2  in the morning and I wake up with a fit of cough. I stagger to the kitchen for a glass of water where I find Ottie pacing up and down. Upon closer inspection, his stomach is emitting gurgling noises loud enough to wake the dead. I let him out which leads to some grass chewing and not much other action.
I already lost a dog to a sudden turning of the stomach in the middle of the night and, since then, I am extremely mindful and worried about the symptoms. It starts with a seemingly innocuous stomach ache, gurgling sounds, the dog pacing because sitting down or lying cause too much discomfort and then a sudden bloating. At that point, it’s too late. An immediate trip to the vet and a simple surgery can do the trick but, if it goes unnoticed, the dog dies rather quickly.

Feeling good...

I crouch on the floor, massaging Ottie’s tummy for a good 20 minutes. He is just as hypochondriac as I am and when he is sick he looks at me with those big questioning eyes. “Why do I feel like this?” I am aware of humanizing my dog too much but any dog lover will tell you that it’s impossible to do otherwise (unless you are Cesar Millan).
By the time Ottie finally settles down half an hour later, I feel comfortable enough to go back to bed. Ten minutes into my attempt to fall asleep again I am jolted by a strong smell of crap. Yap, sure enough, there it is. Whatever was bothering him is now on my dining room floor. 3 in the morning and I am mopping shit, wondering why I am doing this, having chosen not to have children because the reward didn’t seem to match the sacrifice – yet here I am, doing it for a dog who has, in the meantime, gone back to his comfy bed. I will be so unhappy in the morning…
When I wake up, dying for a cup of strong African coffee, Ottie is there, elated to see me, expecting to be taken through his morning paper and breakfast routine, ready to start another day filled with canine and equine friends, coyotes to get mad at, birds and lizards to chase. Until I get home from work and the evening routine can take place. And that is why I do it. Because his happiness is contagious and our routines that book-end our days are priceless. I recently shelled out over $1,000 I don’t really have for his dental surgery – still way cheaper than the million bucks a kid would have set me back.




1 Comment

Filed under pets


  1. silvia

    signora, non ci potrai credere ma questa notte ho fatto un sogno stranissimo: eravamo in un appartamento che credo fosse casa mia e io avevo questo cane lupo spettaccolare e tu arrivavi e mi dicevi cosa gli potevo dare da mangiare perchè io avevo solo una piccola pillola da somministrargli per colazione. Ero molto preoccupata che ingerisse cose non adatte al suo stomaco e restavamo lì insieme a vedere come si comportava. Sembrava andasse tutto molto bene e ci faceva un sacco di coccole. In confronto agli Otties era gigantesco. Non è buffo che io abbia sognato questa cosa a poca distanza dal mal di pancia del Fenottino? E comunque non si può fare altro che amarli così soprattutto i Fenottini. Fagli una coccola speciale da parte mia e digli che lui e Portia mi mancano molto.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s