January 2, 2024

Nice sunny day, Waldo is himself.


We go through the good, the bad and the ugly all together.

-Emily Robinson


It’s cold today.  The feel-like temp is around 28℉.  It’s overcast again, but no precipitation and the wind is minimal.  Still, I’m wearing rain pants, to help hold in the warmth, and my parka.  Waldo seems comfortable enough and is eager to go walking.  I can’t help but wonder how warm his fur is.  When it’s cold, I keep a close watch on him for any signs that he’s uncomfortable.  I watch for shivering and any tendency to stop and go back, for example.  But he continues on, relishing being outdoors.  I also judge how comfortable he is in the cold by watching him on his balcony.  He can come in and go out as he pleases, yet, in these temperatures, he stays outside and only comes in when he needs to be taken downstairs to relieve himself.  Our human ancestors must have watched furry animals and had similar observations because they killed animals, stole their fur and survived just fine in the cold.

I’m also watching Waldo today because he was a little lame yesterday after his yearly vet exam.  He’s a really smart dog, which means he’s complicated.  He has a really good heart and is very friendly and loving.  But, he has his boundaries.  Like the balcony.  He’s decided that’s his territory and he doesn’t like me out there.  I go there and he yells at me, leaving me no doubt whatsoever that he doesn’t think I should be there.  He’s consolable and, after a bit, he accepts it, be he doesn’t like it.

Last year, he decided he didn’t want the vet to mess with him.  In the past, he was startled by stuff like getting a shot, but otherwise put up with it.  Last year, he wouldn’t let the vet examine him at all.  He wouldn’t let him look in his ears or look at his teeth.  Nope, he was having none of it.  He didn’t tolerate a muzzle and I had to reschedule the visit so I could premedicate him with some trazadone pills.  That didn’t work either, so the vet ended up giving him a shot that put him completely to sleep.  Giving him that shot was fun, let me tell you.

So, this year, we planned on going the shot route.  Waldo came into the vet’s office, happy and wagging his tail, eager to meet everybody.  Then we went into the exam room and his demeanor changed completely.  But we planned for this.  I sat in a chair placed so the vet could get to his butt.  I held onto his collar tight and reassured him as best I could.  A vet tech held a blanket over his face so he couldn’t see what the vet was doing.  As soon as the vet touched his butt, though, even before he gave the shot, Waldo went ballistic.  He snarled and writhed, letting everyone know that what was going down just wasn’t acceptable.  I held on tight and in just a few seconds, the job was done, the blanket was removed and I released my hold.  Poor thing was obviously frightened.  I petted him, talked calmly and softly to him and he quieted down after a bit.  A few minutes later and he was out.  Problem solved.  I wish I had some of that stuff to give when I worked in the ER.

Waldo’s exam was perfectly normal and he got some vaccine shots.  After the exam, the vet gave him a reversing agent and, within ten minutes, he jumped to his feet and was ready to get the hell out of Dodge.

After we got home, he was still a little groggy, so we spent the morning napping.  I thought we might be able to go for our walk later in the afternoon, but he developed a limp on the side where he got his shots.  It obviously bothered him, but not too much.  I figured he was sore from the vaccine.  I get muscle aches and pains after I get vaccines, so he probably was just suffering from that.  I decided to put off the rail-trail walk until today.  When we went out to pee and poop around the complex, he was a bit gimpy, but okay.  His behavior was a little off and I couldn’t tell if it was after-effects of the anesthesia or if he was mad at me.

Today, I haven’t noticed any limping at all and he’s acting like his same old self.  He’s giving me lots of attention, getting in my way as I try to put on my boots, and doing his best to get me to play.  So, we’re back out here on the rail trail.  He cavorts and I watch.  Everything is back to normal.

Yesterday was just another speed bump in the road of life.


My old friend, the English ivy tree.

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