Crap. I Guess I’m One of Those Moms.
Yesterday afternoon, a veterinarian laughed at me.
Apparently I’m that crazy dog mother who, even though I never dress my dogs in sweaters (or any kind of clothing save the occasional reflective vest on nighttime walks), appears utterly ridiculous to non-dog owners.
And all of the assistants in the veterinarian’s office.
But for some inexplicable reason, I feel inclined to tell you — no, I need everyone to know — that I’m really not that kind of dog mom — the kind who takes her dogs to the vet for every little ailment.
If I were, we’d have been there 547 times in the last 5 years for various catastrophes, but we weren’t. I handled them at home. Like the time they ate a bunch of toothpicks so I fed them cotton balls dipped in coffee creamer to ease the passage. And the time they ate a bag full of chicken wing bones so I fed them cotton balls dipped in coffee creamer to ease the passage. And the time Capone ate one of those bathroom poufs and slowly expelled netting from his derriere for days.
That time, I didn’t feed him cotton balls.
But then, a few nights ago, Mara started acting strange. She tucked her tail between her legs, got all shivery and panty, and hid in our bathroom for several hours.
I did things. Things that would make Caesar Milan roll over in his grave if he were, you know, not actually alive.
I pet. I coddled. I lay with her on the cold bathroom floor.
I knew she was hurting, but she couldn’t tell me what was wrong. It was the most frustrating feeling in the world.
Then, miraculously and right before bed, she was fine again.
Until the next night.
Same thing, same time.
For three nights in a row.
So you see, I had to take her to the vet.
What if she had diabetes? Or Cushing’s? Or cancer?!
The internet is a very scary place when it comes to self — or pet — diagnosis.
So I booked an appointment and took her in.
Where they laughed.
They laughed and told me she was perfectly healthy and definitely does not have diabetes and sure they could charge me for all kinds of blood work and X-rays and the like if I wanted to screen for cancer, but she showed no obvious signs of the disease which, if she had it, would not be particular about the time of day it displayed its symptoms, and maybe I have a ghost in my house.
But, more likely, she felt sick that first night, got treated with all kinds of love and attention, and decided to do it again.
Or she’s picking up on the strain of Justin’s imminent deployment.
Either way, she’s fine, and they decided to not charge me for the visit since the intense humiliation overbearing dog mothers are forced to feel upon examination is payment — and entertainment — enough.
And the bitch of it is, I feel like if I were a *cough*real*cough* mother and not just a dog mother, I’d just be all, “What’s wrong with you? Your tummy hurts? Just pop a Pepto, dust it off, and go back to bed. Mama just opened a bottle of wine.”
But there’s something about these faces…
(or is it these faces?)
…that makes me do crazy, crazy things.
And that, I think, is probably what it feels like to be a mother.
P.S. You should probably check out this post of yore for some exceptionally hilarious faces.