Doggie Dentist: A Pup’s First Time


I knew today was going to be different. Usually my humans let me stay in bed until I want to get up. Unless my daddy leaves for work extra early, then he bribes me with promises of tasty turkey jerky goodness so I’ll get out of bed. I don’t know why he does this – I think he just doesn’t like the idea of me going over and flopping down on mommy’s stomach, which is what I do once he leaves. It’s the best cuddle spot, really.

They made me go outside and then told me we were going, “Bye bye,” and of course I was excited. That usually means I get to visit my cousins or go for a walk somewhere new. But then mommy got in back with me in my kennel and that was my first clue. Where were they taking me?


I was so anxious about taking Angel to the vet for her procedure. I couldn’t fall asleep and then woke up early. I was afraid something would go wrong – she hasn’t been under anesthesia since she was a puppy – five years ago! What if she had a bad reaction to the drugs? What if they had to make an extraction? And that wasn’t even the worst of it. Angel is generally healthy and has only had one emergency visit, and I was there by her side the entire time. What if she thought I was abandoning her? What if me leaving made her feel scared and alone? Would she know I would never leave her? Would she know it was for her own good?


I wasn’t worried about taking Angel to the vet; it’s for her own good. Michael knows that, but that doesn’t matter. I knew Michael would be crazy all day until we heard that she was out of recovery and fine. I knew Angel would be all right – she is a healthy, active dog, and she knows Michael would never leave her anywhere… But I also knew Michael would never believe that. I just hoped they gave us an update soon – for sanity’s sake.


They left me! Can you believe it? They left me! Usually that only happens when they get the big containers out and put their different fur coverings inside. And then they take me to my cousins. They did not take me to my cousins! It was like jail, only scarier. There were eight of us back there, all in our separate houses. Some of them talked about crazy experiments and others said once you went back into the room at the end of the hall, you would never be seen again.

I didn’t believe them. My mommy would never let that happen. But why did they leave me here? I didn’t do anything wrong, why couldn’t I just go to my cousin’s? And then they poked me with something sharp and all of this liquid came out of me. I couldn’t tell you what color it was, maybe a dark gray? It stung, but I remember they had done this before and then I went home after. I just kept thinking this was like that. I would be going home soon. Mommy would come get me.


I kept checking my phone for them to text me or send me a message. I started checking while we were still in the animal hospital’s parking lot. I didn’t check every five minutes; it was more like every two minutes. Or every ninety seconds. I wanted to cry, or I wanted a sedative, or I just wanted to be able to stay with her until it was time for the procedure. I felt terrible. I knew it was for the best, and she’d benefit from it, but I should have been there with her. She must be so scared…

Two hours later I received this text…



Michael texted me at 10:15am, forwarding what the vet sent. Angel was done and she was doing great. We could even pick her up an hour early. No extractions, no complications… I was planning on meeting Michael and picking her up after work, but since we could get her early, I could get away with taking a late lunch and just getting her then. I knew that was the only thing to do. Michael and Angel will be there long after my job is. Besides, we had coverage and my manager didn’t mind. Michael offered to have a friend drive instead so I didn’t have to spend my lunch running back and forth, but I wanted to be there even though I acted like none of it was a big deal. And I knew Michael would keep going crazy until Angel was back home.


I don’t know much time passed, I think maybe a day (that’s roughly 6.75 hours of human’s convoluted time). The human who had done stuff to my mouth was with me. She’s nice, she reminds me of my cousin’s human. My mouth felt weird and it hurt a little, and my eyes were kind of heavy and I just felt dizzy even though I kept standing up. You can’t keep a good girl down… unless she really needs to sleep. And that’s what I did the rest of my stay there.


I was so relieved Angel was all right and it was over, but I just wanted her back home. Until she was I just kept trying to distract myself – I couldn’t be productive. I couldn’t think of anything but Angel coming home. I was so anxious to see her, I needed to see her. I needed to be there for her. It was agonizing. Seven hours, eight minutes, and thirty-seven seconds we were apart. It was awful. Honestly, what the hell am I going to be like when I have kids? Have a psychotic break?


Michael was ready to go as soon as I pulled in, but I’m not surprised. That’s very Michael. We exchanged loving words, but I knew Michael was only focused on one thing – getting our girl. Michael brought me a protein bar (chocolate coconut – my favorite) and some cheerios in a baggie.

“You’re skipping lunch, but I worry about you. So make sure to eat the bar at least. The cheerios are optional, but I figured you’d still be hungry.”

I was, it was exactly what I was hoping I’d have time to get at a gas station. But Michael was watching out for me. I’m a lucky man, and Michael is going to be an excellent mom when we get to that point. Worrying about everything 24/7 is already a skill Michael has mastered. Another is how to catch anyone in a lie and having eyes everywhere. I kind of feel sorry for our future children.


The human who was with me before woke me up and put this thing around my neck, it was like some sort of primitive leash. I didn’t care because I thought I smelled mommy. Or maybe I just wanted to, but before I could think much about it this human was scooping me up in her arms. We went through a room and then another, and after the second door, I saw MY MOMMY! I tried to jump out of the human’s arms and she gave up and set me on a bench and I was in my mommy’s lap again while all of the humans talked. But even though Daddy was paying attention to the other human, Mommy was just focused on me. Sometimes Mommy said stuff to the other human, but I knew Mommy was all about me, and I was going home!


My heart filled when I first saw Angel, and her tail wagged and there was that instant recognition. I hoped she wasn’t sore or never thought I’d just leave her, but I was sure she wasn’t after seeing her. She was happy to see me, but she wasn’t relieved. And as any doggie parent can attest, you can read all of the emotions that humans feel on a dog’s face – they feel them too. It wasn’t her relieved face, just a mixture of joy and love.


Picking up Angel was pretty smooth, and didn’t take very long. The pictures showed what a difference the cleaning made and she seemed like herself – active, excited and ready to play. Though she would not leave Michael’s lap until we said the words, “Go home,” and then she shot for the door so fast her leash caught its maximum slack. It was right to get her then, both Angel and Michael made that obvious – they were both all right again.


When I got home I was kind of tired all of the sudden. I wouldn’t even dominate the cat when I had the chance. There was this thing on my leg and it squeezed, I didn’t like it. And I was really tired and kind of out of it, and a little sore. But it didn’t matter because I was home.


Angel was fine once we got home, but she wasn’t exactly herself. I could tell back at the vet it was a surge of adrenaline that made her act 100% herself again. She was just so happy to see us. But now she was tired. She didn’t even hump the cat. She wobbled when she walked – just a little, but still. And I had to pick her up to sit on furniture that is low to the ground and not hard to get on (she can usually jump twice the height of the furniture without a running start). She wouldn’t leave my side, if I got up to get water or do anything – she would follow, and struggle. So I just got water, Kleenex, my phone and a 200+ page book to read so I was mostly set up. I would only have to get up to go to the bathroom. She slept next to me, sometimes with her head on my leg.


When I got home, Michael gave me a full report on Angel’s progress, but she seemed more like herself again. I would have said 100%, but she didn’t hump the cat when I came home. Michael had removed her bandage as instructed, and Angel is good about not licking wounds. We fed her and she was immediately happier after that. Michael soaked the kibble in water for fifteen minutes so the wait for Angel was the hardest, she cried a little. It had almost been 24 hours without food, but it was the vet’s orders. After Angel wolfed her food down, she crashed. In fact she is still sleeping while mommy is at the table, finally getting some writing done.

Maybe tomorrow, Angel will start humping the cat again. 😉

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