My buddy Boz was feeling puny last week, so much in fact that I was a bit of a mess worrying about his sudden withdrawal and lethargy. He began to yelp, the kind of yelp that Stephen King would parlay to summon the dead and a few anxious Kraken, a yelp that pierced my ears as a cry for help, an alarm for unrelenting pain. His eyes were vacant, his loving nature diminished, his playful personality all but gone. I called the vet, immediately.
Aside from the steady handouts of treats and the chance to annoy some cats, there’s not much Boz likes about the vet, but this time he was stoic and acquiesced to the probes, prods and rubdowns. Temperature normal. Digestion normal. Extreme sensitivity to touch around the muzzle. Prognosis: It appeared that Boz had injured his neck, and likely pinched a nerve. Dr. “Alan” prescribed bed-rest and minimal activity, a protocol perfectly tailored for an English bulldog and his supportive human. (Take three naps per day and call me in the morning.) Boz was a fine patient and for days he laid low, drank some water, and ate a few bites of soft dog food. Ignoring the dog door, he would quietly wait for me to play doorman to let him out. Three slow steps later, Boz would remind the gate post and Strawberry pot who was still boss.
A week later and Boz is back to normal, begging regularly, whining for treats, chasing deer, barking from the front porch, hogging the sofa, and working to re-establish his canine kingdom. Gracie on the other hand, is not so sure she is ready to relinquish the throne. Ah the balance of power has shifted, at least for this week. So long live King Boz and Queen Gracie; may you reign here for a very, very long time, no matter who’s the boss (and I know it’s not me).