Sunday, February 05, 2006

Do You Smell Something?

Life plods on for the Stinky Dog.

We got her from the local animal shelter about five years ago, and the vet to whom we immediately took her for a checkup estimated her age at 10. At that time her right rear leg was already withered and useful only as a prop--evidence, he thought, of quite an old injury--but she seemed in pretty good shape overall. But over the years her hearing got worse and worse until now she's stone deaf, and in the past year her vision has gone completely in her right eye and about 80% in her left. Total blindness cannot be far away. She runs into things now, and if there's much force involved she tips over like Arte Johnson on his trike on Laugh-In. Sneezing--we do a lot of sneezing--is best done laying down. But with proper pain medication she still bounds along on her morning walks, tail high in the air and ears flopping like Dumbo as she pogos stiffly along with her back legs together. She's still a pretty happy girl for the three to four hours a day she's awake.

One other aspect of the aging process warrants a mention. She's nicknamed "Stinky" for a reason. We've had her teeth cleaned three times, and she loses teeth each time. (She cannot abide brushing.) But she's now too old for the procedure--the last time she nearly didn't recover--but she really needs it. No, REALLY. Susan checks her teeth each week when Miss Stinky gets a bath, and they're, well, disgusting. Oh yeah, and loose, most of 'em. She sleeps on a big pillow in our bedroom, and her morning sneezing and yawning ritual can be smelled from our bed, a good 8 feet away.

Truly, this is something


fet·id (fĕt'ĭd, fē'tĭd) pronunciation also foe·tid (fē'tĭd)
--Having an offensive odor.
[Middle English, from Latin fētidus, from fētēre, to stink.]