"That's in KL. That's at the monkey refuge. That's Elder Whosits from Australia."
I came upon a photo of him with a banged up, festering-looking elbow. I looked at him. He said, "I didn't tell you about that, did I."
Mothers of America, take note: when your post-adolescent son (and not all THAT post-) goes out adventuring in the wide, dangerous world, and the people reassure you, telling you that he's fine and safe and not to worry, the people are lying bastards, because he is probably out having accidents and medical conditions and stitches, and he isn't telling you about it until 15 months later when you see the pictures.
Analogously, two weeks ago, Bruiser was attacked by a pack of wolves. I mean "wolves" metaphorically, of course. It was really more like a pack of wild dogs. And by "pack," I mean "three," and by "wild," I mean "neighborhood dogs, loose in their yard." But by "attacked," I mean "attacked": he required stitches and staples and drains and an antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory and the wearing of the giant ruff to prevent the licking.
I would have told you sooner, but I didn't want you to worry.
When he came home from the dog hospital, where they had sedated him while doing all the cleaning and patching, he was unsteady on his feet. There is not much that is sadder than an otherwise sound dog who is swaying a bit because he's all doped up. Wearing the giant ruff, to prevent the licking. The humiliation.
At first, the ruff was too humiliating to be borne. He carried himself like it was a barrier to sight and sound, and definitively an insurmountable obstacle to eye contact. But after a day or two, he just roared around as he usually does, which was, on the one hand, a heartening sign, but on the other hand, a little bit of nightmare: Dog with giant ruff rushes by the Christmas tree and spins it a quarter turn around. Dog with a giant ruff gets excited about the terrorist (UPS guy) at the door, knocks down a vase. Dog with a giant ruff goes to a Christmas party, smacks all the little kids in the face with the giant ruff. I'm not sure who was more sick of the giant ruff at the end of it all, us or Bruiser.
Tonight we took him to get the last stitches/staples removed. So now, as he lays by us in the evening as we watch television or do the crossword or read a novel, it's just the three of us: no medication to wrap in cheese so he'll take it, no giant plastic ruff, and no more worries about the licking. Well, hardly any worries about the licking.
TAGS: solicitous, licking, Bruiser, ruff, dog-on-dog brutality, analogously