Despite the heat, grouse season opens in six days. It’s really more of a tradition to hit he woods on opening day; it’s not really a serious hunt, after all, you’re relying on following the jingling of a bell or beeper to get a momentary glimpse of a bundle of feathers heading for daylight between branches and leaves. Still, even an empty game pocket can be satisfying at the end of the day as you stroke a tired dog with a warm smile on your face, appreciating your time together …funny how things can put a smile on your face and if you’re really pressed to tell the truth, make your eyes a little moist too.
I took Seamus to the vet yesterday to get his teeth cleaned. “She Who Must Be Obeyed” made me do because Seamus’ breath has been getting strong lately and, at ten years old, they’ve begun to look a little worrisome. So, after talking it over with him, we agreed to visit North Main Animal Hospital.
Now, I get my teeth cleaned several times a year and, though not liking it, I tolerate it and haven’t bitten the hygienist yet …I’ve wanted to a couple of times, but so far, so good. Seamus, on the other hand, had to be given an anesthetic – it seems the hygienist wasn’t willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
I took him in at 8:30 in the morning and picked him up at 4 in the afternoon. The report of the procedure (you can see where this is heading) was that all was good – no extractions were necessary – but it took almost 15 minutes to tell me that. So with anti-inflammatory pills, anti-biotic pills and a wish I had taken him to my dentist that takes my health insurance, I brought Seamus home.
He was still groggy from the anesthetic and would have liked to sleep it off a bit longer, but when he saw me, he did a yeoman’s job of laboring to the car where he tried to jump in the back but needed a little help. Once home, he walked right by his food dish – something that seldom happens – and headed straight for his favorite chair next to the front window.
Well, I tell you, I had guilt oozing from every pore. As soon as I sat down, Seamus jumped (more accurately, fell) down from the chair and positioned himself at my feet, making sure to touch me. I choked up and couldn’t get down on the floor with him fast enough where I spent the next half hour stroking him, trying to sooth my guilt.
All this didn’t go un-noticed by “She Who Must Be Obeyed” who was still on the mend from a knee replacement from the week before. After a few minutes she casually mentioned that I was giving Seamus more attention than I gave her when I brought her home from the hospital.
I thought about that for a minute and wanted to say, “If you found birds for me like he does, I’d lay on the floor with your too.” But having been married for 46 years, I kept my mouth shut and invited her down to join us.