It would seem that there is a new concern for M&D relating to my health. This can be a blessing and a curse. Let me explain. The day that Mum flew out to Dublin for one of her Library ‘things’ I was taken to the vet because my face had changed shape quite dramatically over the last week or so. Unlike previous dogs in this family, I quite like going to the vet. Its good to get ‘off island’ even if it means an uncomfortable trip in the ute. Don’t worry, I’m in the cab with Dad, but he does get stressed when I insist on putting my head on the console. Anyway, the vet staff are particularly welcoming. Sheridan, the receptionist, always seems to be excited to see me and is ready with lots of liver treats and ear rubs.
Russell, the vet who dealt expertly with my endoscopy on my previous visit checked me out this time. The usual indignities were deemed necessary but this time there were big medical terms being bandied about and a distinct sense of disquiet between Dad and Russell. We left the vet’s in a very sombre mood.
I was referred to a veterinary neurologist from Melbourne, and as luck would have it, I was able to get in to see him later in the week. That meant another long trip in the ute up to Hobart. Dr. Sam seemed nice enough, and I’m sure had the expertise to match his charming ‘bed-side manner’. His prognosis was a little more positive, but still those worrying big words remained in the conversation – Mandibular neuritis, idiopathic tri-geminal neuropathy or hypo-thyroid something or other all got a run.
M&D are still uneasy because no one can give a definitive prediction of the future. For me, this is a real benefit and something that I can, and do, exploit quite shamelessly. They are constantly looking for any changes in behaviour that may be a symptom. Dad already thinks I sleep a lot more and so lounge-time has been increased and he has been much more likely to be close by to snuggle with.
There have been more treats (for the poor, sick pup). Mum has noticed that I have ‘broadened across the beam’ in her absence, although the blow-torch is applied to Dad rather than me. The dreaded words ‘portion control’ have been re-introduced to the vocabulary.
The biggest bonus has been me not getting into trouble for my Houdini-like disappearances. Last week on the beach I did my usual trick of taking off up into the shacks and staying just far enough away to be cutely annoying without being able to be caught. I got as far as my best friend’s Norman and Pearl’s before I allowed myself to be grabbed. The walk back to the car was uncomfortable but I wasn’t smacked or even yelled at. I did, however, get the ‘I’m very disappointed’ speech.
Even better, the day before Mum got home, a gate was left open which I exploited to the full and took off for an hour or so. When I saw Dad walking and driving all over the neighbourhood, I thought it best to return home. When he drove up the driveway, I was waiting for him in the fishpond. Just to extend the fun a little longer I ran across the road to say hello to Rosie. (I didn’t think that through because in playing with her, I lost concentration and was unceremoniously collared and marched home.) But here’s my point – No punishment!
So, I will continue to push the boundaries in the hope that my ‘condition’, whatever that may be, will continue to elicit sympathy and a greater understanding of my canine needs and wishes. Wish me luck!