The Sound and the Fury (of Bo)
Yes. Let me tell you how THIS happened.
The year 2006 did not start well for poor Mister Bo. Mister Bo would like to kindly invite 2006 to go fuck itself.
See, for New Years, we all went up to my parents' lakehouse. And I decided to only take Bo with us, seeing as there would be a multitude of people, as well as another dog, and the other three dachshunds don't...well, they don't do so great with "people." Or "other dogs." Actually, they suck at that. They suck quite a bit.
The basic rundown is this: Gimmme is blind, and highly alarmed by the sound of unfamiliar voices, and will sit there and bark, confused (bark?), for hours. Tasha is allergic to everything, including smoke and air and human beings (I am not kidding), and will sputter and cough herself into an asthma attack when new people come into the house. And Pugsley? Poor little sweet, darling Pugsley? Pugsley will bite the everloving shit out of all of y'all. People freak him OUT. He hates EVERYTHING. He will BITE it. And then he wants kisses.
So, through the magical process of "elimination" and "limiting bloodshed," Bo got to go. And Bo was excited. But sadly for all, this turned out to be a dubious honor.
First of all, as the only dog in attendance for the first several hours, Bo had to suffer numerous indignities. These included being held by everyone (BO HATES), as well as wearing peoples' hats:
And then, my friend Sieg showed up with her dog, a darling black lab named Ella. And y'all, Ella is a sweetheart. Ella does not bite (Bo) or pee on the floor (Bo) or hold insanely long grudges because of perceived wrongs (Bo). Ella is a good dog.
So, naturally, Bo hated her immediately. But he scared the SHIT out of her.
Still, they were getting along pretty well, until Ella discovered a bone which Bo had left, ignored and abandoned, on his dog bed. This was a bone which Bo could not be bothered to chew. Which six different people had placed next to him, all, "Go on, Bo! Have a bone!" Bo was not in the mood for bone. Bo could not be bothered with bone.
Until, of course, Ella found it. And actually, she'd had the damn thing for over an hour before he even noticed, chewing happily like a good dog, occasionally taking a break to fetch the paper or someone's slippers, sitting on command, and an assortment of other things that good dogs do (frankly, I wouldn't know. This is called "conjecture").
But suddenly, from across the room: Bo saw her. And Bo recognized His Bone. And somewhere, somewhere deep inside of his pea-sized brain, synapses fired, and weighing his options, he decided: I shall attack.
In less than a split second, he was out of Dukay's lap, flying across the room, and inserting his fucking HEAD into the fucking MOUTH of a fucking BLACK LAB, growling and snapping all the way, defending what was rightfully Bo's, CONVINCED that this would somehow, some way, END WELL.
People. WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT A SMART DOG HERE.
Ella freaked, predictably, and nipped back at Bo, who was, by this point, firmly embedded inside her mouth, and then she ran from the room in unrestrained horror.
And that is when the screaming started.
We were all on our feet by this point. There were a grand total of 15 people in the house, and many in separate rooms, but everybody came running like the place was on fire when they heard the sounds of PIERCING, PIERCING screams emitting from a small brown dog, who was lying on his back, feet bicycling in the air, yelping in an octave generally reserved for either "fatal accidents" or "Mariah Carey."
I swooped down to him immediately, and gathered his little, shaking brown form into my arms. He kept screaming. I pet his head; I made soothing sounds and smoothed his ears. He kept screaming. Desperate, Ziz gave him a piece of sausage.
He shut up immediately. "Yum," he said. "Bo like sausage!"
There was some blood, and Ziz and I took Bo upstairs and cleaned his little wounds -- two small puncture marks barely visible under his brown fur. He continued to whine in protest, but all things considered, he seemed relatively unbothered by his injuries. His chief complaint, we would soon learn, was with me.
Bo was furious with me. Furious. And his rage knew no bounds.
Apparently, Bo -- somewhere in his pea-sized brain, which we have already established is not awesome at "logic" -- decided that I was the cause of his suffering. I invited the big black dog; therefore, I was responsible for Bo being nipped upon sticking his fucking head into big black dog's enormous, gaping mouth. Obviously, my fault. My fault entirely.
And I was punished accordingly. Bo would not sit next to me. He would not give me little Bo kisses. He walked in circles around the room, sitting with everyone present; when he'd get to me, he'd turn his nose into the air, and strut past my feet. He hated me.
This continued for the bulk of the weekend. Bo wanted nothing to do with me, and honestly, I was a little heartbroken. "I didn't bite you!" I kept saying. "It was her! Go hate on Ella! Go hate someone else! I cleaned your wounds!" But Bo was having none of it.
We got home on Monday, and the bitterness continued. He slept at the foot of the bed. He squirmed away when I tried to pick him up. In fact, because I was so worried about him, I left work early on Tuesday to check on my Little Brown Mass of Anger. And I found him sitting listlessly on the sofa. He still wouldn't come to me; he still wouldn't talk, Bo-style, when I asked him questions. I noticed a little swelling around his jaw, and so I decided that we'd head off to the vet.
(The Vet. Y'all, I have a tab there. You think that I am kidding. I'm...not. Seriously, this is where my money goes.)
So off we went. We got there, and I explained to the vet that Bo maybe...you know, bit off a little more than he could chew, and that ONE of us learned an important lesson this New Year's, ha ha, that being NOT to attack dogs that are roughly seven times your own size, but seriously, dude, I'm totally a responsible dog owner. Just clean him up, give the dog some antibiotics to fight any evil dog-bite infection like rabies or Ebola, and we'll be on our way.
And all was going well, until the vet started poking around on the wound on Bo's lower jaw. It looked small and minimal, and had generated a series of "Bo is kind of a pussy, Leigh, no seriously, it's a scratch" jokes all weekend long, so I was like, "Yeah, he's been this huge whiny bitch, but it's, like, NOTHING," and the vet agreed, until she trimmed some of the hair and turned Bo over and then: hello.
There was a fucking hole in Bo's jaw. A perfectly round hole. A tooth hole. You could see daylight through this hole. You could see Bo's gums through this hole.
I shrieked. The vet said: "Man, that's gotta hurt." Bo whimpered in agreement.
This is when I started to cry. My poor Mister Bo, walking around with a goddamn fucking HOLE in his little JAW, glaring at me as I encouraged him to "walk it off, man." Trying miserably to eat his little hard food when each individual chew tortured his tiny mouth. Yes. I cried like my heart would break. Some mom I am.
"I wouldn't have seen it, either," the vet assurred me. "It was all under his hair, and all held together by his fur and everything. It really did look just like a little scrape."
I was unconvinced. More importantly, Bo was unconvinced.
"You have failed me," he glared. "My hatred knows no bounds. You are now my sworn enemy."
The vet told me that Bo would need stitches; however, in order to get these stitches, he'd need to be put under. It's not that major of an event; all of my dogs get their teeth cleaned every February (it's dental care month!), and they have to put them under for that, so his new appointment would just be a few weeks earlier than usual. They'd stitch him up, give him his yearly dog shots, and clean his teeth, all in one swoop. No biggie.
"It's no biggie," the vet said.
"Oh, it is a very biggie," Bo glared.
So this morning, Bo and I went to the vet, where I dropped his miserable little self off for stitches and his annual cleaning. And then I proceeded to call the vet every six minutes to make sure he hadn't ODed on the anesthesia or something, because PEOPLE, I WAS KIND OF FREAKED OUT. Finally, the vet was like, "Look. Leigh. I will call if something goes wrong. Which it will not. And I will call when we are through. Which we will be. Now please. Go do something else."
So I worked, distractedly, all morning. Finally, at 1 p.m., the vet called.
"He's waking up now," she said. "He did great. He has one stitch."
"One...wait, one? One stitch?"
I felt strangely shamed by this. One stitch? For all that drama? I changed the subject.
"Was he a good boy?" I asked her.
There was a pause.
"Well," she finally answered, "Um. No. He's actually...yeah, he's glaring at me right now."
That's my baby. Bo was going to be okay.
I still had some things to do at work, though, so my father and sister went to collect Bo from the vet. The doctor met them at the door.
"Listen," she said. "This isn't...unusual, or anything, but, um. He's having hallucinations. Just ignore him."
"Hallucinations?" Dad asked.
"Yeah," the vet said. "It's a side effect of the anesthesia. See?"
At this point, Bo started barking hysterically at something in the corner.
"It'll go away," she assured him.
"Great," said my dad.
By the time I got home, Bo was sitting, angry, on my parents' sofa, staring furiously at an invisible intruder underneath my father's chair.
"He's being doing this for a while," Dad explained, bored.
I noticed the cone collar on the table.
"Is he supposed to wear that?" I asked, incredulous. Bo barked at something in the ceiling.
"Only if he starts fucking with his stitches -- or, actually, his stitch," my sister said, glancing at my perplexed, acid-tripping dachshund. She shook her head wearily. "Seriously, dude, he's been doing this all afternoon. It's driving us up a wall."
So I took Bo's drugged and delirious self back to my house, where he barked at doors, walls, and the fireplace for a good twenty-minute stretch. Then he settled onto the ground, gazing in corners, and looking highly suspicious of everything within a five-foot radius.
At this point, I did what any responsible pet owner would do. I put on his collar cone.
And...okay. Look. I'm sorry. I know he wasn't fucking with his stitches (wait, excuse me: his STITCH), but -- DUDE. It's a cone collar! A collar cone! I've never ever seen one in real life! I don't even know what they're called! The temptation for a photo op was just too great, and really, I am a weak woman. Which is why the world now has this:
(Frankly, I think the world is a better place for it. Hallucinating dogs in cones? Seriously? Where can we get more of those?! Those are better than movies. I could watch that shit for hours!)
Fortunately (for Bo), however, I'm not entirely evil. After the pictures were snapped, I took off the collar. Dukay, who IS entirely evil, protested, but I explained that the collar was clearly killing Bo's spirit. And, Bo's spirit being drugged beyond all belief as it was, I felt we shouldn't screw with the matter any further. Plus, he'd had a bad day; he'd gotten stitches (no, sorry: he'd gotten A STITCH), and that pretty much sucks, no matter how mean and mom-hating you may be. So off it went, and needless to say, Bo was glad. Bo...was not a fan of the collar. Even when high out of his gourd, convinced that the walls were talking and all the colors were singing Dylan songs, Bo knew that the collar was just not his groove, man.
Now, several hours later, he's sitting curled up next to me, at the end of his little hard day. At the moment, he's stopped hallucinating, and has put aside his blind rage long enough for a small snuggle while I scratch his bitsy little head. And so, for now, crisis averted, we can get back to life as we know it -- a little smarter, maybe, and a little poorer (anesthesia is not free, it turns out), for the whole damn experience.
So, welcome, 2006. And here's hoping all of us have a lot less stitches (or, excuse me: STITCH) in our collective futures. And to that end, let's all take a lesson from Bo, and keep our heads out of places they simply shouldn't be.