I’m Not Violating the Dog If It Saves Me $35, Right?

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Brinkley is a black Labrador Retriever.  This is his puppy picture.

Very adorable, right?  Right.

However, the maxim regarding Labs is “Watch Ears and Rears.”  Their ears get full of gunk that has to be cleaned out regularly.  Their rears also get full of…uh…gunk, of sorts. Specifically, their anal glands fill up and have to be expressed from time to time.  You’ll know when it’s time because the dog is scooting his butt along your very best rug.

Very digusting, right?  Right.

Now, Brinkley has been scooting for several days.  Often, this problem will resolve itself if I just give Mother Nature a little time.  But not always.  In the past I’ve taken him to the vet and the tech slaps on a pair of latex gloves and lubes up her fingers, and then it becomes an episode of South Park.  Poor Brinkley looks at me with those big eyes as if to say, “I hope she’s paying US for this.  I’m going to get some cut of this, aren’t I?”

After a few visits, the tech told me that I could learn to express the glands myself.  I just needed patience, a relaxed manner, and some basic instruction.  She gave me my own gloves and lube and had me practice. Now Brinkley was looking at me as if to say, “Really, Mommy?  Et tu?”  But it would be worth it if I could save cash every time he needed it.

Very practical on my part, right?  Right?

So tonight was one of those times.  I just couldn’t see him in discomfort anymore.  I hadn’t “practiced” in a little while, but I thought I could provide at least some relief for the poor doggie.  I gathered up the latex gloves and the lube, some paper towels, and a special sweet-smelling Butt Spray for afterwards.  No, they really make such a thing for just this activity.  Why?  Because the secretion from the Anal Gland?  Disgusting liquid…stains everything and is heinous-smelling.  This is not an activity you want to perform in the house. Why?  See Above Re: Staining and Heinous.

I coax Brinkley onto the stoop out the side door of the kitchen.  It’s a small cement stoop with 3 steps down to the side walkway.  I figured this would be an enclosed area where I could corral Brinkley and get the job done without him escaping.  Cuz Brinkley – he’s already on to me.  The moment I took out the latex, his doggie-anxiety antennae went up.  Dogs have amazing smell receptors.  Brinkley can smell latex if I simply move the box around.  So it took some effort to get him out there, but I managed eventually.  I also decided this was a good place to fumble around inside my dog’s anus because the stoop is mostly secluded.  Not entirely, but mostly.

I lube up.  I…uh…sally forth into the task at hand (no pun intended).  I’m making some progress.  I can feel the gland is diminishing as I milk it into the paper towel.  Surely, this will be good for my boy.

Just then, the UPS guy parks his big, brown truck at the curb between my house and the house next door. This is where the “not entirely” part of ‘secluded’ becomes important.  This is our usual delivery guy; he’s been to my front door many, many times. He hops out of the truck and waves to me as he moves across my neighbor’s lawn.

What would you do?  I ask you…what would YOU do?  Wouldn’t YOU reflexively wave back?  Since my left hand was still holding tightly onto Brinkley’s collar preventing his escape, I whipped my right hand out of my dog’s butt and waved at the nice delivery man.

Oh. The. Horror.

At about the same time he quickened his pace to put distance between us, I realized what my gloved, “expressed” hand looked like.  I’m pretty sure it was not how this man wanted to end his workday.  I’m also pretty sure that the shirts I ordered online are never going to be delivered now.

We’re headed back to the vet tech tomorrow to let her finish the job.

Very wise decision on my part, right?  Right.

Aug 1st, 2015

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