Visiting Veterinarian : Creative awards for Martha's Vineyard pets
It's time for Dr. Jasny's slightly belated, more-or-less-annual All Creatures Great And Small Labor Day Awards. Our theme is Current Events, starting with The Hurricane Earl Award for disasters that failed to materialize.
Third place to Plum, the pug. Concerned that this shaking puppy might have fatal pug encephalitis, it turns out she was just cold or scared.
Second to Lucy, the Cavalier King Charles with the funny gait and neck pain. I was worried about syringomyelia, a rare central nervous system condition, but sometimes a stiff neck is just a stiff neck. (Remind me to stop reading about these odd diseases.)
Blue ribbon to Ajax, the 12-pound terrier who chewed up a disposable razor, possibly swallowing the top piece, containing three blades. Radiographs showed something abnormal in his stomach, but not clearly the blades, so we observed him overnight. Turned out he had eaten a big pebble, which he pooped the next day. The razor blades were never found.
The BP Prizes for Man-Made Disasters go third to Ruger, whose jaw was broken by a car, and Lucy, almost electrocuted by biting an electrical cord.
Second to Jake, the springer spaniel — another bad auto accident. He sustained a massive concussion but after three days in ICU came home with just a few scrapes and feeling fine.
First to kitty Charles. Another housemate cat had died previously from a malicious shooting. When Charles was also shot, the pellet luckily lodged in his back muscles where we were able to remove it with local anesthetic. I don't know what to say about the sniper, other than please, please, stop it.
Universal Health Care Ribbons go to numerous owners who went to great lengths for their pets, even schlepping off to specialists for state-of-the-art care.
Mr Magoo, the standard poodle with Addison's disease, ate a stuffed animal, resulting in an obstruction and the loss of several feet of intestines at surgery. Aleida, who almost died from chronic ehrlichiosis. Zoe and Muffett who had back surgery to avoid paralysis. Obie, with cancer, and Rufus who lost his spleen. Razzel, the tea cup poodle, whose episodes of weakness turned out to be epileptic seizures, not hypoglycemia. Virgil, the Jack Russell cross who won everyone's heart at Tufts where he had surgery for a portosystemic shunt. Posthumous Purple Hearts to Augie, Chloe, Klancy, and July.
Social Networking Awards go to Chappy and Tofu for the most frequent e-mails. Our Try Twitter Ribbon goes to owners whom we wish could be more succinct when we're trying to get a medical history. Thanks, but we really don't need a detailed description of every puddle of vomit. Really. Try that 140-word limit.
The Facebook Awards for Friending go to all new pets, especially rescues like Angelica, Sammy, Homer. The Privacy Setting Glitch Awards go to anyone who asked any veterinarian a medical question at the grocery store, school, synagogue, or anywhere except that vet's office. Milly's mom gets the Emily Post Award for so graciously apologizing and bringing fruit. Thanks, we made a delicious apple crisp. I give myself the Where Are Your Manners Reprimand for not always being as polite as I should, especially on those late night emergency calls.
In our Political Division, the Glen Beck Don't Bust a Blood Vessel ribbons for High Intensity go to Tessy, Emily, and Barley, three very wired kitties, and to Hobbes, Harry, and Jacob, three high-energy dogs. Chillax, guys.
Mid-Term Election ribbons for, well, let's just call it inappropriate urination, go to Spot, Freckles, and Pyramus.
The Congressional GOP What Happened to Being Bipartisan Don't Bite Off Your Nose To Spite Your Face ribbon goes second place to Sampson, the husky with the hurt leg who slipped his collar on our porch and ran off. We tried to entice him back with liver treats, but he got possessive of those yummy cookies, growling and lunging at both his mother and me very convincingly. Luckily, Dad soon arrived and collected him handily. First place to Stormy, the poor cat with so many fleas he chewed off the end of his own tail. Thanks to TLC, flea control, and surgery, he's doing fine.
The Jon Stewart Rally To Restore Sanity Ribbons go to all the pets whose people are particularly sensible and easy to work with, including Lily, Mabel, Dorje, JD, Visa, Quintina, Barkmulch, Arno and Bella, Brit, Thelma, Rosie, Henry, Talley, Honey, Phoebe, Annabelle et al, Slick and Ashley, Lucy, Miss Sophie and friends, Max, Kalie, and many more. You make our job a pleasure, even when things get hard.
Whatever You Say, Doc Awards for Compliance and Perseverance go to everyone giving extended treatments at home such as subcutaneous fluids, insulin injections, even daily laxatives, and for all those who simply follow our advice carefully. Ribbons to Twig, Allie, Elvis, Heffer, Ringtail, Tofu, Agnes, Lightning, Reeses, and more. Blue ribbons to Zak, the springer with chronic kidney failure, and kitty QT, who, after two years of daily anti-fungal pills, may finally be cured of her cryptococcosis infection.
As the summer folk leave and the scent of fall is in the air, I wish there was room to mention every wonderful Vineyard person and pet, but there's just time to close with our End Of The Season ribbons for all those dearly loved animals we have lost this year — Cattaquidick, Lily, Rudy, Beebee, Chloe, Abbie, Dogfish, Baby Puff, Pasha, Bill, Max, Kody, Coco, Kramer, Judy, Dixie, Rainbow, Augie, Anthony, Lulu, Sullivan, Fog, Sam, Bailey, Tuffie, Lakota, Omlet, Weston, Red, Jim Bob, Shayna, Contessa, Bean, Katama, Dinah, Puck, Thorin, Junior, Lucy, Patchouli, Harry, Wilbur, Sophie, Tweeds, Bear, Mazie, Rip, Griz, Molly, Callie, Sarah, Ginger, Jenny, Matthias, Dozer, Jondalar, Klancy, Augie, my own Baby Buck, and so many more.
I like to picture all the dogs romping on a beach somewhere, with no leash law and no dog fights, and each cat basking in a sunny spot with a catnip mouse tucked under a paw.