Pins and needles. Yesterday Razz was spayed, an operation performed in Veterinarian’s offices hundreds of times with no problems and few complications. For her it was a missed day of meals. For me it was a day of worry, my mind playing the “what if” game over and over.
Razz was so trusting as I withheld food and water, loaded her into the car, then unloaded her at the Vet’s office. Razz greeted the staff happily like she always does but suddenly turned to mush when the door to the Vet’s back room opened. She could have bolted, terrified, but that’s not who she is. Razz is trusting, friendly and doesn’t have it in her to be bad or willful. She merely rolled over onto her back to keep from going into the dreaded back room. Finally the technician lovingly picked Razz up and took her to the kennel. My eyes filled with tears. What if-my little brown girl never returned?
In fifteen months she has become a major player in my heart and in my dog pack. Razz is the leader, the enforcer of rules, as well as the goodwill ambassador to puppies and human visitors; she who either earns near perfect scores in the lower obedience classes or cheerfully flunks when she adds her own twist to the exercises. She who ruff and tumbles with the other dogs at home for hours, never hurting anyone, full of energy. She who snuggles next to me at night, keeping me safe. She who loves training with a sparkle in her eye, never shutting down, never saying she is tired, always ready for more work or play.
What if? No, I must not go there. The day dragged on. I took Tommie, Catcher and Bodie, the puppy, outside to help me rake leaves and trim overgrown bushes. Tommie is a good dog in her own way but she does not have the happy spirit Razz has. Tom is very smart, don’t get me wrong on that count, but she is too serious and very sensitive. Razz assumes life is all about her, confident without being pushy. Catcher is my no-no-bad-dog, as lovable as Razz but willful with a capital “W”. Bodie is still finding his niche in the pack. I expect he is going to be more like Razz in temperament.
Bodie ran free in the large back yard with the other two dogs for the first time. There was no rough housing because Razz was not there to instigate play so the remaining dogs hung out together like old friends. Tom still feigns dislike for Bodie but I looked over my shoulder one moment and saw Tom and Bodie lying side by side, each chewing on a stick. Not too long afterwards Bodie dashed by me, looking frantic. He had discovered a red ant pile and his little blond butt was covered with the stinging creatures. Of course, as I pulled them off his coat they started nipping me, my fingers turning red and itchy. That certainly took my mind off Razzie for a while.
Finally the four of us went inside for lunch, the puppy exhausted and for only the second or third time he slept loose in the house. The phone finally rang saying Razz was out of surgery. The technician told me Razz is a love, a sweetie, no problem. Yes, I agreed, she is special.
When I went to pick up Razzie the receptionist and I laughed at the part where I’m supposed to keep Razz quiet for ten full days. Razz made it to the first twenty-four hours after the surgery before she pretty much acted like nothing had happened. Even in the Vet’s parking lot, as I reached down to lift Razz into the car she instead jumped up into the crate. Unreal. No need for a cone or drugs either. The drugs they gave her for the surgery kept her stoned for most of the night, with no spirit left in her to rip out her sutures. She is sequestered in a crate in the kitchen while the puppy is loose. Then the puppy goes into his ex-pen and Razz is loose. But even this afternoon she is following me around the house or leaping onto the bed. She takes her job seriously, helping me, making sure everything runs smoothly in the house. There is almost no stopping her. The plan is to do some basic obedience while she is recuperating, just to keep her mind busy, nothing strenuous. If she starts playing run and chase games with Tommie or Catcher then back in the crate she goes.
I’m reminded of when I had my hysterectomy. The doctor said moderate exercise every day was crucial to recovery. Moderate means something different to a Border Collie though. I expect this is going to be a long ten days for both of us. But now I won’t have an intact female in heat and an intact male puppy sharing the house which was probably going to occur in January. Yes, I cut it a bit close since she could have come in season early. Now that would have been chaos of a different sort, something I hope to never experience.