Help: Dog Needs Job

The occasion for this plea is that yesterday, two-thirds of the female population of my household went to their respective doctors; namely me, and Abigail the girl dog.  The girl cat and the two boy dogs stayed home, but not without very vocal protests by the boy dogs.  It was so TOTALLY unfair that Abigail got to go for a ride in the car and they didn’t.  Of course they would have felt differently if they had known the destination.  When they get in the car, they’re all excited, and when you arrive at the vet, they look at you like, “Damn!  You tricked me again!” 

Abigail has been having an ongoing problem with elevated liver enzymes, and it was time for her to be retested.  It was also time for her annual vaccinations and the routine tests for intestinal parasites and heartworms.  Although she’s been there several times in the last few months, strictly for the liver enzyme issue, this was the first annual cycle she’s reached since she turned 7 years old.  In fact she’s now 7 1/2.

When a dog turns 7, my vet likes to do what’s called a Senior Wellness Protocol.    (Translation:  Extra tests we can charge you a lot more money for.  It’s best for your dog, and we know you love your dog.  Sucker.)  No, seriously, it really is a good idea.  They do a more comprehensive physical exam, and a lot more bloodwork than usual, testing for things like liver, kidney, and thyroid function, diabetes, and other conditions that older dogs (and people) are prone to.  I decided since she would be there most of the day I would also treat her to a bath and pedicure (just kidding–nail clipping comes with the bath).

I dropped her off in the morning, and went to my own appointment mid-afternoon; in my case, a routine checkup with the radiation oncologist.  The difference between me and Abigail is that I have a job, and health insurance.  I get to breeze out of the doctor’s office with a smile and a wave.  Late afternoon, when I picked up Abigail at the vet’s, I thought I was going to have to leave my car as collateral.  $364, not counting the bag of food I bought. 

So not for the first time, I realized it’s time for Abigail to pay her own way.  It’s hard for a dog like her to break into the job market for the first time, especially at her age (50 or so in people years).  Especially with no skills.  She can’t herd, hunt, or guard.  Matter of fact, it’s our job (me and the boy dogs) to guard her.  If you had to describe her in one word, that word would be “skittish”.  Frankly, she’s as nervous as a tadpole in a pond full of alligators.  Trying to turn that into a positive (you know that trick, right?  That gap in your employment when you were in prison turns into “I was in the Peace Corps and all my records were destroyed in a fire”), I was thinking maybe she could go into security work.  She’s a really good early warning system when it comes to threats originating in the sky, like geese and helicopters. 

However, I think her best feature is her appearance.  She’s beautiful and velvety soft and has those deep, beseeching brown eyes.  She’s a mixed-breed, but is mostly Pointer.  Her muzzle is a little too rounded to be mistaken for a purebred Pointer, but in the right light…kind of like in the right light, I could pass for Kim Basinger.  So perhaps she has a future as a model.  Well, if it weren’t for the bright lights, the camera, and the necessity to remove your tail from between your legs. 

Meanwhile, all serious job offers will be thoroughly evaluated and accepted immediately.  Salary negotiable.  Matter of fact, you can skip the salary altogether and go directly to the health insurance benefits.  No penalty for pre-existing conditions, however, and a lack of generous provisions for mental health treatment would be a deal-breaker.  Direct all inquiries to this blog.


8 responses to “Help: Dog Needs Job

  1. My “puppy” Lola is a 4 year old black lab/border collie mix…hates water, loves to chase (still)…no interest in catching or fetching…leans in to you when you brush/rub/scratch her…on the porch she is very brave, once I wake her up…we (me & the catz) couldn’t love her more!

    You should see her tail when I call her my puppy…great post!

  2. With that combination (lab/border collie), at 4 years old you’re probably just now starting to catch up on sleep 🙂 Talk about active!
    Abigail has a bit of pitbull in her, which accounts for the rounded muzzle. Hard to be a mixed breed dog from North Florida without some of that in the mix. Glad you liked the post, I have many more stories left in me!

  3. Hmmmm..I have an immediate opening for a “hoot owl remover” which unfortunately for me (but fortunately for the hoot owl) will have to be non-violent since I doubt I can get to it. Now if your dog can bark loud enough at night to get that #@*! hoot owl to move way way away from my bedroom area so I can get some sleep, then I will pay handsomely. Wednesday that @#!$# owl hooted twice a minute from about 10 PM to 6 AM. He bothered someone else Thursday but tonite he’s hooting again.

  4. As Abigail’s agent, I must say that while she is completely capable of barking long enough and loud enough to scare away the owl, she is too ladylike to initiate the barking. Plus, I’m going to guess that the sound of an owl might send her scooting into the nearest storm drain for cover. Therefore, you would also have to take the Doberman and the Basenji mix (aka the boy dogs) to initiate the deal. No charge for their services.
    Is this owl mating season or something? Lol. How about calling St. Francis Wildlife to come and get it….?

  5. Dear Abigail’s human, we understand that you are a human and therefore limited in what you can understand, so we forgive you for having to point out the obvious, which is that Abigail HAS a job, which is making you smile and also helping to eat and also napping. Also, it is very good that she has a specialty with the geese and the helicopters, because you never know when they are going to crash onto your house. In terms of the health benefits, Abigail gives you health benefits by making you happy and smile and also with the kisses. We hope this has helped explain things. Also, you should give Abigail her own cell phone and then she can call us. Or at least write in to our Dog Blog, where dogs sound off, because Abigail probably has some things to say. Love, Your Canine PaLs, LuLu and LoLLy!

  6. Thanks Lulu and Lolly! I checked out your website. For other readers, it’s The main thing about the geese is that I think they might be vampires. Flying like they do (that is so unnatural!), they could swoop down on you before you know it, bite you on the neck, and turn you into one of the undead.
    Your friend, Abigail

  7. Well I can identify with the health insurance vs pet insurance, have the same situation. Same expense too. Looking a pet insurance but am rather confused about the value.

    Tonight however I am licking my own self inflicted wounds from Doak. Can’t even be outraged at the loss just want to crawl into my cave.

    My traveling laptop does not like the Democrat and won’t let me log in. So I won’t follow up with your posts on those blogs on this post.

    But I will get back to you re my daughter. ……and “logic” or lack thereof.

  8. I hear you about the pet insurance issue. I looked into it at one time, and as I recall, if you’re going to get it you need to do so early, before the animal develops some threatening illness. So then, indeed, the questions becomes whether or not the amount you pay in premiums over the dog’s lifetime is worth it. Would it be better just to pay for things when they come up? I don’t know. I think it depends on whether or not pet insurance covers catastrophic illnesses like cancer, and then, on how much treatment you’re willing to put them through for such catastrophic illnesses. I’m a firm believer in not putting animals through painful, debilitating, and expensive treatments and surgeries for things that will ultimately be fatal anyway.
    I belong to a Yahoo newsgroup called Cancer in Rottweilers, and many times I’m literally sickened by what people put their dogs through because they can’t bear to let go.
    Enough of that. Sorry about the ‘Noles. Very disappointing.

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