well.


Anthea said...

She sounds like a really lovely, friendly dog. I hope that she feels better soon.

suzy pepper said...

I can't even. Your dog is beautiful and I so know where you are coming from. I have a tiny bunny who is only two years old but I'm so neurotic I can't help thinking about how much my heart will break when she dies. I hope your dog and you both feel better. I really, really empathize. I kind of want to give you a very non-creepy hug.

post-doc said...

Anthea - She seems much better, thanks!

Suzy - I would return your very non-creepy hug. Thank you. And I hope you have a very happy, healthy bunny. :)

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