I take all of my vacation time during the summer. It’s road trip season after all so why wouldn’t I? The dogs were in for their annual examinations and vaccinations. Never mind the yard work; the yard would still be there when I returned.
The day after the dogs were at the vet, I noticed that Piper was shaking her head but since we were outside in a creek with a lot of bugs, I didn’t think much about it. The head shaking continued and then two days later, I noticed a slight head tilt. Crud maybe she was getting an ear infection. I cleaned out her ears and hoped that it would sort itself out.
I work shift work and that week I was working nights. It seems that all of my animals like to have their medical emergencies when I’m on nights. I came home and found Piper stumbling around as though she were drunk. To keep myself from panicking, I joked with her that she is supposed to wait for me to get home before she starts drinking.
I was able to get her into the vet a few hours later and the tentative diagnosis that it was an ear infection that pressing on a nerve that affects her face and balance. The weirdest thing was that she had this eye twitch where her eyeball shivers when you lift the lid.
We were sent home with a two week course of antibiotics and eye drops as she was not able to properly blink her eye. At least she was still happy in the car.
The twitch went away by the next morning but was replaced by something even more disturbing: her eyeball would pull into her head as the nictitating membrane slides across her eye. She looks like a shark in mid-bite. Her balance was still off and with my laminate flooring she was sliding across the floor like Bambi on ice.
We went back to the vet’s on the following Saturday for some more blood work (no help there) then I decided to go to a bakeshop nearby. Annina’s Bakeshop in Goodwood is famous locally for the butter tarts. But when we pulled into the lot, I saw they had a gelato stand in the front. Well it was a hot summer day so why not?
I ended up getting a wonderfully tart lemon gelato. That my friends should say something as I am a chocolate peanut butter kind of girl and there was indeed chocolate peanut butter gelato being offered. But after having a sample of each of the gelato’s handed to me one after the other, I decided on the lemon.
While waiting in line, we met a couple that were passing through after visiting with friends. They fell in love with the pups and did not seem to care about Piper’s head tilt and lolling tongue as photo after photo were taken. Jack and Leo were getting plenty of attention too.
Yes that’s right: Jack and Leo. My dogs go everywhere as a pack for two reasons: they keep each other calm and the ones left behind would think that they are being left out of some wonderful adventure if they didn’t come.
Leo and his stunning blue eye (photo courtesy of Dave Kramer)
After the impromptu photoshoot, I went inside to get my butter tart and ended up ordering a crispy chicken wrap, coffee, and a plain butter tart to go. The wrap was good but nothing to write home about. A blog post yes apparently but not home. Crispy chicken in a wrap with lettuce, barbecue sauce, and mayo. The coffee was surprisingly good for drip.
It was obvious that most of the people that were sitting outside were not dog people. We weren’t on a patio per se; it was a collection of tables and chairs on the front yard. We picked a table farthest from the building in the shade. Hardly anyone even looked at the dogs, and when they did it was with that look of condescension that I sometimes get. The “how dare you bring these animals around me?” look. I get it: not everyone is a dog person. Which is why we stick to ourselves.
I ignored them and was just happy that Piper was enjoying her trip out. It breaks my heart to see her not well. Hopefully I’ll have good news about a recovery. But what I did see was that she was still happy to be in the car so who knows. We may have a few day trips ahead of us. Besides…the yard work can wait. It’ll still be there when we get back.