Sound and Fury of Bo, Take Two: Veterinary Boogaloo
Y'all, poor Bo. He has lived on this planet for seven years, and during that time, he has very rarely been injured, or poisoned, or beaten with sticks, or wrapped in a blanket of knives. While, yes, I have threatened him with one or all of these punishments, I have never actually raised a hand to the dog, or even spoken to him in any tone of voice that is anything other than, on occasion, "slightly exasperated." And even my "slightly exasperated" voice is dripping with the dog love. Bo has himself an easy little life.
But, you would not know this, if you had only just become acquainted with Bo this year. Because 2006: this is not Mister Bo's year. This is not the Year of the Bo. 1999 may have been the Year of the Bo, back when he still had his testicles, and that was fun for everyone. But 2006 is just not his thing. 2006 hurts Bo. And it is costing me a damned fortune.
So, very early on Saturday morning, I got up to let the dogs out. And they didn't go, because they never go outside when it is rainy or cold, and instead they just look at me with unconcealed disgust and shake their jaded little heads at my optimistic stupidity. So I sighed, and settled myself into the sofa, and was fixin' (I am Southern) to watch some TV, or maybe do some dozing, or something else equally comatose, when Bo had the Grand Idea to hop off of the sofa and go check out whether I'd put anything in the food bowl. (Answer: no.)
This is something that Bo has done, oh, seventy million times. He hops off, wanders over to the kitchen, and upon discovering that ew: dog food, he immediately returns and growls at you until you pick him up. Because Bo can get off the sofa, but he cannot get back up again. You have to lift him. Now. Lift him NOW. This is what you are told. You do it, too.
But, this early Saturday morning was different, because somehow, Bo came down hard on one leg, twisting it underneath him. And as soon as he hit the ground and this happened, I heard an ungodly, otherworldly shriek that made me remember New Year's Eve and the ensuing Stitch, and I immediately sprang to my feet. And there was Bo, lying on the ground, holding his little paw up into the air, and whining and crying like he was being fucking MURDERED.
I panicked, of course, because this is what I do. I picked him up, and he continued screeching. Remembering that last time, sausage made the screaming stop, I ran over to the refrigerator. Sadly, there was no sausage. Happily, hot dogs work just as well, so I gave him a bite of hot dog, and the screaming subsided. But the big sad brown eyes of sadness remained.
So, I stuck him up on the counter, and tried to see if I could actually find anything wrong with his leg. He wouldn't put any weight on it, and instead just stood there, miserable, holding his foot in midair. Like a little tripod. Like a tiny, angry Nazi.
I felt around on his leg, and he whimpered a little, but nothing too serious. And I couldn't feel anything broken or shifting, so I figured we'd give it an hour, and see if things improved. I gathered him up, and brought him over to the sofa again, the place where all the pain started, and held some ice against his leg while he wriggled around in small brown irritation. Finally, he fell asleep.
So, I sat there, trapped under seventeen pounds of Sleeping Pissed, waiting to see whether he'd wake up and just forget about the leg entirely (this has happened before, because Bo's capacity for martyrdom is only exceeded by his capacity for forgetting about said martyrdom), or whether we'd be making the second emergency vet trip of 2006. And it is only February.
A few hours later, Bo decided to wake up, but he did so with another shriek that sent me shooting straight into the air in horror. Apparently, his leg? Yeah. It still hurt. So, I bundled him into a blanket, and off we went.
On the way to the vet, I called to tell them we were coming. This is kind of how that went down:
Self: Hi! It's Miss Dox--
Receptionist: What happened to Bo.
Self: What? How did you kn---
Receptionist: Leigh, it's always Bo. What is it this time? What did he eat? Another box of tampons?
Self: Um. No. He didn't eat any---
Receptionist: Wait, was it more of Dukay's "herbal hangover over" pills? Or, ooh! Was it another citronella candle?
Self: Listen. He didn't eat anything. He actually hurt his leg. He jumped off the sofa and landed funny.
Receptionist: Oh, poor Bo!
Self: I know! If it’s broken, I guess we'll have to shoot him! HA!
Self: ...hee? Because, if he broke his...leg? Like, with...a horse? Like...
Receptionist: I know what you're talking about.
Self: Well, I mean, yeah, I know, and I was, like, kidding. You know. About the shooting thing? I wouldn't really --
Receptionist: Wasn’t Bo just in here? For a stitch?
Self: Uh, yeah. But I didn’t DO that, he--
Receptionist: Mmm HMM. Right. See you soon.
So, lesson learned: shooting horse jokes = not funny at the vet. (However, injured Bo as tiny Nazi = still cracking me up. Highly inappropriate! But accurate, just the same. I am sorry.)
Anyway, we got there, and my parents actually came to meet me, and together, we hung out in the waiting room for several hours while Bo lay in my lap, staring bravely into the distance and acting all the world like death, you are so imminent, I can see... a bright light...and letting out small whimpers of agony.
At this time, I recounted the story about the Receptionist ("see, because if he broke his leg? We'd have to shoot him! Ha...! I mean, right? Like a horse? Listen, someone please think this is funny."), and about how she remembered all of the things Bo has eaten over the years.
And, it is true. Bo is not bothered by traditional notions of cuisine. He is a gourmand, and he is always willing to experiment with other flavors and sensations. Thus, while we waited, we compiled a handy list of Shit Bo Ate Once, and it is as follows:
1. Citronella candle, one;
2. Very dead lizard, one (minus head);
3. Pennies (several);
4. Dukay's herbal supplement that is supposed to prevent a hangover (one, with no result whatsoever, reports Dukay);
5. Chocolate martini (one);
6. Flea medication (one year supply);
7. Three pounds strawberry chicken salad;
8. Thong underwear (several);
9. Pink Daisy razors (multiple);
10. Law school textbooks (all);
11. Bit of dead squirrel found in yard (assorted); and
12. Priceless photographs of family and friends (many).
This is all we could come up with. I know there is more. But we were being interrupted in the creation of this handy list by the sorrowful moans of the Critically Injured Mister Bo, who was not really appreciating the fact that we were making fun of him while, if you DID NOT NOTICE, the dog is on his deathbed. Where he is dying. Where DEATH occurs.
But for all his whining, his attitude switched dramatically once we actually got him into the office. When placed on the floor so that the vet could watch him hobble, Bo immediately darted between my legs, hopped over Dad's feet, crouched in the corner, and took himself an enormous, anger-fueled dump.
And, that is when I remembered something else about Bo. Mister Bo is like an octopus. He is like an octopus in several ways, which I will detail below in the following helpful chart:
People, it is a scary world out there. There might be some time when you are out in the wilderness (or possibly the ocean), and you run across a wild creature, and you wonder: is that Bo? Or is that an octopus? If only there was some way to know!
But now, see? If you print out this handy guide and keep it with you at all times, you will never have to be confused again. Or, pooped on.
Because: that is what Bo does. When Bo is threatened, he protects himself by producing a wall of ass-smell so intense and putrid that people are literally gagging and gasping for breath, running for the doors with their hands clapped over their mouths, eyes bulging wildly. When the air has cleared (so to speak), they always return and gaze, amazed, at the dog. How does he make it all? they wonder. He is wee. How does a wee dog produce so much odor?
I wish I could help y'all, but I cannot. It is an unsolved mystery of science. Still, I hypothesize (science word!) that it has something to do with the dachshund shape. It's like their entire insides are all intestine, and 99% of their inner resources are dedicating to making smells and poop and pee, all day long, and are busy doing that instead of pooling those resources in other areas, like, I don't know, the brain, and maybe that is why we end up at the vet because Bo has decided to stick his head inside a black lab. Maybe that is it. I'm just guessing, though.
So, anyway. We're at the vet when Bo decides to take a Defensive Dump on the vet's floor. And we all apologized, but the vet was like, "Oh, no, happens all the time." And she picked up Bo, and we held him down (note: it takes five grown adults to hold one Bo in place) while she checked out his leg. And even though she didn't feel anything wonky, she decided to go ahead and do some X-rays anyway, and she and her aide disappeared around the corner with the dog.
They were gone a while. A loooong while. And when they returned, they looked slightly worse for the wear, and it was explained to me that, in the process of getting his X-rays taken, Bo had:
1. Pooped again;
2. Expelled the contents of his anal glands on the aide; and
3. When placed on his back, produced an Old Faithful-style stream of urine that then rained down upon the vet, the aide, and all others in the room, including his furious, wriggling self.
The vet was like, "His leg isn’t broken. But he needs a bath now."
And, as she was speaking these words, a suddenly NOT limping, nay, completely uninjured Bo darted from my grip, dove behind my mother, and took yet another shit on the vet's office floor.
This is, I think, the point at which she suggested we take him home. And the point at which my scandalized mother finally ran from the room in horror.
“Couldn’t you just teach him to bite?” she asked, as she fled. “What kind of defense mechanism is that?”
It is Bo’s! And it is his favorite.
So now, Bo is home. He’s still limping, but the limping gets exponentially worse when there is sympathetic company, or food is being consumed. Then he is suddenly Bo, the Tragic Dog With Three Legs And One Useless Appendage Of Misery. When it’s just us, however, or when he would like to cross a room, or hop from the sofa, or whatever strikes his dog fancy, he is Bo, Dog Of Action And The Totally Uninjured Feets. If the other dogs had the capacity to roll their eyes at him, they absolutely would. “Fucking diva,” they are thinking. "What ever happened to the 'shooting him' plan? Because, that sounded good."
So, that’s it. Please think good thoughts about Mister Bo, and his sad little foot an his octopus defenses. Because, y’all, we’ve had two Bo injuries in two months. And I think that’s enough defensive poop to last us a damned lifetime.
The elusive Boris confuses his predators with a colorful variety of bowel emissions. Stay back.