Well, as much as I hate to risk offending dog lover's and nostalgic t-shirt and bumper sticker creators everywhere, I have to admit that our dog is not my best friend. Most days I am not even sure that we are what I would call close chums. He is not terribly demanding emotionally, but is a bit of a mooch when it comes to food and shelter. He also tends to let himself go in the general grooming category, but with a teenage boy in the house, I suppose he's in good company there.
The vet we have taken him to suggests that dogs be brought in for check ups every six months. It is not a sign that I do not care about the Foz enough to bring him in that often, but more a realization that I care for my children more and they only go for physicals once a year. Since I can't seem to remember to call the vets office (and am also slightly put off by the phone voices all of the women there have...as if Cindy Loo Who impressions were a job qualification), I wandered in to see what Foz might truly be due (ok, overdue) for. I might've felt badly about the year lapse in his kennel cough vaccine if he was home hacking up a lung, and I was ignorant enough to not really know what the distemper booster really was for, but doubted it had anything to do with Fozzie's general afternoon grumpiness when a nap gets interrupted. His rabies vaccine isn't due until late 2012, so I figured we were in good shape. I scheduled an appointment and went on my merry way home to tell Fozzie the good news. I could tell he instantly felt more loved.
I figured enough time had passed since last spring when Fozzie had a series of visits related to a personal (and less than appealing) issue he was having. Based on how hard he tried to dig his feet into their tile waiting room floor to avoid the exam room, I guess he begged to differ on the statute of limitations on vet office terror. By the time he settled in to the new surroundings, the vet came in, apparently wearing the same needle and general probing scent. Fozzie is not one to turn down a friendly gesture, but clearly had his reservations.
While all fifteen pounds of Fozzie's hulking body was on the metal table, my seat in the chair put us at pretty much eye level. We pretty much had a stare down while all of his parts were getting examined. Now I do try to leave my inner preteen at home giggling in private about the exam of dog "privates". However, it is almost too much to ask for me to actually participate in any discussion regarding such palpating. The vet said "Well, as you know, his testicles are still here" (sure, if you say so, but they could be out in my back yard for all I know). "They feel fine, and you'll want to feel them on a regular basis as well" (um, no, actually I would not). Fozzie looked undecided on the whole deal, and I was just hoping with all hope that a demonstration was not in my immediate future! Phew...a narrow escape.
It was not like I was exuding any pretense that Fozzie and I spent a lot of intimate time with each other. The poor dog had some gunk in the corner of his eye that I openly admitted being basically unable to tackle. There was also the issue of how timely our appointment was, but considering the dog's good health, I was not judged. I do what is in my realm of abilities (yes, and interest) to take decent care of our canine pal.
After we came home, I was watching the Foz frolic in the backyard, and thought about what a good dog he really is. I also realized that if I was to know if there was some sort of testicular issue in his life, I may not recognize it if I didn't have some sense of normal. I let the dog back inside, gave him some Cheerios and then I went to the mall. Fozzie and I have a sort of unspoken agreement that we will keep each of our own monthly exams to ourselves (and by ourselves)...although I think he checks himself out WAY more than once a month!