This weekend was long… Really long. The kind of long that can only be used to describe a work week. Hypothetically of course because it was the standard Saturday and Sunday that are typical. Let me explain. Arrow, my faithful friend has been struggling with another bout of diarrhea since about Wednesday. So when the Pepto stopped working and Arrow was up every 2 hours regardless of what time and how much he was fed for dinner I put in a call to the vet. I called on Wednesday afternoon, scheduled an appointment for Monday afternoon after work. I planned to stop by the vet Saturday morning to pick up flea and tick prevention and drop off a stool sample. I didn’t even try to schedule an appt on a Saturday 2 days before. They book up quick!
So Friday rolled around and Arrow starts coughing. And I don’t just mean clearing his throat. He coughs until he gags, this awful terrible honking noise. He sounds like a child with the croup. So I called on Friday afternoon. No Saturday appointments available. Go figure… So I added the coughing to the list for Monday. Saturday morning I paced my yard waiting patiently for a stool sample and praise the Lord Arrow assumed the position and I had baggies in hand before the deed was done. So off to the vet I went to drop off one sample and pick up a round of preventives. Later that afternoon the vet calls and says what dog owners dread: Worms. round worms. Not great, but treatable. My vet asked where he could have gotten that. I wasted no time in tattling on my silver prince for eating the cat poop he found so joyously a couple of weeks prior. One problem down, one to go.
As I rolled into work this morning, sick companion in the back of my SUV coughing it occurred to me that just a few weeks ago I read of post for new mom’s of human babies that said that new mom’s hate when people with puppies/dogs try to sympathize with them by saying “I know how that goes, we just got a puppy…” because apparently it’s insulting and not even comparable. But here’s the thing. If you’re a good dog owner it’s exactly the same. Friday I tried to squeeze my way into the vet’s office on a Saturday that I was double booked because my pup’s cough sounded like it came from the depths of Hell. I fought all weekend long to restrain him and keep him relaxed and quiet even though his incessant stealing of things for attention BEGGED to be played with and rough housed with. And Saturday we were up every 2 hours because a certain someone (looks sternly at the pup in his crate under my desk) was too awake from his lack of daily runs and play to sleep. So thinking he had more potty problems, we ran him outside all night long in the frigid Michigan weather only to stand and smell the air and play and mark a small pine tree.
So I ask, how is this any different from waking up with a newborn every 2 hours to sit cozied up in your pj’s and feed and rock them? How is this any different from being worried about a baby with the croup or whooping cough and trying everything short of selling body parts to get them to the pediatrician before their scheduled appointment? In my eyes, it’s not. I’d do it for my child as I have my pup. So I have grown to resent that comment. My dog has the immune system of bubble boy, so I really HAVE been there. I know what that’s like. To be so exhausted that you cry because you’re standing in the front yard for the 3rd night in a row as your dog shoots liquid out of him and it hurts him so bad he can barely squat down to do it and you’re running on less than 12 hours of sleep in almost a 5 day work week. So new mothers, we DO know a thing or two about babies and the care they need. Just because we can only sympathize with dogs doesn’t make it an insult. If anything it’s a compliment that we (the non-children variety of adults) would try to understand and comfort you. So whether you like it or not, dog people care.