Saturday, November 1, 2008

Deliquent Puppy

Jamie and I find that there are many similarities between having Winston and having children. Winston is a very high maintenance puppy. He currently has an ear infection, so we have to put drops in his ears twice a day. Winston also has several infections on his belly (secondary to his allergies), so we put triple antibiotic and hydrocortisone on his scrapes. Of course, his nose is prone to drying out, so we put vasoline on it. His jouls collect and hide dirt and grime, so we clean them daily as well. This, in addition to his ongoing house training and the love and affection he requires, takes up a lot of our time. Since I've had to learn to be this unselfish for a dog, I can't even imagine the level sacrifice that would be expected for a little Michael Jr. or Jamie Jr.

Thursday, Jamie and I picked up Winston from the veterinarian. He had to get some shots, get his infections checked out, and we got his nails trimmed. When we arrived, I told the receptionist we were there to pick up Winston E. Ford. I explained to her that the "E" didn't stand for anything; it alone was his middle name. She said, "Oh, ok." After scrambling to find Winston's chart, she briefly perused it and said, "Do y'all mind staying for a second? Dr. Peterson would like to speak with y'all." Of course, we said sure.

Jamie and I sat down, and Jamie's skin begin to get splotchy. Her skin does this when she gets upset. In the five steps from the receptionist to our seats, everything that could possibly be wrong with Winston went through Jamie's head (and mine, too). But I was sure it was probably nothing. Jamie on the other hand wasn't so sure. After she had a couple of more minutes to thoroughly think through all of the worst case scenarios, my wife was on the verge of tears. Heart worms. Congenital heart disorder. Parasites. Canine Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Bulldog Ebola virus.

Eventually, we were brought back to a waiting room. We still hadn't seen or heard Winston. The clinic had long since closed. We were starting to brace for the worst. Forty five minutes later, Dr. Peterson pops in. We quickly exchange pleasantries so she can tell us what's going on. Winston, she says, is fine. They treated his infections. No big deal - common for puppies, especially bulldogs. Then she told us about his fingernail clipping. While they were doing that, Winston became very aggressive and bit one of the vet techs. They had to restrain him to finish clipping his nails. Dr. Peterson told us that this level of aggression in a puppy is uncommon, and that she is recommending obedience training for Winston.

What?

At that point, I felt like I had been called in to the principal's office and told my child was an incorrigible delinquent. Jamie and I were mortified. We were really shocked. Our baby...our precious Winston...acted up? We apologized profusely! After asking Dr. Peterson some questions, we finished up, acquired Winston, and got on our way.

While riding in our vehicle, the first thing I told Winston was that he had been told on, and he was about to undergo some serious in-house discipline. And then it happened. On our way home, it happened. In our car, it happened.

Jamie says, "You know, I just can't see Winston doing that. He's just so sweet and precious, and he's being so calm right now. I think they probably did too much to him at one time." And with that, it begun. The worst nightmare of teachers like Sarah Denley and Amy had begun. The scorn of youth ministers like Neil had just occurred. Yep, Jamie basically said: "My child is a precious angel and there's no way it's his fault so you must have screwed up." We just became the parents who blame the authority figure for our child's bad behavior. Sigh.

Jamie and I do agree on this much: Winston is not going to obedience school. Bulldogs as a breed tend to be stubborn, and we definitely see this in Winston. Indeed, we will definitely be training him hard. Winston...sit...Winston, SIT!!!

1 comment:

Amy said...

That is too funny... Our vet says the same thing about my precious cat.