MJ’s annual vet check-ups and boosters occur in April. It’s sort of a big deal for her: she sits up front in the car, looking out the window, jamming along to the radio. She wiggles her way through the parking lot, charming all of the macho-men with their neon sneakers and mesh shorts as they strut to and from the Gold’s Gym next door.
The Vet Techs know Miss is coming, and they’re ready to pounce with snuggles and squees and cameras and treats. She gladly rolls to her back to proudly display her tummy for rubs, giving kisses to anyone her tongue can reach. Thwap thwap thwap goes her tail on the floor, against the legs of the waiting room chairs, the corner of the exam table, and the shins of doctors, techs and other patients. She’s happily in her element.
Little does she know that in 15 minutes, after she’s poked and prodded and injected and rewarded, she going to have her nails trimmed. It will take three vet techs to hold her down. She wails and fights, but wiggles her tail the entire time. Weirdo.
During this struggle, the tip of her whip-of-a-tail splits open, splattering red along the walls, the floor, my jeans, the vet. As she’s released from her veterinary hug, she bounds about the exam room, tail flapping, banging on every surface as she leaves a crime scene behind her. This has never happened before. She needs to be sedated in order for the vet to clean up her tail and survey the damage.
I’m sent next door to a diner for a snack, where I send James a text message with this picture:
45 minutes later I pick up my groggy girl. She’s wearing a plastic test tube stuffed with gauze on her tail to provide some protection, and it clicks as she weakly thumps it when she sees me. Anti-inflammatories and pain killers and cleaning instructions are distributed.
I carry her to the car. She curls up on the passenger side floor, whimpering the entire ride home.
Once home, she neatly tucks into a chair and sulks woozily.
Thus begins our year of Happy Tail.
To be continued….