I saw a fat yellow labrador retriever on TV last night. I hate labs. It made me think of the time last year that Daddy and Not-the-Daddy took me to Kenyon College’s main campus to go running. I hadn’t been able to get to the woods or the dog park because of the snow, so I was really looking forward to being off-leash for a while and stretching my legs.
When we got to Middle Path, I could see there were some other dogs there, too. Friends! So I started running toward them, then stopped about 20 yards away. All of a sudden, this fat old yellow lab started running towards me and barking his head off. He had a really uncouth accent, too… like a toothless Brooklyn cabbie.
The next thing I know, he goes for my rear, and I feel a stinging pain in my left back leg. The bastard bit me, although he did it so quickly, none of the humans saw it! Normally when a dog comes after me, I quickly tell him who’s boss. But this time I felt scared, so I just sat down. It was like a refrigerator was coming at me… Not-the-Daddy and Daddy quickly got their bodies between me and him, and then the fatso’s owner, a mousy, little old academic bitch, came over and said, “Sorry… he’s never like that.” Yeah, right! Whatever.
The sting went away quickly, so I stood up and started playing with the other dogs. Then Not-the-Daddy, Daddy and I took off down Middle Path, and I started running and jumping in the snow.
All was well until we got home, and I started feeling sore in my leg. Not-the-Daddy noticed it, and checked it out. Then she called Daddy over. It turns out I had a gaping tear right by the tendon. Luckily, it only ripped skin, but it was still about the size of a quarter and wide open.
Not-the-Daddy and Daddy talked about whether or not I needed something called “stitches.” Daddy said if I did get stitches, I would have to wear a lampshade on my head for a few days to keep me from worrying the stitches. It was around 6:30 at night, so I would have to go to an emergency clinic if they decided on the stitches.
After a few minutes they decided to wait until the morning to see how the wound was. They sat me down and Daddy took my face in his hands and talked really seriously to me. “Look, Ellie,” he said. “You have a choice. You can either go the vet route, which means getting stitches which hurt, taking an antibiotic for a few days which will give you diarrhea, and walking around inside and out in public with a ridiculous lampshade on your head. Or, you can let us clean it for you and you leave it alone so it can heal by itself. The choice is yours. We’ll see how you do tonight.
I don’t like going to the vet. It always turns out badly for me. This second choice sounded a lot better.
So they cleaned the wound out with hydrogen peroxide. Daddy held me and petted me, and Not-the-Daddy poured in the peroxide. Man, did that ever sting! I cried out and slunk away. Not-the-Daddy felt just awful, like she was killing a puppy or something…
For the rest of the evening, Not-the-Daddy and Daddy showered me with lots of attention. They stopped me every time I went to lick the wound. So I realized that if I wanted attention, I just had to start licking and one of them would come running. I felt so powerful, but I tried not to abuse my new-found ability too much!
And you know what? That night, Not-the-Daddy decided to sleep on the couch so I could sleep comfortably on the bed with Daddy all night. That was an awesome treat!!!
It was because of this incident with the yellow lab that I decided that Not-the-Daddy was one of the good ones. She was a good addition to this home, and I knew I wanted to keep her.