Today we took our dog, Honey, to her annual vet appointment for her vaccinations and heart worm test. We had a couple of questions that were answered. We haven’t been brushing her teeth as we were told to – about a year ago she had to have some pulled from the severe plaque and gingivitis – but the vet said they looked better than she expected them to. Her heart sounded “terrific”, we were told. She tested negative for heart worms. She took her shots like a champion. The bump near her tail that we were concerned about is just a cyst and not a big deal. Her weight has remained steady. The wound she likes to lick will be okay. She does have a growth on her ear that needs removed, and her teeth need cleaned prophylactically.
She hates going to the vet. I’m sure it has never been a fun experience for her; every time she has been she’s come out with new shots or teeth missing or some sort of perceived trauma. Our vet is amazing – we ask for her by name. Still, Honey has always spent most of the time in the exam room hiding behind her daddy and shedding wildly due to nerves.
Today was a little different. She only hid behind Jason (“Daddy”) a little bit, still shedding wildly. She let the veterinarian look at her eyes and teeth and wounds, putting up just a little bit of a fight, wiggling around. She was the bravest I have ever seen her. When I told her I loved her and how good of a girl she is, she wagged her tail a little.
When she got her shots, the nurse held her tight (thank goodness, because once, a different nurse barely had her and Honey yelped and jumped and the vet let go of the shot, causing it to hang in her backside for a moment. It was the worst experience we have ever had at that place – and the nurse had the nerve to say, “I thought she was going to be good!” I was extremely offended – she is good.)
Jason had hold of her, too. The doctor was, of course, giving her the vaccines. I sat in a chair nearby and didn’t break eye contact. I smiled at her as soothingly as I could, and her ears were down and her tail was down and she stared me down.
I was proud of her. I love her so much. I have a hard time expressing how I feel about her any other way – she is my baby. My nine-year-old, fluffy, four-legged baby. And though I think Jason spoils her at times, I could not ask for a better partner to parent her with.
Growing up, I always wanted a dog. I never had any pets besides fish, two of which died almost immediately after they were put into my care. (This was one of the most traumatic moments of my tween-aged life.) I used to write stories about young girls finding a dog and keeping it. (That would have never, ever flown in my mom’s house, by the way.) I even longed for a dog named Honey so I could announce, “Honey, I’m home!” When I met Jason, I had forgotten about this fantasy, but fell in love with his adorable one-and-a-half year old dog, Honey, anyway.
(For the record, even with the perfect opportunity, I rarely announce our presence to Honey when we arrive home. She is already very aware where we are from the second we pull into the driveway… perhaps even before.)
I could not ask for a better creature to love than my dog. I worry at times that I will never be able to love a human baby the same way I love Honey. If that sounds like a stretch to anyone, they underestimate the depth of unconditional love I feel for her.
Thank God for my dog and my partner. I would be lost without them.