Monah, the Bernese Mountain Dog we rehomed two months ago, had surgery today…for a hematoma on her ear. It had been a nasty situation and obviously needed to be dealt with. So we did what responsible pet-owners do and took her to the vet.
She has quite a comprehensive vocabulary, and perhaps she had believed me when we casually climbed into the car this morning and I told her she would feel so much better soon. She loves going for rides. But, as we pulled into the parking lot at the vet’s office, her eyes mournfully revealed that she knew no good would come of this trip. Her last look at me as they walked her into the surgery was pleading. She thought I was abandoning her.
Now, here we are, ten hours later, and I couldn’t feel guiltier. I had picked her up about an hour ago, paid the $$$ bill, and was instructed as to medications and procedures. The two of us wobbled to the car, struggled into it and then out of it, staggered down the steps from the road and then up the steps to the first floor.
I’d hoped that she’d feel reassured about her homecoming, being back in familiar spaces with those who love her and bring her comfort. Hugs all around. Well, looking at her, I know this is not going to be an easy night. Her ear has been shaved, giving her a wounded look. And what was elegantly called an Elizabethan collar…more like a lampshade…has accompanied her. So far I’ve refused to add to her indignity and put it on her. Her bloodshot eyes droop over her cheekbones. Her nose is dry. Her tail drags. The dog whose favorite spot used to be at my feet now wants to be a room away. For added measure…a real Sarah Bernhardt…when I go to stroke her and talk to her, she has begun to moan, whimper, and…believe it or not…yodel.
Pets…like babies…instinctively know how to be in control of our emotions. It’s never easy to deal with one who is telling you that you let them down. I’ve gone through it before with other pets: seven dogs and 13 cats who have all resented trips to the vet that had some painful results…like neutering and spaying. Not true of our goats. Yeah, it must have hurt when they put rubber bands around their little testicles until they fell off, but they went on frolicking about, oblivious to the injustice, and easier to domesticate because of it.
Our Monah will come out of her stupor tomorrow. Her ear may hurt even more when the anesthesia is out of her systerm, and we have pills to coax into her for that. But we’ll be able to go for a walk, she’ll want a belly-rub, and there are treats to get through any peckish moods. Return of rapport, hopefully. Meanwhile I’ll have a glass of sherry to get me through the night, and perhaps I’ll try yodeling in harmony.