Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Mutticus Tragicus

This morning I went on a walk with my little dog.  We were moseying along when, right in front of us, a squirrel raced across the sidewalk and up a palm tree.  He hung on to the side of the tree and stared at my dog.  Close on its tiny squirrel heels was a black cat.  When the cat saw Hogie, it puffed up, raised its back and started doing that creepy sideways dance that cats do.  I felt like I was on Animal Planet.  The squirrel froze, the cat danced and my mutt (who would normally do everything in his power to capture and kill the squirrel and who is not at all afraid of cats) whimpered and hesitated.

That's when I knew for sure.  Hogan McSmalls is depressed.

A little over a week ago, he got a flea bite while frolicking outside.  (He's on flea meds but sometimes they don't work, I guess?) I had no idea that this had occurred, of course.  I'm sure it itched.  I'm sure it totally bugged him.  I noticed him messing with his back on Monday but I couldn't see anything wrong there.  I thought it was normal Hogie messing.  (Sometimes we call him butt muncher because he, well, you know.) On Tuesday, he seemed better so I dropped him off at doggie daycare to party with his dog friends while I was out and about.  When I picked him up, a big section of his back was wet.  I dug around in all that fur and found that he'd pulled chunks of it out.  There was a bald area the size of a nickel.

So, Hogan McSmalls went to his favorite place, the vet.  He came back with a big shaved patch on his back, two different prescriptions and a giant cone on his head. Our cat had to wear the cone of shame many times over the decade we had her but this was Hogie's first encounter with it.  The cat didn't really mind the cone but  Hogie acted like it was the worst thing that had ever happened to any creature ever in the history of the world.  He sighed. He grumbled.  He stared listlessly at walls.  He ignored us.

He was really really tragic.

It's been a week and Hogie is still super tragic.  He still hasn't learned to avoid boinking his cone into everything he passes.  He still runs into doorways, corners and furniture.  The edges of the cone are always messy with paint or dirt or leaves.  His favorite things to hit with the cone are:  palm trees and my legs.  When we go on walks, he attempts to sniff every palm tree.  Then, he bonks his head really hard, shakes, huffs and, inevitably, ends up walking off without peeing.  One day I walked him for forty-five minutes before he deigned to pee on anything.  As for my legs, he just really enjoys running into them really hard with his stiff plastic cone head.  Then I enjoy cussing for five minutes.

I've been dealing with having a sad little dog the only way I know how: by tossing treat after treat at that little cone head.  I've been calling him stupid names like Cone Dog and Funnel Face and Coney.  Coney was my favorite until I realized it sounded like "Kony," and I didn't really want to call my dog after a war criminal!  I've also been obsessed with keeping the cone clean.  I keep wet-wiping it while he snorts at me.  We're having a great time!

So, Hogie's getting fatter and I'm getting crazier by the day.  My hope is that his would heals by the 4th of July.  I'm picturing the dog hurling through my in-law's perfect backyard running over flowers and toddlers, knocking down tables, eating people's food.  Actually, that isn't much different than every other year except for the knocking down tables part.

For now, we're coexisting.  He's tolerating me because of the treats and I'm trying to be extra nice to him, despite the scrapes all over my legs.  We'll be okay.  But, I think we're changing flea meds.