Ramblings from the Desert

The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. ~Benjamin Franklin

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Location: New Mexico

Author of the urban fantasy novel, The Music of Chaos, and the paranormal romance, The Canvas Thief.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Can We Send Him To A Special School?

One supposed test of a dog's intelligence is the towel test.

Toss a towel over his/her head. The quicker the dog removes the towel, the smarter the dog. When we tried this with the Greyhound, he walked around the house crashing into furniture. He's not bright.

But he knows where he doesn't want to go--the vet.

A couple weeks ago we gave the vet our Greyhound. She returned him but kept his teeth and some of his jaw. We gave her our credit card number* and took our mutilated dog home. (*I would have preferred paying with a first born. Cheaper. Eliminates all that college fund nonsense.)

This week The Greyhound had a follow-up visit. The vet said she wanted to make sure he was healing. Right. I think her kid needed braces.

I load The Hound into my tiny Korean Piece of Shit car. All the other people in the retired racing greyhound community have big dog hauling vans and SUVs. We have a tiny car that's about the size of a kennel crate. We're the token rednecks in the animal rights crowd. (You know you're a redneck if your dog runs faster than your car.)

Not concerned about where he's going, the Hound jumps in the back seat.

Tiny problem. I drive like a maniac. I love speed. I love taking corners a bit too fast, centrifugal force tugging at car and driver.

But centrifugal force hurls the Greyhound face first into the door. Hit the brakes too hard and he's wrapped around my neck like a stole. Greyhounds are not graceful. They do one thing gracefully--run. Otherwise they're like an adolescent boy who's hit a growth spurt and lost all control of his long limbs.

We've dropped fifteen hundred bucks on his mouth, so I'm driving slow like somebody's abuelita. Next problem: His Lordship thinks the backseat is hot. So the air conditioning is on high, sucking gas and power (because the little POS can't cool and propel simultaneously), and freezing me. I'm so cold my nipples can cut glass. I can't shorten my time in the Arctic because...I have to drive slow.

"The Greyhound is happy," I say, over and over. "Happy, happy, happy."

Except about halfway there his pea brain puts together what's happening. "I'm going to the vet!" He leans over the seat and pants on me. "I can't go back there. I can't. Drive faster. Point this baby at that telephone pole." He uses his wet nose to scrawl "Help Me" on the car windows.

We arrive and The Hound, a victim of his amenable nature, slinks into the vet's office without much protest. I sign in and sit down. A young couple, who look barely old enough to vote, wait with a tiny puppy. The puppy is obviously a pit bull, but cute nevertheless. It sits quietly at its masters' feet, dreaming of maulings to come. A minute later, a man arrives with an enormous cat in his arms. He sits; the puppy takes a few steps toward him and the cat lets out a dignified hiss. The puppy sits again and the cat stares imperiously at the room, ignoring The Hound.

The Hound is shaking so hard I fear pieces will start to fall off. Pieces I paid money to get healed. Tiny puppy is calm; cat is calm. My large, black dog is approaching heart failure. Something starts whining, everyone looks at me, and I realize it's The Hound.

I try shut him up by saying cute things. "Where's your hedgehog? Where's Mr. Hog? Hoggie-Woggie." The young couple is looking at me the way the cool kids in school look at the geek. I'm way too familiar with that look. Fuck it; I shut up and let him whine.

After all this, the vet spent about two minutes with us. Huh. A lot like human doctors. At least they didn't charge us for the visit; veterinary vampires do have souls.

Flee vet's office. Load dog in the car.

About halfway home, he sticks his head over the seat, gives a toothless grin, and seems to ask, "Where we going? Someplace fun, right? That's why I'm in the car, right? We're not just going to drive around all day, are we?"

Do they make Stupid Helmets for dogs?

[Disclaimer: We love the Hound and have only the profoundest respect for vampires, erm, veterinarians.]


Graphics and Content Copyright © Patricia Kirby 2005