Thursday, September 21, 2006

Look who we've got our Hanes on now!

Monday evening, I'd written a post about Dakota's visit to the vet and the resulting diagnosis of her "girlie infection." One of the remaining variables at the time of that post was the application of the Elizabethan Collar, or E-collar, which was prescribed to keep Dakota from licking at her "area," her "region," her "bitch topology."

So, after letting her out for a last potty break, giving her her oral antibiotic (difficult) and applying her topical antibiotic (more difficult), I put the E-collar on her and crossed my fingers.

So, the whole "crossing the fingers" thing? A useless superstition that had absolutely no bearing on what occurred. Dakota went into paralyzed stress mode. Her sensitive little flower aura turned a quivering shade of anxious purple, and she looked at me as though I'd just damned her to a long and torturous death. Death by E-collar. Per the veterinarian's instructions, I tried to act as though nothing was different, telling her cheerily, "Okay, Dakota Susie, time for bed! Let's go night-night," as I turned off lights and made my way to the bedroom. At this point, Dakota was in the kitchen where I'd left her, backed up to the wall and frozen in one place. I got into bed and called to her again, "Dakoooootaaaa! Come on! Let's go night-night!" Waited a minute. Listened. No sound of walking or drinking water or banging of E-collar against furniture between kitchen and bedroom. Waited another few minutes. Listened.

Nothing. Silence. Total absence of sound.

So, I got out of bed and walked out into the living room. No Dakota. Walked to the kitchen, peering into the dark. The eerie glow of the white cone was there, on the other side of the room. She was exactly where I'd left her. Backed against the wall. Frozen. Helpless. I sighed and came around behind her, scooting and cajoling her to walk (with much difficulty, as the collar had somehow affected her central nervous system and the general functioning of her legs). We got to the bedroom, I pointed her at her bed, she walked onto it and sat. Hallelujiah! Sitting! That's progress! Except, now she was pointing her head straight in the air, the cone pointing up like some satellite dish. I sighed, and got back into bed. "She just needs to figure this out," I thought. I tucked myself under my covers and closed my eyes. Then the crying started. Softly at first, and then more and more insistent.

Long story short...neither of us got any sleep until I went against my every alpha dog instinct and boosted her up onto the bed with me. At that point, I think Dakota fell asleep. I, being acutely attuned to her every breath and movement, did not. Slept not one wink. Yeah. Nice.

Next day at work, in between the lovely parades of pink insomnia elephants in my peripheral vision, I spoke with a coworker who said she knew someone who'd had luck with a slightly avant garde alternative solution for a similar problem. Men's underwear. Briefs, to be exact, turned backwards, with the little doggie's legs going through the leg holes, and the tail going through, you guessed it, the "pee hole." I figured anything was worth a try so, on my way home from work, I swung into Target and found a seven-pack of Hanes on the clearance rack.

And I'll be damned if it isn't a pretty amazing solution. Dakota looks like Marky Mark or an oversized Capuchin monkey with her Hanes on, and she definitely still looks embarrassed (wouldn't you be if you were a girl dog being made to wear boy underwear?) but she must be more comfortable in them than she was in the E-collar because, the first night, SHE SLEPT. In her own bed on the floor. All night. WITH NO CRYING.

I never expected to be so grateful for tighty-whities. Look who we've got our muthafuckin' Hanes on NOW. And the heavens open and the angels sing. Amen.


Blogger Mary said...

Sad but strangely entertaining post! Poor Dakota!

Now we want PICTURES! Must have PICTURES!!

12:41 PM  

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