Thursday, August 18, 2011

The dog's new teeth

For the last year or so, our vet has been encouraging us to have Monty's teeth professionally cleaned.  Every time she's mentioned it, I imagine him lounging back on a chair, paws folded on his chest, mouth open, and numerous dental tools poking out.  Since I know it would actually result in him unconscious so he didn't bite the techs hand off, I was a little leery.

However, because he is part Shi Itzu mixed in with his Cock-a-Poo breed, he has many teeth squooshed (yes, that is the technical term) into his teeny mouth.  Since he is always chewing on one thing or the other, those things are likely to get trapped in there.

Did you know that people are supposed to brush their dog's teeth every day?  Hell, they are lucky that I brush my teeth every day.

This year, we bit the bullet (and the budget) and agreed to have his teeth done.  The night before we took his food away and then his water the next morning.   It was 8 in the morning when we had to be there, so I pulled on a sweatshirt over my pjs and grabbed his leash.  As I went to get him ready to go to, he looked at me with sudden knowledge beyond his ability and went back to bed.

I dragged him into the vet office with him balking the whole way.  It was one of those moments where -- had he the ability -- he would have put his paws against either side of the door frame in order to avoid entry.  We were ushered into a room shortly after (there isn't much of a wait at 8 in the morning) and started the paper work.  The tech teased me about the fact that my sweatshirt matched the dog's collar.  She also gave me the estimate for the procedure.

When I came back to consciousness, she assured me it was the worst case scenario.  Their worst case was more than the cost of my first car.  I started wishing I had just pulled out all of Monty's teeth when he was a puppy.  But, I was committed, so I left him in their capable hands.

That evening they called me to come pick him up from his day.  I was relieved to know the actual cost was a third of what they had thought.  I received instructions on how to care for him (along with a lecture on teeth brushing) and then they went to get him.

I'm not sure what I expected, but it was not the docile and lethargic dog they brought out.  He lay limply in the tech's arms when I called his name.  His head lolled to the side and his tongue fell out of his mouth.  That was all the greeting I got.

When I took him home, I set him on the ground.  He took one step, his legs wobbled and he hit the ground.

Was it mean to laugh?

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