Tuesday, April 30, 2013

“Life Goes Easy on Me Most of the Time”

The line by singer-songwriter Damien Rice that I use in the title of today’s blog crossed my mind a week ago.

As I was checking out after a routine procedure that I have technicians periodically perform for Mugsy, my English Bulldog, my veterinary doctor came to me and and whispered that since our last visit a large mass had appeared just inside his right ear.

Tomorrow the vet will operate to remove the mass and send it for testing.  Anyone who knows me or even reads this blog knows that Mugs and I are inseparable even on long, cross-country road-trips.

I had asked them to check and possibly clean his ears because I had observed him repeatedly licking the bottom of his back foot and then inserting it into his ear and gently pawing it.

As little kids when we hurt a finger we instinctually put it in our mouth.  Maybe that’s because saliva has long been proven to be one of the best antimicrobials around.  Dogs appear to instinctively understand that too.Mugs Riding Shotgun Cross Country February 2011

When I returned to the Vet a few days ago for some pre-surgery blood-work, I mentioned that almost immediately after her diagnosis I could tell Mugs had seemed to rapidly decline and I was concerned.  She smiled gently and told me it was more likely due to the fact that he could sense I was worried.

For people who don’t know English Bulldogs, they are the breed often shown in commercials or on YouTube videos.  Mugs is about 55 lbs., built solid and close to the ground.  His breed has a smushed-in face and wide mouth with the lower jaw jutting out, a huge head and neck set into very broad shoulders on bowed legs with huge feet. The ears are small, similar to pigs ears and very soft.

Though very laid back, English Bulldogs have big personalities. Playful but calm with a teasing sense-of-humor, bulldogs are very loving but stoic and they live to “ride.”  Mugs and I plan to be doing a lot of that in the coming months, including a reunion with my grandsons where he is held in high esteem.

Many people treat their pets like children.  Mugs is more like a sidekick.  Whatever the eventual outcome of the surgery and tests, I know one thing for sure.  He will take it in stride.

Me, maybe not so much, but I am positive by nature.  I have always had the habit of briefly imagining the worst that can happen in situations such as this, a way to manage expectations I suppose.

And so it is - life goes easy on me most of the time.”

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