Sunday, September 09, 2007

Go ahead, call me vain.

'Ol Gus had his annual check up on Friday and it was an adventure for us all. I'd never braved a dog and a baby to the vet at the same time. All morning, I planned and I plotted, even losing some sleep the night before trying to figure out the easiest way to get all three of us to the vet's office on time. Everything was organized: leash and harness laid out by the door, treat ready if bribery was necessary, stroller and toys set up and in car, Cheerios ready if bribery was necessary, my purse was out, my phone was on, I dressed in loose, comfortable clothing that wouldn't show fur, and I was ready!

Leaving promptly 20 minutes early per my plan, I breathed a sigh of relief to see Piglet strapped in, Gus happily hanging slobbery dog face out the window and we were on our way. Then, I glanced in the rearview mirror and gasped in horror. No! This could not be happening. In all of my intense preparations, I had somehow neglected to pluck my eyebrows or put a lick of make up on my face. You must realize that being a true g.r.i.t.s., I do not leave the house without make up on. I don't wear a lot of makeup, but I consider a courtesy concealer/foundation swipe, some chapstick and some eyeliner much like I consider my pants: quite necessary. Except today in all of the intense planning, I had somehow forgotten. Alas, it was too late to go back; I was just going to have to deal. It's not like I know anyone at the vet's office anyway.

For all of his bad traits, Gus has always been a star at the vet's office. His svelte appearance and lithe physique always garner showers of praise from the staff. Slenderness is greatly admired in a beagle, and it's always been a little source of pride for me, the perfect pet owner. Except somehow this year, Gus has managed to gain 6 pounds. I did the math. It would be like me gaining 20 pounds in one year. Not good. Instead of my usual accolades, I was shocked to receive a straight-set mouth and an eyebrow furrow, the vet equivalent of a slap on the hand. What was this? They must have been mistaken. I am an exemplary dog mom. We weighed him again. 30.6 pounds of beagle. Hmmm. Something has gone awry. I mean, sure he looks a little....rounder, a bit like a sausage perhaps. Sure we haven't walked him nearly as much, or all really. And maybe he's eaten just a few pieces of additional baby-flung food each day hour. But six pounds? Really? I hung my head in shame.

Then came the visit with the doctor. We waddled Fatty McChunkerson on into the examining room to be told in no particular order that he was obese, had bad breath, a dirty ear, long nails and deplorable dental care. I'm surprised no one called the SPCA on the spot. To add insult to injury, I was handed a tiny prescription pill-sized bottle and told to fill it halfway with fresh feces. Gus's fresh feces. There is no scooping implement attached to this meager device, I will have to employ a plastic spoon or the like. At this point, even that task sounded more fun than being here with my unplucked eyebrows and ghoul face being shamed about my dog parenting skills.

Then? The doctor begins to befriend me. She has a nine month old son and lives in the same part of town I do. She proceeds to do what can only be described as chatting me up as I try to slyly cover various parts of my bare acne-prone face with what I hoped to be a hand in a thoughtful pose while having a coherent conversation. I'm always on the lookout for new friends with babies and she's even home part of the week. Plus, we have an obvious need for help in the dog department. Short of putting two fingers over my eyebrows entirely, there was nothing I could do there. I tried to scrunch them thoughtfully together; maybe furrowed together, the sprouty hairs would look like one independent unit. I'm pretty sure I came off as a distracted freak with a tic.

After my interview, I trudged dejectedly to the counter to check out. I spent far too much money and left with promises to return the now pre-paid poop vessel of nastiness and bring Gus back to have his decaying teeth cleaned. Then? The doctor walked me to my car and talked to me for 15 minutes about baby related things in broad daylight. There was simply nowhere to go. I'm sure this all sounds very whiny and vain, but that's where I do my best work. What's a girl to do? I'm feeling the urge to go touch up my concealer.

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