‘Aargh! I’ve got a bald spot! Well, actually a huge bald spot! Mum! Dad! Help, please!’ Dad lifted up the hair on my back near enough where I vow I smell only a very little bit – although you wouldn’t think so to hear the moans that Mum makes at times regarding my nether regions – and showed the bald patch to Mum. ‘She’s going to the vets,’ said Mum, who can always be counted upon to get things done.
The very next day, before I even had the opportunity to down some breakfast, Dad packed Zack and me into the wheeled transporter. Our appointment was for 10 a.m., and Mum and Dad were running a little late because they had to make and serve breakfast to B&B guests before taking us to the vets. Dad normally drives in the manner of ‘a pregnant prawn’, a phrase Mum’s uncle uses for any driver who drives slowly and perhaps more cautiously than strictly necessary. Today, however, with tractors blocking the road and impeding traffic, Dad took the opportunity to overtake them when he could in order to get to the vets on time.
Of course, when we got to the vets, we had to wait. It’s Murphy’s Law, isn’t it? I was not happy waiting. Zack was fidgety in the back of the car, and wanted out. And all I wanted to do was to get the appointment over and done with. I can tell you that I do not enjoy visiting the vets. It is the equivalent to humans going to the dentist.
Finally, after a 20-minute wait, Mum, Dad and I entered the consulting room. ‘Hmm,’ I thought, ‘time to pee.’ Or poo as the case may be. I like marking the consulting room and am proud to say that I have never failed to do so at each appointment. Unfortunately for the vet, I had run out of pee. Well, how about a few sloppy lumps of brown stuff then? Dad saw me squatting and said, ‘Maddi, don’t you dare . . .’ ‘Too late,’ I thought triumphantly as Dad held up to my tail so that it would not flop onto the poo. My poor arthritic legs can barely hold my weight now so I do get dribbles and the odd sticky bits that cling to my undercarriage, the sides of my hind legs and tail. Hence Mum’s fastidious nose-holding sometimes when she gets a whiff of my particular perfume.
Anyway, back to business. The vet looked at my bald patch and said it looked dry and a little red, so he prescribed some medication for me. I have two lots of tablets to take over the next while to soothe the skin. The vet also checked through my thick coat to ensure that I did not have fleas or other unmentionables dwelling on my body. I am pleased to report the all clear here.
Next stop. Mum asked the vet to check Zack over just to make sure that he was not harbouring anything he should not too to be on the safe side. Zack was given the all clear as well, so now the two of us can come close to each other again without fear of contagion. All this Mum reported to Jean, the lady from the rescue organisation from which we went to Mum and Dad. She still maintains that it is old age that is causing me to lose my hair and that the medication will not work because of that.
Well, the good thing about having to take all that medication is that Dad sticks the tiny pills into good-sized chunks of cheese and feeds them to me. Yum! Zack, the lucky so and so, gets to have lumps of cheese with nothing nasty hidden in them just because Dad wants to be fair! But how unfair is that! After all, he doesn’t need to swallow any pills!
So Mum and Dad are now waiting to see whether Jean is correct in her surmise or whether the medication will work. As for me, as long as I can have my lumps of cheese each day, I will continue to look forward to taking my medicine like the ‘good’ girl I am. Never mind that I peed on the newly made bed that Mum painstakingly set out for me when we arrived home from the vets. Dad had to throw it out – the smell was so bad! Phew!
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