Wednesday, January 06, 2010

An alarming story, after the fact.

After my son, freshly returned from adventuring in the wide, dangerous world, downloaded three thousand pictures (let me enumerate: 1, 2, 3000) into iPhoto--approximately 52 of which he sent home whilst out adventuring--I was perusing them, him sitting nearby offering useful, drive-by commentary.

"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


  1. My aging computer - or the ozone holes in the blogosphere - or the demon I'm calling the Commentariat, muttering under my breath - is making your site (and only your site?!) "operation abort" every other time I try to read your posts -

    - but no one can kvetch with such high good humor as you and it is worth it, all the clicking back, just to read a post like this!

  2. I'm glad your son and Bruiser are all right.

    What about those neighborhood dogs?

  3. You didn't find him a fashionable, sparkly ruff at the Target? Bruiser, I mean, not your son. I suppose the neighborhood dogs would've ragged him about that, too. Anyway, glad everyone's okay. It must be so good to have your son back home. I was talked by the people into allowing two of my kids to traipse off into the wilds (relatively) of Florida and San Francisco. Oh, and my computer also has issues with your site. Always worth fighting through, however!

  4. But isn't it also kind of nice not to know about your children's every bruise and woe? I'm hoping so as mine have/ will enter(ed) adolescence. Please let it be.

  5. I am so not letting my friend read this post, since her son left for the wilds of Philadelphia just eight days ago.

    Well, he's actually in the wilds of Provo for another ten days and then off to the wilds of the east. Obviously nowhere near as far east as your son, but still...

  6. Cannot believe I forgot to mention how deeply satisfying it is to read that running son is again by your side with running commentary.



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