If you have tears prepare to shed them now

Miss Best Friend has been to the vet. She has come back, smiling bravely, wearing a bright pink sock on the left front paw, and a bandage on the right front elbow. She looks as if she’s been in a traffic accident. These are what, in the Labrador book of rules, are known as ’sympathy inducing bandages’, designed to make nice old ladies say ‘what a shame’, and ‘here’s a wee something’. It seems a pity, in the circumstances, that we have nobody working in the house from whom sympathy, to say nothing of half-sandwiches, the pastry off Scotch pies, and Kit-Kats, may be elicitited. Starting with the left front, she had a fistula between the two middle toes a month ago, and this has opened up again. The pink sock is to keep it clean and prevent her from biting at it. The right shoulder is also now explained. I had observed that there was a dimple in the bright pink satin skin exposed by this constant licking, but I’m happy to say that I have no detailed familiarity with what dogs look like sans fur, and had assumed it was an aspect of the shoulder anatomy. It wasn’t, it was, and is, a small ulcer, which hasn’t gone very deep. Apparently elderly dogs are liable to such things, and if it’s not interfered with, it should clear up. The old canine seems perfectly cheerful, albeit much inclined to come the old soldier. Some very strange fishy treats from North Norway (unidentifiable bits of dried cod, I think) are going down well. On another tack entirely, the Professor came back from Edinburgh with a couple of match-pots, and I have put some experimental Parma Gray on the front of the house. It looks pretty good, though I’m waiting for it to dry and darken before I’m quite sure.

PS. It’s dawned on the old quadruped that she can’t get at her shoulder to lick it, and she’s absolutely livid. She’s been lying about in the kitchen for the last half hour, grunting and groaning indignantly, like a bassoon tuning up. I don’t know when I’ve ever seen her so cross.

10 Responses to “If you have tears prepare to shed them now”

  1. Jon Says:

    Poor creature.

  2. Jane Says:

    Stocism has set in, once she realised groaning wasn’t going to get her anywhere.

  3. canadian professor Says:

    Please give Meg my love and sympathy and tell her that I am, even now, reflecting on what treats might be brought to Scotland.

  4. Eleanor Says:

    The indignities of elderly doghood are legion. Hang in old girl.

  5. Jane Says:

    What the old thing likes is meat. Any and all meat, really. Unlike her friend, she’s not much of a one for cheese, and doesn’t bother about sweets either. CP, may I suggest beef jerky — light, which is good for you, from the pov of air travel, and low fat, which is good for her, and will give her something to work on, now she is no longer allowed bones, to her infinite disgust.

  6. The Man From Maryport Says:

    She has my sympathy - this comment being typed with left arm in a sling & a mild haze of post-operative drugs (dodgy shoulder finally sorted out on the operating table yesterday after 18 months).

  7. Jane Says:

    Sorry to hear you’ve been under the knife, with all the tedium that follows on from there, but if they’ve fixed something which needed fixing, it can only be good. Get well soon & I hope you can sleep. The doggy ulcer is getting better.

  8. The Man From Maryport Says:

    Not so much ‘under the knife’ as ‘under the fibre-optic arthroscope & the radio-frequency ablater’ (no, I have no idea what one of those is). But at least it means I should be able to put on a jacket without being bent double in agony . . .

  9. canadian professor Says:

    Beef jerky it will be, and I think that I will pick it up at one of the legion places in the UK where such good things are on offer. A larger amount than is possible under the beady eyes of the douane. The one at Exeter looked as if he was going to confiscate my glaucoma drops. He was unmoved when I said, but I shall go blind without them.

  10. Jane Says:

    CP — they are totally mad and unforgiving about the 100 ml rule (as I think it is, check). You can have CARBOYS of eyedrops in your cabin baggage if you need them, but you mustn’t have liquid in too big a bottle in hand luggage. I remember talking to an airport security man who confiscated my lens rinse on a quick trip to London when I hadn’t had hold baggage — ‘but it’s lens rinse?’ I squeaked. ‘what am I supposed to do tonight?’ He gave me a look of real sympathy, and said ‘I wear contacts myself, I’ve got stashes everywhere I stop over, but it’s the law.’

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