I can only blame myself and yet…
It began like this. Charlie Brown was limping on Saturday. On Sunday he seemed better…then he began licking his paw and limping again. Nothing for it, a trip to the vet was in order.
My 93-year-old (“I’m almost 94,”) mother is staying with us. Lovely to have her here but tiring as her memory is going and the day begins with question – answer, same question – same answers etc..
There was the incident in the Black Dog where she asked what “WIFFI” was when reading it on a card on the windowsill. We explained that it was wi-fi. There followed a brief explanation.
“Oh, I don’t know anything about that sort of thing of course,” she smiled.
Ten minutes later,
Son-in-law kindly repeated the explanation – you get the picture.
On the other hand, she still has a sense of humour (not quite so easy to make her laugh but we do get there.)
As I was saying, Monday morning…
I get Charlie ready to go to the vet. This task is not quite as straight forward as one might think, given Charlie’s penchant for spinning round, while snapping and snarling every time he sees another dog in the waiting room. A muzzle is required, albeit the soft variety.
Muzzle is found and Charlie gets very excited as he believes a walk is in the offing. Flossie shows an interest too and begins jumping all over me (Golden Retrievers are very excitable, even at 9-years-old). The muzzle is on, oh no, it’s off as Charlie wriggles free but comes back for more. The collar has to slip through the loop on the muzzle … wrong way … that’s better… oh no, off again …
“Sit still and let me put this *** !! Muzzle on you!”
“But we are going for a walk, I don’t need that, see, told you, it won’t stay on…”
Meanwhile, Flossie is practically on my lap, beside herself with joy at seeing leads and poo-bags brought out.
‘Sorry, Floss, not now,”
Finally, with a wary glance at my watch… just enough time to get to the vet…the muzzle is in place.
Out we go to the car where I pop Charlie and muzzle in the boot before going back into the house to collect my things and calm down. (It was a very stressful experience).
My mother makes sympathetic noises throughout.
“He needs a muzzle I suppose?”
“Yes!!!! He needs a muzzle.” (unless I want those teeth to sink into my leg again as he spins round in blind panic.)
In the car, I feel my heart racing…time to calm down. I reverse the car slowly to turn it in the drive – oops, have I reversed into a tree? There is the slightest ‘bump’. Too late, I remember that Dave has parked his 911 behind me. My bumper gave it the merest push resulting in scratched paintwork and a couple of dents in the door that look so much worse when I send Dave the photos.
Determined not to stress about the knock (they are only cars after all) I carry on and we get to the Vet twenty minutes early because I have the time wrong.
We spend the time waiting behind the cat screen. Charlie goes bananas every time a dog passes us. I am so glad to get into the surgery where my Jekyll and Hyde dog becomes the most affable, friendly and gentle hound you could wish to meet.
Turns out he has a badly bruised toe and an infection. Just as well we went.
Dave comes home and declares that the damage to the 911 is not nearly as bad as the photos suggest (clever reverse psychology on my part). He is positively happy.
So, I can only blame myself for not seeing the little car parked by the bushes and believing the drive to be empty… but really, Charlie Brown!
Meanwhile, here are some more interesting photos of my Mum’s stay.