Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Here it is 1:45 a.m. on Tuesday morning. I'm sitting looking morosely at the computer screen and at my feet sit two miserable faces, trying to tell me their water bowl is missing -- and there are no tiny tidbits left over from dinner on the kitchen floor. Fritzy always leaves just a little for the 2 a.m. snack.

The vet's instructions were very specific. No food or water after 7:30 p.m. Up came the water bowl and the left-over food at, well to be honest, 8:15 p.m. -- but we were close enough. Now each boy wants a little drink before setting in for a continued night's rest.

Gussie, the dental patient, came pawing the bed at midnight to tell me the water bowl was -- not just empty -- completely missing. That got me up. We've all been awake since. Gus, the stoic who chooses not to gripe or complain much -- has settled back on his pillow, watching me from a distance. Not Fritz, who is very vocal and persistent about his needs. He follows me everywhere, giving me the sad eye and trying to herd me into the bathroom where the water bowl is kept, so I can see for myself that a vital part of his existence is lost. I tried the subterfuge, luring Fritz to the kitchen for a secretive slup (after all he's not having a full dental in the morning) -- but his lapping brought Gus on the run, looking for a sweet sip of cooling drink.

This is going to be a long night. And a longer day tomorrow with Gus having his teeth removed and his jaw evaluated -- possibly even restructured. Gus is on the mend, thankfully. He has been carefully eating out of the side of his mouth, trying to protect those bloody front teeth. He has also been whimpering, just under his breath, when anything touches the infection. This makes it very hard on the humans to pill him every day. But Sunday morning he felt fit enough to pick up the soft, small ball in the living room and give it a couple of squeaks. The soft chew toys that he has so loved to run around shaking sit silently waiting for better days.

Gus will be home tomorrow night. I won't leave my babies at the vet's overnight. Usually only a tech is on duty, if that, at a vet hospital at night -- so no matter what, my babies come home to spend the night with me. In interviewing vets after my old one moved away, that was something I made sure could happen. The boys can spend the day at the vet's getting restorative treatment -- but nights belong to me. I'm here, I can sit up with them all night if need be, and they will not be caged for long periods of time.

It will be a huge relief to pick up Gus tomorrow. Hopefully, his little mouth will then be completely on the mend. Until then, I'll just have to try and ignore the sad little eyes that are following me everywhere.

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