As I oh-so-slowly recover from puppies / the flu, it occurs to me that my powers of perception have dimmed somewhat over the last few weeks. Yes, I am a superhero, and puppies are my Kryptonite.
A few days ago I recall noting through a Nyquil haze that Red Dog looked a little droopy, and I mentally filed it away as “old dog syndrome.” Between trying to synchronize my cat naps with puppy downtime and chugging cold medication, I was not operating at full capacity, clearly. Because normally nothing abnormal about my best dog escapes notice.
But last night as I was taking photos of SuperDogModels in bad retro clothing, I sat down and really examined my droopy dog. It became glaringly apparent that his slight droop was actually a serious drag … the right side of his face was failing to respond to stimulus – in other words, it was paralyzed.
I teased his ears with “sheep sheep” and only his left ear was aroused. I menaced his right eye and it declined to respond. And there was a definite puddle of drool collecting in the dish shape of his right bottom lip.
I can’t photograph my own panic, but I think you can imagine what it looked like. I spent the entire night staring at him. It was creepy, because he was unable to close his right eye, so even though he was asleep, he was still staring back at me. I don’t recommend passing a night this way if you can help it.
So long story short, today I returned to the vet clinic yet again, this time to pay for Dr. Shaw’s Jag. A couple of weeks ago it was his mortgage. If I keep this up, soon he’ll be the King of All Food Lady’s Money.
The good news is that RD is already spontaneously recovering. Dr. Shaw, who keeps fixing RD and therefore is a sort of deity in our house, suspects that something blunt (Tweed’s big thick head maybe?) connected with Red Dog’s face and caused damage to the nerve-with-a-big-long-name that controls his eye, ear and lip. As of this morning, he could already sort of/almost blink his eye and when I said the magic sheep words, his right ear got a semi.
The bad news is that he still can’t really close that eye, and therefore it’s susceptible to damage from debris and such. So Dr. Shaw prescribed Doggles (tm).
Ever seen these things?
You know, it’s one thing to dress up my dogs in the privacy of my own home; it’s something else entirely to stroll casually out of my house with my goggles-clad-dog-slash-1920’s-style-aviator-companion. I need a shirt that screams “THEY’RE PRESCRIPTION!!”
Even worse … Red Dog LIKES them. When we tried them on in the store I was pretty certain that with a swipe of a mighty arthritic paw he would tear them from his face and stalk out to piss on my truck. But he wasn’t even phased and happily wore them home. And they’re still on his face as I type.
I’ve always had a thing for boys in glasses, but this is ridiculous.
Eventually, dog willing, Red Dog should recover completely if his improvement thus far is any indication. My self esteem / self respect may not be so lucky.
In puppy news, a photo I received today suggests that I made a very wise choice in relocating the little squealipots. Whereas at my house they had the choice of being eaten, or being violated, at their new foster home Puppy Uncle Finn seems to actually like the little critters:
Lastly, let me recommend a most fascinating blog: