I often fantasized about what it would be like to be a dog. Especially, on any given Monday morning. I would much rather stand guard over my house, and never leave it, ever. To have someone feed me every meal, tell me how good I am, and invite me into bed every night to cuddle. Well, that sounds almost like heaven.
I imagined I’d be a lady of leisure, only pretending to watch the house. Letting my person dress me up in dresses, overalls or tutu’s. I would even wear wigs of my person’s choosing, and give permission to paint my nails without any fight. No shame here. In my mind, I would have even greeted him or her at the door upon their return and quite possibly peed a little out of excitement.
Days full of naps and nights full of mindless sleep, without one damn little care in the world. My only wish would have been for a doggie door. I don’t think would I want to be escorted to a bathroom. Dogs always look so pathetically vulnerable squatting in front of others.
I suspect, knowing me the way I do, I would have derived some pleasure while watching my person pick up my hot turd, with a flimsy piece of plastic. Especially, if I was forced to poop in public. Conceivably, wishing for a small, unnoticed hole in that bag. I am certain I would have been a little, bitchy dog that growled and wagged my tail when someone petted me.
What could be better than being a dog I thought? I might have even been okay with the spaying and neutering. The thought of getting a bone now and then without any worries seems pretty nice, and I can’t count how many times a day I find my dogs “grooming” themselves. I thought I’d be just fine in the canine form.
However, this past weekend I took both my dogs, Rainy (my lab) and Jazzy (my Boston Terrier/Frenchie mix) to the vet for a check up and all this fantasizing about being a dog came to a halt. The visit was normal enough at the start. The doctor was thorough. I actually never encountered a vet who attempted to build rapport with a dog. He inspected teeth, fur, joints, and eyes. I even felt the urge to run around the room with my dogs, so he could watch their gaits, hoping to win a ribbon or two.
After finishing with most of the checkup, the vet then disclosed that he would end the appointment with the needed vaccines and a anal examination. In my years of owning dogs and the countless check ups attended, I don’t recall this ever happening. I was immediately anxious for my dogs. If I went to my doc for a physical, I would be a bit concerned with an announcement of an anal probing. This would be something that would have to be discussed many, many days prior to the appointment, and I still might cancel anyway.
For some unknown reason, I decided to pay serious attention to my dogs during this part of the exam. I stared intently in to my dog, Rainy’s face (before, during and post anal exam), and then did the same with my second dog, Jazzy, locking eyes with her. I am not certain what I initially was looking for in my dog’s faces. Fear? Protest? Maybe a raised eyebrow? I don’t know. However, I realized after this procedure I most likely have changed my mind about wanting to be a dog.
If I didn’t know it was happening at the time, I would have never been able to guess. Both of my dogs did not react at all. Nothing. Not a whimper, a yelp, or even a growl. There was absolutely zero recognition they had experienced a finger up their bums. I believe I need to be of a species that is capable of acknowledging when their posterior has been breached, good or bad.
As I reflect on this past appointment, I am still not 100% percent certain I have changed my mind, because there are variables I need to consider. The vet could have had a gentle touch. I am sure he must conduct these sort of examines daily, and might be an expert. He did not wine or dine them or bring them flowers, but the dogs didn’t seem to mind in spite of it.
Perhaps my dogs are just used to having their butts be the center of attention, especially seeing how dogs greet each other. Maybe they have friends with poor boundaries and are frequently subjected to an overly inquisitive nose. Or my dogs could be two dirty bitches, outliers from the norm. I will never know. But I didn’t feel right about being a spectator, despite my intrusive attention to both of my dogs during the moments of this intimate event.
On the way home from the vet appointment, I kept looking at both my dogs in the rear view mirror while driving them back to our house. They both were innocently sitting in the back seat glancing out the window with tongues hanging out and tails a wagging, not a care in the world. I felt the need to process with them, but they seemed perfectly unaffected. I realized I was the one who was not the same.
This event then reminded of an old friend of mine who dropped acid a bunch of times and told me that after he came down from his high, he never felt the same. He told me his whole reality shifted after each drug induced trip. I finally understood what he meant now. Who knew that dropping acid and watching my pets’ anal examinations would produce the same affect. I believe that next time I will use the “just say no” slogan to being a spectator and my “trip” will include walking from the examination room to the waiting room.