The subject of this week’s Spin Cycle is “words” and Jen fully admits she is trying to trip me up with this one.
As parents, Beloved and I like to think we have done/are doing a reasonably good job of teaching our children the importance of language. We must be, because they all have above-average vocabularies and none of them have any problem expressing themselves, especially verbally.
Most of the time I’m grateful, as well as proud, of that…although I have to admit there are times I’d like to jab my own eardrums out with an icepick. (Is a little peace and quiet around here too much to ask?!?!)
We’ve never made much of a fuss about the kids using curse words, at least once they reach about 14, simply because the words lose their shock value if we don’t freak out unduly. Oh, I’ll tell them to tone it down if they’re getting carried away, and I also like to remind them, from time to time, that excessive cursing is the refuge of the ignorant and illiterate – those who cannot not find a more appropriate way to express themselves.
That being said, I’ve been known to utter a few choice words myself from time to time and when I’m really, really angry I start channeling Lenny Bruce – my, shall we say, creative use of language could peel the bark off of a tree. Or stop a teenager dead in their tracks.
Sometimes, the choice words just slip out all on their own. Usually in the most inappropriate place possible.
As I mentioned recently, poor Scooter has been having a little difficulty doing his doggy business out in the back yard. So yesterday I took an hour off from work and we paid the vet a visit. Now, Scooter is kind of what you’d call “high strung” and he does not like being handled, especially by strangers. Then there’s the small fact that he doesn’t like his vet at all (yes, we’re looking for another).
This visit started reasonably well – at least, Scooter didn’t try to bite off any of the vet’s fingers. He let himself be picked up and placed on the examination table, and let himself be poked and prodded. The vet said he seemed all right, but he wanted to do a rectal exam. I gave my consent, and they took him from the room.
NOT a good sign. About 30 seconds later, I heard my poor dog begin to yelp, and squeal and then, finally, shriek. This went on for 3 hours about 15 seconds before it stopped and the poor, harried-looking assistant brought him back in and pointed to his leash, indicating silently yet eloquently that I was to restrain my little monster. The vet then came in to tell me that he never got to do the exam – all that noise was just from touching Scooter’s backside. He then proceeded to tell me that I’d have to bring my baby back in and drop him off so they could sedate him and perform the exam. (Note: Scooter has similar reactions to having his nails trimmed without prior medication, so we don’t know if it was because he was sore back there, or if it was simply due to his temperament.)
Was I crazy about the idea? No, but I want to make sure my dog is healthy, so I agreed and the vet ushered me back out into the waiting area with what I thought was just a tad too much enthusiasm.
So. I have a small dog who is excitable under the best of circumstances and has just spent 20 minutes in a place he doesn’t like, being poked and prodded by a person he doesn’t like, only to have this person he doesn’t like try to, well, go in via the out door. Frankly, I’d probably be a little skittish myself – poor Scooter was bouncing off the walls.
I’m also ashamed to admit that Scooter doesn’t have a lot of interaction with other dogs during the normal course of daily life, so when he does find himself in an environment with more than, say, one other dog (he ignores cats, oddly enough) the whole “excitable” thing kicks up a notch or two to “frantic.” When we were shoved escorted back to the waiting area , it was populated by a small lhasa apso, a springer spaniel puppy and a full-grown, standard boxer that, if it stood on its hind legs, would have been taller than me by six inches.
It was a recipe for disaster.
Scooter immediately tried to eat the head of the puppy, and when that didn’t work he decided an attempt to disembowel the boxer was in order (the lhasa apso was snatched off of the ground by his owner, who promptly went to cower in the corner). I reeled Scooter’s leash in and latched it, while trying to simultaneously keep him behind me and keep an eye on the boxer, who looked like he was wondering how many bites it would take to consume a 17-pound dachshund/beagle mix.
While all of that was going on, the receptionist was shoving 12 different consent forms in my face so they could sedate my demon hound from Hell Scooter on his return visit, all while explaining (poorly) to me what all they were going to do to him and trying to get me to look at a list of charges so I’d know exactly how much I the whole fiasco was going to cost.
Then my phone rang, and because of my contract of indentured servitude I take business calls on my cell phone I cannot ignore it. So I am answering my phone and trying to sign the 12 different consent forms and letting the receptionist know yes – I want the heartworm AND flea and tick medication and trying to keep an eye on a very large dog and trying not to step on my own dog while I shield him from the very large dog with my chubby little body when snap!
The catch on Scooter’s leash popped loose and he shot across the floor as if he’d been launched from a cannon, straight at the boxer.
Stumbling and barely keeping my balance, I dropped my phone, threw the pen and papers at the receptionist, grabbed Scooter’s leash and yanked, snapping him back just as the boxer was preparing to receive a small snack of wiener dog, hold the mustard.
And yelled “MOTHER F*CKER!!!!”
At the top of my lungs.
Believe it or not, they’re still willing to see him on Friday. But I may never know who called.