After her sudden brush with death, Portia can look forward to a month filled with days marked by pill taking, taken at set intervals. The problem is, she loathes taking pills, with a vengeance. The nifty trick of prying a dog’s jaws open, gently inserting the pill down her throat and then keeping her mouth closed until she has no choice but to swallow it, doesn’t really work. Portia is a pro at staying very still, even for minutes, and then promptly spitting the pill out, no matter how far I rammed it down her throat. And she has utter contempt for chewable tablets.
On day 1, she was still so weak and disoriented, she didn’t fight me and I naively imagined a new trend was born. Foolish me.
On day 2, I thought I would be very clever and roll the pills in peanut butter balls. It worked and I felt vastly superior to my canine friend.
On day 3, the jig was up – Portia would lick the peanut butter instead of swallowing the ball whole and spit its contents.
On day 4, appealing to her love of cream cheese, I created cream cheese nuggets. All was well. And then, day 5 dawned. Peanut butter, cream cheese, jaw opening, nothing worked.
At 7 in the morning, my kitchen looked like a drunken 5-year-old had engaged in a crazed food fight. Food scattered all over the floor I had mopped the night before, I was running after my dog who was finally cornered against a door – ten fingers dipped in either cream cheese or peanut butter, I could feel the rage mountain, the same rage only children had ever managed to engender. Portia was covered in cheese from head to toe, I looked like a bladeless version of Edward Scissorhead, frantically agitating my hands. Ottie, with manly aplomb, was staring in disbelief. It took her twenty minutes but she had won the battle of wills.
I had to take a time out, have breakfast, before trying a second round, more calmly, reminding myself I have 25 more days to go.nLooking at the bright side, if she is fighting me tooth and nail about the pills, it can only mean her strength is coming back and she has lost none of her chutzpah.