Whenever I entertain thoughts about getting another dog, I need only think of the vet bills and I come to my senses.
I'm not talking a get-hit-by-a-car kind of bill. I'm talking about an annual check-up with two shots and a heart worm test with an ear infection thrown in.
Maddie has had frequent ear infections, and I could tell she was getting one again by the way she was shaking her head. And then (sorry, this is gross), she needs to have her anal glands expressed once a month. You can tell that is on the agenda by the way she scoots across the floor. Very embarrassing in company. The vet said some dogs are just like that, but I never met one before.
No matter how much they poke or prod her, Maddie loves going to the vet. It's pure entertainment and a chance to get some treats and have her belly rubbed. Today a half an hour passed quickly in the waiting room while she tried to figure out two tiny dogs. One was a Yorky so well wrapped up in blankets that its little head barely popped out.
So, on to the exam. She had her ears cleaned and a smear taken to determine what was wrong. It was a combination of bacteria and yeast, and she will need drops two times a day. Ever give a dog ear drops? It makes them go crazy, and they run around and around rubbing their ear on the ground. (When Misty, our dog before Maddie, saw you coming with an ear dropper she'd run away even if you tried to hide the medicine behind your back.) Maddie just lies down...and then she goes crazy afterwards.
She also needed a refill on her heartworm and flea and tick preventative. And then, ahem, there was the business of the anal glands. The vet said she could teach me how to do it, saving $23 a pop, but she warned me that it's pretty yukky. Next time she's going to show me how it's done, but I have a feeling it's not for me. Maybe Joe?
You should have seen the look on my face when I got the bill: a whopping $405.14.
But she's a good dog, and she keeps my feet warm when we lie on the couch together.
This blog is about running into Acute Myeloid Leukemia, or AML, after feeling winded while running a 10K race. It is about falling down and getting up, many times over, after two relapses and four bone marrow transplants between 2003 and 2009. I am a writer with three children, Ben, Joe and Katie, and one Labrador retriever, Maddie, short for Madison, as in Madison (Ave.), in honor of my hometown, New York, New York.