My companion, Berry, the actual akita-chow mix behind Akitachow.com, has to go to the vet regularly due to his allergies and skin condition.
When you adopt a dog it’s kind of a crap shoot in terms of vet bills, but you can count on shelling out lots of cash for your “free” dog.
The important thing is, of course, that your dog is healthy and happy, with everything else being secondary, but there are numerous non-life threatening conditions that’ll cost you a fortune over time.
Berry seems to have a few of these.
We have to keep on top of the ear situation, in particular. Allergies inflame his ears. He scratches and impacts them with stuff by jamming his toes in there. The ears get infected. Once he even punctured his eardrum. It’s impossible to catch this early on each time, because you can’t watch what’s going on 24/7.
Well, there we were at the vet again today, which is a big pain in the ass because he’s terrible with other dogs and creates general mayhem there. He has to be muzzled because he gets kind of scary when you mess with him too much, he’s all stressed, and he sucks the air out of any room he’s in (and the car!) with his non-stop hyperventilating.
I feel terrible for him because he hates going to the vet, and I feel terrible for me because it’s a huge production to take a non-compliant, 105-pound dog where he does not want to go. I feel terrible for the techs, because, as he is being treated in the back, I can hear snarling, people saying, “It’s OK, Berry!,” and then something large crashing into a wall, which shakes the walls of the waiting area.
Although he’s over 11 now, he’s as strong as an ox. Compact and all muscle.
After these vet visits, I take him through the McDonalds drive-thru for a plain cheeseburger, and I have a coffee while he gobbles that down. Since he’s getting older, I thought I would get him something with a little less fat to digest, and I heard there were chicken breast sammies available. I ordered two Classic grilled, one plain, and six McNuggets, in case he hated the sandwich.
My sandwich had an anemic chicken breast that looked, well, shellacked. There was a slice of tomato, which was not half bad, and a lettuce leaf. The whole wheat bun had no texture, but I guess that’s the idea. When I took a bite the contents slid out due to a large blob of mayo hiding under the lettuce that created a landslide effect. I suppose if you tell them to go light on the mayo, and to actually spread it on the bread, it’s the best thing to have if you find yourself at a McDonald’s for some reason.
I tore a piece of the plain sandwich off for his nibs in the back seat, and he took it gingerly but promptly spit it back at me with some velocity. The piece of chicken and bun went flying over my shoulder and down my shirt. Nice. I dug everything out and tried again, but no sale. I don’t blame him. The roll and chicken were almost identical in color and texture. When you’re accustomed to a cheeseburger and get something like this, I guess a poor reception is to be expected.
Then I tried with a McNugget. This he was so suspicious of he wouldn’t take. When I thought he was going to take it, I let go, and it bounced to the floor of the car.
I ate one of the McNuggets – which I don’t think I’ve had since Steve and I used to get them at the East Village Mickey D’s back in the early 1980’s. Tasted like the same chicken flavored cellulose stuff it was back them.
I later tried to give him the rest of his sandwich and a couple of McNuggets via his dog bowl, but he never even looked.
He’s been glaring at me since we got back home, saying, “I want my damned cheeseburger!”