Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sick As A Dog

So very, very sick.

I have been congested and achy and coughy and absolutely horribly nasal for the past two and a half days. Veritably sick as that dratted proverbial dog.

I feel marginally better today, though now my throat has closed up due to all the hacking sneezes and pathetic coughs. I'm a vision in wool socks and sweats, surrounded by various electronic equipment, tissues, mugs of cooled tea, and, of course, my camera.

Since I am sick as a dog, I'm going to talk about my dog, Ginger. She is fifteen and a half, having been born in June of 1994. We got her when she was a wee young thing, six weeks old and the runt of her litter. It was the summer after sixth grade for me, the summer after fifth grade for my sister.

Being so young, we did not really understand what a whiny, bratty puppy she was. We just thought she was the cutest thing ever. In retrospect, she really was such a disobedient pup. She's mellowed out as she's gotten older and is now very laid back. She takes leisurely walks with my mother and only whines when she's hungry, and doesn't even really bark anymore. Dachshunds can bark, let me tell you.

She's gone slightly deaf and is much slower now, but she used to catch and kill birds when she was younger, back in the olden days. She once got into a very loud altercation with a possum that was twice her size. She managed to finally grab the hissing overgrown rodent and clamped it in her jaws. I watched our brave little dog shake the possum around, while we all tried to convince our dog that she should let the feral creature go. It didn't work, and the dog held on until she was sure that the possum wasn't going anywhere- presumably, Ginger thought the possum had died.

Of course, the possum was playing at being dead and scampered off as soon as there was adequate room between it and our ferocious eight-pound guard dog for a secure getaway. Ginger was not very happy about that, but we gave her treats and brushed her teeth and gave her a bath and all was well again as she snuggled up in her damp towel, yipping and licking us as we dried her ears and madly wagging tail.

There was another incident with a little lizard. I have nothing against lizards, but Ginger certainly did not like the little things. The first lizard she ever saw surprised her so much that she didn't quite know what to do with it. She froze for a second and then leaped, hunting instincts setting her little black nose a-quiver.

I've never seen Ginger so startled as when the lizard's tail detached from its body, the reptile scurrying away while its tail gave a couple half-hearted wiggles before stilling. I don't think she ever knew that the tail was supposed to fall off- she just thought she had chomped it off, I suppose.

That spry little dog is now a old granny, her auburn fur slowly turning white. We all love her dearly, more than any of us will admit, and we are all glad that she is still with us, still functioning, and not as sick as me. I'd rather be sick as dog than have my dog be sick as one.

I took the photos on Thanksgiving- Ginger got some fat off the ham for the holiday, which she enjoyed immensely. She eats with a gusto that convinces me that she is definitely a part of this family, hopefully for years to come.


william November 30, 2009 at 5:11 AM  

your dog is as old as my dog!

hope you feel better!

jeanny November 30, 2009 at 9:59 AM  

Yay for our old dogs!

Thanks, I feel marginally better today ... but still not great. I sound like the human equivalent of a foghorn.