“You’ve got to be kidding! Have you met Geordy?!” My wife and I looked at each other and laughed. We picked Geordy up from the vet this afternoon after he had been neutered. (I know – I get a sympathetic twinge whenever I think about it) The vet was giving us aftercare instructions, and we were staring at her in disbelief. “No running, jumping, or wrestling for 10 days.” That’s what she said – I had her repeat it twice. For those of you who have read some of my earlier posts, you know that Geordy is our 7 month old standard poodle puppy. My wife and I refer to him as “devil dog”, “knucklehead”, and “that dog” or “your dog”. Often heard around our house, “Do you know what your dog did today?!” Geordy is also very well known at doggy day care. I think he holds the record for “time outs”. He will play and roughhouse for 6 hours straight without any sign of slowing down. At home he runs laps from the family room to the kitchen to the living room to the backyard. He likes to jump over couches during his laps just to mix things up. Our older dog Ryker often retreats to the backseat of my wife’s car to escape Geordy’s whirlwind. And the vet wants us to keep him calm and walking quietly for 10 days. Right.
During this conversation Geordy is lying at our feet with a plastic cone on his head. The vet glanced down at him as we described his usual energy level and behavior. Of course, he is just lying quietly now…he is still recovering from the anesthesia. My wife is starting to look a little panicked. While we can tag team Geordy at night, during the day she is on her own. “But he’s so cute and friendly”, the vet observes. After our fifth story about Geordy antics, however, the vet relents and gives us a bottle of dog tranquilizers. We pack him into the car and head home. I look through the bag of supplies they handed us as we left the vet hospital. Ear drops, ear ointment, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory, pain medication, and the tranquilizers. Wonderful.
At home Geordy is still pretty groggy. We replace his white plastic cone collar with a “comfy cone” my wife picked up at the pet store (I didn’t ask – I know better). Geordy walks around a bit and runs into everything within 10 feet. I take him outside for a bathroom break. (Note: if your dog is wearing a cone collar, before you take them out to the bathroom area, be sure to pick up any previous deposits.) After I cleaned his feet and the rim of the cone, I brought him back inside. He nearly knocks over the entire dog pen as I guide him inside. I have to admit he looks pretty pathetic as he plops to the floor staring at us from the depths of his comfy cone. (Cyndy is sitting on the couch during all this – she still looks a bit dazed to me.)
A bit later that evening it’s time to give Geordy his anti-inflammatory medication and his pain pill. Since I’m a doctor, Cyndy tells me I’m in change of medication administration. Normally, Geordy is a piece of cake when it comes to pills. He eats anything. Vitamins, Fish Oil capsules, you name it, he powers them down. But not these. Not even close. And once he realizes I am trying to sneak them in a treat – it’s game on. He refuses chicken, bread, and even his favorite, peanut butter. He refuses combinations of all three. Nothing doing. I realize I am going to have to open his mouth and push the pills in. At that moment we discover that Geordy has a previously hidden talent. While in a cone collar, with his body trapped between my knees, Geordy can telescope his neck while shaking his head so vigorously that a grown man cannot grab his muzzle. It’s going to be a very long ten days…
Giving Geordy all these pills starts me thinking, though. He is so full of life and energy it seems sad to medicate that away. It makes me wonder, am I sapping my own energy with what I put into my body? I may not be taking a bunch of pills right now, but are the foods I’m eating helping or harming? Could some healthier choices, probiotics, or supplements help regenerate some of that youthful vigor? What treats could be in store for me?!