Post-Surgery Instructions

The veterinarian told us to be sure to keep the protective cone collar on our dog for two weeks after the operation in order to prevent her from gnawing and picking at the area where the surgery had been done. He said that no matter how eager we might be to take the collar off, we should exercise patience and abide by his instructions to not remove the collar for the full two weeks.

It was hard to keep the cone collar on our dear dog, especially at night when she couldn’t get comfortable. We figured at night she’d mostly be sleeping anyway, so we decided to remove the collar in the hope that she…and we…could get some sleep.

Fast-forward one week, when we were back at the vets so he could treat the infection around the surgical site. He looked at and chastised us for not following his instructions to the letter.


Written for Linda G. Hill’s Just Jot It January prompt, where the word is “letter.” Also for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (operation), Ragtag Daily Prompt (gnaw), Word of the Day Challenge (picking), Your Daily Word Prompt (eager), The Daily Spur (patience), and MMA Storytime (fast-forward).

Pet Pourri

“What the hell, Ellen?” John said as he walked into the family room. “There are two kittens in our bedroom. Would you mind telling me what’s going on?”

Ellen clicked her tongue. “Oh, don’t get your bowels into an uproar, John,” she said calmly. “Mrs. Ferguson from down the street, well, her cat had kittens and she came over today and said, knowing that we don’t have any pets, perhaps we might like one.”

“But there are two there,” John said.

“I know,” Ellen cooed. “Aren’t they the cutest little kitties you’ve ever seen? And you know we’ve been talking about getting a pet. It’s serendipity, isn’t it?

“First of all, Ellen,” John said, “I never agreed to us getting a pet. Second, if we were to get a pet, my preference would be to get a dog, not a cat, much less two. I hate cats.”

“But John,” Ellen said, “dogs require much more work. They need to be taken out for walks all the time. But you’re never around, what with all the traveling you do for your job and the long hours you work when you’re not on the road. So the task of walking the dog would fall upon me. The wisdom of having kittens is that they’re much easier to take care of. They somehow automatically know how to use a litter box and you never have to take them out in the freezing cold of winter or the heat and humidity of summer for them to do their business.”

“Well, the answer is simple, then, Ellen,” John said. “I don’t want a pet and I certainly don’t want any cats underfoot. So call up Mrs. Ferguson and tell her to take back her damn kittens.”

“I refuse,” Ellen firmly stated. “You’re never home, we don’t have any kids, and I want — no I need — these kitties for company and to take care of. I’m not giving them back.”

John shook his head. “Fine,” he said,” consider my letting you keep these kittens to be my propine to you. But I’ll be damned if I’m going to clean up their litter box.”


Written for these daily prompts: The Daily Spur (tongue), Ragtag Daily Prompt (kitties), Your Daily Word Prompt (serendipity), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (preference), MMA Storytime (wisdom), Word of the Day Challenge (propine).

“Propine” is a word I’d never heard before, but according to the Word of the Day Challenge prompt, it means to offer as a present or a gift. Were it not for that word prompt, my last sentence would have read, “…consider my letting you keep these kittens to be my gift to you.”

First Line Friday — Meant to Be

The black dog followed them home. Eric knew this would be trouble. He and his wife, Rhonda, had lost their beloved black shepherd/Lab mix, Shadow, in November and Rhonda had begun talking about getting another dog. But Eric was dead set against it. “Having a dog will tie us down, Ronda,” he argued. “We finally have the freedom now to travel and go where we want for however long we want to go any time we wish to.”

“We’re in the middle of a goddam pandemic,” Rhonda argued back. “They’re ordering us to stay home and leave only when it’s essential. So where is it that you think we’re going to go?”

As they approached their house, Rhonda looked back to see the dog stop and look at her with its sad, brown eyes. She leaned down and motioned for the dog to come forward, which it slowly and cautiously did. “Look, Eric,” she said. “No collar, no tags.” Getting down on her knees, she hugged the dog and the dog rewarded Rhonda by licking her face. “We can’t just leave this sweet dog out here. It’s starting to get dark and it’s supposed to get down into the thirties tonight.”

Eric knew his wife well enough to know that there was no point in arguing. “Fine,” he said, “we’ll bring this mangy mutt in, give it some food and water, and we can take it to the vet tomorrow to have it checked out. But then we have to find out if he’s anybody’s pet dog and, if so, to see if they’re looking for him.”

Rhonda smiled, “It’s a her, Eric, and she looks so much like our Shadow, doesn’t she? It was meant to be, Eric.”


Written for the First Line Friday prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, where the first line is “The black dog followed them home.”

Dog Gone

We struggled over the past few months with the diminishing quality of life that our beloved dog was experiencing. Some days were okay, many were not. She spent much of each day sleeping, getting up only when she needed to go out to take care of business or to eat. And we often had to feed her by hand.

When she was up and around, she had difficulty walking, her hind legs unable to keep her backside from collapsing into an awkward sitting position.

Was she in a lot pain? Who knows? Like most dogs are, she was stoic. And if she was in pain, she never cried out or whimpered. We couldn’t ask her how she was feeling and she couldn’t tell us. Not in a way we could definitively understand. And not in a way that could give us any degree of certainty.

That’s what made our decision so difficult. Was it the right time? Were we prematurely taking away days, weeks, or even months from her life?

We spoke with our veterinarian, who came to our house yesterday afternoon. She confirmed that it was, indeed, time.

I suppose we’ll always second guess our decision, always feel a sense of guilt. But she’s gone now and we are heartbroken.

We miss her.

The Love of a Dog

146B9476-7350-49A6-A899-C9E2F216B5E7Our dog doesn’t bark. Well, she rarely does, anyway. Only when she sees a raccoon, a coyote, a deer, or some other wild creature. It’s not that she’s shy or anything. I think it has something to do with the fact that she’s a rescue dog. We got her when she was five, and there was more than one indication that she was abused. And that might be central to her infrequent barking and some other behaviors.

Sadly, our dog is getting old. She has trouble walking and she often acts confused (doggy dementia?). We know that we are approaching that point where we’ll have to decide whether or not it’s time to take the dreaded next step and to put her to rest.

It’s a heart-wrenching decision because she has been a big part of our lives since we rescued her ten years ago. We know that she needs and loves us. She’s our best friend and we need, love, and worship her just as much.


Written for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (bark), JibberJabber (shy), The Daily Spur (indication), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (central), Your Daily Word Prompt (decide), and Word of the Day Challenge (worship).