Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Nuka vs. Olie's Ear

     Ah, summer holidays.  A time to leave work and the hustle and bustle of the city and take on a more leisurely pace, something a little more relaxed.  Sometimes this includes the dogs and sometimes it doesn't.  This year, it didn't.
     Between hurricane Irene and some car trouble, just going on holiday at all was a bit of a struggle, but we got it all worked out and in the end it came to be that a coworker of mine was going to both house and dog sit, the poor girl.
     No matter what, I have a lot of anxiety about this kind of thing.  Never mind the fact that Allison is a perfectly capable human and already knows my dogs, I still have anxiety.  Nuka gives me anxiety.  But in any case, Tuesday morning I rose bright and early.  Allison was working all day, so I was going to drop the dogs off with her at work.  That way, when she was done, she could just load them up and drive back here.  No problem, right?


     I got there before seven o'clock am to give her my house key, get the dogs settled for the day, then I could drive back home and Jeremy and I could load up his car and be on the road nice and early.  This would also ensure that the dogs wouldn't see us load up and leave town without them, an added bonus.  Let me set the scene for you.
     It's a nice, sunny day, birds are chirping, it's cool but you know that in a few hours it will be a beautiful August day.  I get to the kennel and let the dogs out of the car.  What is that I spy?  Ah, Olie and Nikki, a boarder collie and a husky are running around in a yard together.  Isn't that convenient!  These are another coworkers dogs and Olie is pretty well Nuka's only friend.  Wonderful, I think to myself.  I can leave Duke and Nuka out here with Olie and Nikki to play and go give Allison my key.
     The dogs run into the yard with their friends, there are greetings, and I go inside, leaving these four little soldiers unattended as I have everyday for the last three years or so.
     I talk briefly to Allison and my coworkers, but was conscious of time.  Lynn, the owner of Olie and Nikki, stopped me before I left, there was the usual chit chat, and then our conversation went something like this:

Lynn:  "Hey, Erin, Nikki has a weird little lump on her back, I was wondering if you could look at it before you leave."

Me: "Sure, I left my dogs out there with your dogs, let's go."

Lynn: "Cool."

(Lynn and Erin walk to dog yard.  Lynn has to work momentarily and Erin must leave for holidays.  Time is of the essence.)

     We open the gate and Nikki runs over ahead of the others.  I feel along her spine and Lynn directs me, there is a small little lump on her lower back.

Me: "Well, I'm not sure, but it feels like a cyst to me."

Lynn: "I'm worried about it because she's old."

Me: "It doesn't seem to be bothering her."

Lynn: "No, it isn't."

     At this point, the other three dogs run over to us and we can't help but notice that the right side of Olie's head is covered in blood.

Lynn: "Uh oh!"

Me, turning to Nuka:  "YOU %#$&(*> ")&^%$!!!!"

Lynn: "I think it's his ear."

Me: "%^&*(  &*$$@!"?>*())|"}$#%&*(?><"{*"%$!!!!"

Lynn: "We should take him up to the groom room, rinse it off and have a look at it."

Me:  "#:*%!"

(Erin and Lynn take Olie to the groom room.  There is smoke coming out of Erin's ears.  Olie is bloody, but appears unperturbed.  He jumps into the tub.)

Olie, the innocent victim.

Lynn: "Yep, it's his ear."

Erin: "Why is my dog such a %^("@?  What is wrong with her?"

(Michelle our manager appears and quickly stops the blooding with cotton pads.)

Michelle: "Yeah, stick some Polysporin on it.  It will scab up and he'll be fine."

Me: "I hate my dog!"

Lynn, sticking Polysporin on it.: "They were probably roughhousing and she caught him, no problem."

Me: "I'm so sorry!  I feel awful, I'm sorry my dog is awful and horrible and bites your dog's ear!  I'll pay for the vet bills!"

Lynn: "Meh, he'll be fine.  Don't worry about it."

Me: "But I am worried about it!  I am very, very worried about it!"

Lynn: "Don't be!  God, he's fine!  He doesn't even notice it.  It just bleeds a lot because it's his ear."

Me: (Insert pitiful whining sound)

     Eventually I am convinced to leave for my holidays after reassuring myself that Olie's ear will not fall off and he will not bleed to death.  I refuse to look at Nuka on the way out.
     When I get home, I tell Jeremy about the tragedy at the kennel and our conversation goes something like this:

Jeremy: "Did you see Nuka bite him?"

Me: "No, we were inside when it happened."

Jeremy: "Then how do you know it was Nuka?" (Pause) "Maybe it was Duke."

Me, trying unsuccessfully to picture my overweight basset hound flying through the air, jowls back, snarling, ripping Olie's ear.: "There is no way it was Duke.  It was Nuka."

Jeremy: "Nuka always gets blamed for everything."

Me: "That's because she always does everything!"

Jeremy: "Is Olie alright?"

Me: "Well yeah, but still."

Jeremy: "Don't worry about it then.  We're on vacation."

     I spend the next few days texting Lynn, assuring myself that Olie will not die from this vicious ear injury and am finally convinced he will make a full recovery.  I think of Nuka, oh, Nuka.  You have only one friend in the world and you bit his ear.  And your timing, well, it was probably premeditated.  I guess that's what I get for leaving this big girl behind.  Thanks for the send off, Nuka!

The perpetrator of the vicious ear assault.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, lend me an ear, says Nuka. Ollie says, sure pal, pull a Tyson. Your mom will love the symbolism!