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.