Sep 262009

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Follow up with the veterinarian is essential.  So are regular visits, including the annual exam.  Finding a veterinarian who provides excellent care for your dog and who values good communication with you is equally important.  You and your veterinarian can work together to provide excellent health care: You can ask your veterinarian all your questions, tell her or him your concerns and observations, and work out solutions to problems or medical conditions together. After all, you know your dog – you observe him every day – better than anyone.

This morning, my mom puts the lead on me. This is good.  We go outside and I’m standing on the sidewalk, awaiting instructions on what we’re going to do and which direction I should start heading in. Then she says  “Joey, go to the car”.  I do. She’s very excited that I’ve learned this new word, car, and says nice things to me. She also says the words car Go to the car car Go to the car a zillion times. I heard her the first time, but she persists in saying this word car.

When my mom and I arrive at the animal hospital and she is putting the car in a parking space, I’m already excited.  The door to the back seat, where I am, opens and I get excitedly out of the car and I know just where to go.  I walk excitedly up the side of the building to the door of the animal hospital. Each step brings me closer and closer to bliss.  The door opens and – I’m inside!  JOEY!!!! I hear my name ring out from the medical technician and this is even better. This is the place where I was first taken when I was hit by the car.  Except that now I’m all better! This is the place where I have many friends.

Soon, I meet a technician I’ve never met before. He is really kind, I can tell right away! He talks to my mom a lot and I’m hearing the words he and Joey a lot.  I’m used to this.  I have to stand on that thing, the scale, and everybody is happy that my weight is just about back to where it was before I was hit by the car.  Then we go back to the little room and talk more. I am at the center of all this activity.

Soon my beloved Dr. Tamara comes into the room. She talks to my mom, then examines me a little, and then talks to my mom. While she’s talking to my mom, I’m paying attention to Aaron, who is really kind to dogs and to me. While Aaron and I are sitting in a corner, my mom is telling my doctor about how often I pee and mark, and about my daily habits.

Then I stand up and Aaron holds me gently around my chest while Dr. Tamara examines me some more, but I can’t see her. She’s examining me from my rear end. This is a strange examination and my mom comes over to me  and stands really close to me and looks into the depths of my eyes to a place beyond human language and speaks into my eyes and says “Good boy.  Good boy.” That’s very nice and very calming the words and the way her voice kind of sings. But this examination is very unusual.

The doctor says things to my mom that I don’t understand.  I’m not sure I want to understand.  I’m not moving – one inch – from this position.

Then that’s over.

Dr. Tamara and Aaron have me lie down on the floor. Jane comes over to where my head and face are and says nice things to me. Again, I’m at the center of all this activity but I have no idea what it’s all about. Soon, Dr. Tamara is pulling back the prepuce, the skin over my penis, and she is examining my penis. She is looking at where my penis was lacerated during the car accident. She is talking to my mom. I’m quiet. I’m a good patient.  This doesn’t hurt but it is odd.  My doctor examines me and says “I’m not worried…I’m not worried” and then nobody seems worried.

Then it’s all over. Everybody acts happy and I get treats. I’m not worried, either.

I understand happy. But my mom is very happy.

I never understood the fuss in the first place.

Everybody agrees that the urine in my blood that had the other doctor so worried about 2 months earlier when I was being boarded was just from my damaged penis.   And my prostate gland, while enlarged, is not abnormally enlarged for a male dog who is whole, like me. And I pee and mark like a normal dog and poop without any strain.  All of which make my parents, who seem to observe and note every little thing I do, very happy.

So, in the end, after a lot of examining and a lot of talking, my doctor writes “healthy” in my chart.

Healthy – and happy.

A healthy and happy ten-year-old unaltered male dog who has survived being hit by a car and is loving life, more than ever.


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