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.


So, I've always thought I was a 38C. Come to find out, I'm actually a 36D. Huh. Go figure. That's interesting. And slightly jarring, in a certain way. Very interesting.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Express yourself!

A trip to the vet late this afternoon confirmed that Dakota Sue has an infection in her girly parts. It may be a urinary tract infection, it may be a bladder infection. A swabbed culture confirmed it is not a yeast infection, but the lack of a urine sample made it impossible while at the vet's office to pinpoint what it is. What it certainly is, even in the absence of a full diagnosis, is red, angry-looking, oozy, painful and metallic-smelling.

In the course of diagnosing her, the vet determined it would be necessary to do an "anal gland expression," as evidently these glands can burst, causing an effect to the overall genitalia. As this is an unpleasant procedure, Dakota was muzzled, and whined, shedded and whimpered most pitifully while the tall, strong, kind-looking veterinary assistant held her firmly from wriggling away in a cloud of blown fur. I don't even want to know what the vet was doing, but it involved "anal" and "expression" and "glands." Evidently, as the vet observed, there "was a track on the left side that could be contributing," but who can really say definitively about these things? Anal glands are more an art than a science.

In any case, $133 on my MasterCard and one K-9 custard from Michael's later (good for post-traumatic anal gland expression stress disorder), Dakota is snoozing peacefully on the floor by the futon, completely oblivious to the intense drama unfolding on 'Prison Break' and looking so forward, I'm sure, to her chewable antibiotic pill (approximately $5.50 apiece) and topical ointment application (finally had a reason to buy those latex gloves) prior to bed. I am holding off on applying the E-collar that was prescribed to keep her from licking her irritated girly parts for as long as possible, as I'm sure she won't care for that. Attempts to sleep tonight may be interesting for both of us.

In the meantime, I am acutely aware of an interesting new aroma wafting through my house. It smells...poopy, but also meaty, musky and greasy. It smells brown, mealy and oily. It smells, evidently, just like anal glands expressing themselves.

Madonna would be so proud.

So that's what the kids are calling it these days.

So, while watching a rerun of The Daily Show where Jon Stewart's guest was Gary Hart, I was amused by the following exchange. Stewart was asking Hart about the current administration's assertion that the fight against terrorism was akin to fighting for civilization.

"So," Stewart puzzled, "are we in a fight for our very lives?"

Hart looked down at the desk, his shock of gray hair floating ever-so-slightly in the breeze and said quietly, "Well, if you were 60 days from a midterm election, it would certainly be worth it to make people think so."

"You sir, are a cynic," replied Stewart, sitting straight up in his chair, "And I won't have it!"

"I am actually the last great American idealist," Hart rebuffed. "When I'm gone, there won't be any more like me."

Stewart leaned back, pointing at the air with his pen,"You know what? I'm going to have you laminated."

"Someone already did that in '87. You're a little late." Deadpan Gary Hart. Seriously. Cracked me up.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Random things I love

  • Eating a pound of edamame as a meal, sprinkled liberally with Pico Limon
  • Pulling tufts of hair out of Dakota Sue, twisting them and leaving them in piles on the carpet
  • Walking, walking, walking
  • Thunderstorm forecasts
  • Getting drunk on a Sunday for no damn reason
  • Thrift stores
  • The smell of Aveda Sap Moss shampoo and conditioner (they say "arboreal," I say "earthy," we all say "rustically delicious")
  • Thoughts of Spearfish. I miss it. So much is waiting for me there.
  • Looking at the gorgeous necklace I just bought from the Himalayan jewelry vendor at the Square. The jewelry may ultimately be overpriced crap, but it's pretty and it's unique, and I get the impression the couple selling it is having a hard time, so maybe my purchases will help them out. Next week, the chunky red bracelet the guy said he'd sell me for $8 will become mine.
  • Burning some of the new incense I just bought -- Amber Fire and Tibetan Musk.
  • Thinking about reheating a big slab of the leftover Spinach Lasagna I made for Sara and me on Friday, for dinner tonight. That plus a glass of wine sounds divine.
  • The little wuffing noises Dakota Sue makes as she's laying on the floor, dreaming. Her paws and her lips twitch and I think she must be chasing squirrels and rabbits that smell like peanut butter.
  • The new GAP commercial for the "skinny black pant" with Audrey Hepburn dancing to AC/DC's "Back in Black." May not be an appropriate use of Audrey Hepburn's considerable cinematic legacy, but it's so friggin' clever and memorable. And, let's face it, she's darling.
  • Speaking of dead iconic celebrities, Cary Grant. That's it. Just Cary Grant. Caaaa-reeeee-Graaaaant. There will never be another like him, though I'm rooting for George Clooney as a reasonable heir to that particular throne of cool.

Well, now that that's off my chest, I'm off to the porch for a cigar and thoughts sheltered from the coming thunderstorm clouds.

You heard it here first...

Friday night, I had a dream that I was hanging out in the old Wherehouse Records spot on Grand River Avenue in downtown East Lansing. It had been turned into an open-air gourmet restaurant/store, sort of like Zingerman's, but less crowded, less Jewish, and with a great deal more dark wood. It was raining, and the roof was not entirely sealed, so there were sections of the dining area that were getting rained on, but overall, the mood was fairly jovial and people seemed to be taking the moist conditions in stride.

I was browsing with some family near the booze section (where else?) and we were sampling various flavored gins and whiskeys. Now, don't go all crazy with the, "Gins and whiskies need no flavoring," angle, because I KNOW THAT. This was a DREAM. We traveled to a few more sections, including one where I grabbed a chocolate cream puff out of its packaging and started eating it in the store because I honestly thought that was okay. All in the name of sampling the merchandise, right?

As dreams will do, this one kind of "skipped," and the next thing I knew, I was in a locker room-type area with Jessica Simpson, who was pregnant and in labor, and was preparing herself to go to the hospital. "I have no problem being a single mother," she chirped brightly at me, picking up an oversized handbag that I can only assume cost more than a month's rent for me, and flouncing out the door with nary a twinge or a grimace that could be contributed to contractions. She was quite friendly in that adorably ditzy kind of way, and I'll have it known that, should she go public in the coming weeks with news of a pregnancy out of wedlock, YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST.