The second Tuesday in December turned out to be the beginning of the worst day of my life.
We left the house very early and went to Ardene and I went in with my usual enthusiasm to see all my girlfriends who work behind the reception. They came out and knelt on the floor and tickled my tummy and I walked round in circles and I had a super time. Then I was taken into a room, Daddy left me with the nurse and from then on it went downhill.
A young veterinary surgeon, Catherine, took out a razor and started to cut off the hair on my right front leg and I had no idea why she was doing this. Then she took a syringe with a huge needle and stuck it into my leg. I did not like that at all! When I’ve had injections in the past its usually been into the back of my neck and I’ve never really felt anything and I was always told how brave I was. This time, I felt the prick and I do not know what happened next but some hours later I woke up to find that I was being fitted with a plastic hood round my neck which is really like a lampshade. I didn’t like it but I was simply too weak to protest. Daddy phoned at 1pm to find out how I was and he was told that I was doing fine. I jolly well wasn’t.
When he came to collect me at about 3.00 pm, I was taken out to the big waiting area and I simply stood there and as Daddy later told Mummy, I looked like a zombie. I couldn’t move, I didn’t know where I was, I didn’t recognise anybody or anything. When Daddy couldn’t get me to walk to the car to go home he had to pick me up and carry me through the reception and as I’m 21 kilos he has difficulty lifting and carrying me. Going out to the car, one of the young girls came with him and he asked her to go into his pocket to take out the key to unlock the car boot since he didn’t want to put me down and lift me up again.
We got home and Mummy was waiting for me and he carried me out of the car and put me into the vestibule. I just stood there and wouldn’t move and so Daddy had to pick me up again and take me through to my bed in the kitchen. I felt absolutely awful! I didn’t really know what had happened to me but I later heard that I’d had an operation that meant I was never going to be able to have any sons or daughters. The vet had said that I had to get a special diet which came in three cans which is apparently very nutritious for dogs who have had operations. Quite frankly I didn’t feel like eating anything and I wouldn’t drink any water. I more or less slept the whole afternoon and evening. I couldn’t walk up and down the stairs to my toilet area because I was just so weak so Daddy had to both carry me up and down, which he found very difficult to do.
The next, Wednesday, I was feeling slightly better but I hated the hood round my neck. When I was eventually persuaded to go through to have something to eat, the hood of this plastic thing hit the dishes and I couldn’t get my nose into the dish. Unlike other peculiar dogs like Afghans or Greyhounds I have a very recessed nose and mouth which means that we aristocratic dogs with short faces should have special hoods that enable us to get close to our food and water. I refused to drink any water despite the fact that Mummy and Daddy put drops of water in my mouth and put water in small plastic dishes and held them up to my face inside the hood. I just wouldn’t eat or drink anything at all.
Later on the Wednesday I felt a little bit better and wanted to go upstairs when Mummy goes up to change clothes and I chew her old slippers but unfortunately the minute I started trying to walk up the stairs the hood hit the steps and frightened me so I could not go on. Another problem was that whilst I was walking around the ground floor of the house I kept bumping into doorways and chairs and every time I did it the hood made a noise and I frightened myself.
Daddy eventually phoned Ardene and explained the problem and they said it was alright to take the hood off provided I was supervised and didn’t try to take the stitches out. So Mummy and Daddy have been taking the hood off during the day and putting it on when I’m getting ready for bed. I just hate the hood and I stand there looking at Mummy and Daddy and trying to ask them; what’s wrong with me? Why do I have to wear this? I’m so uncomfortable and so unhappy! But of course they don’t understand my doggy talk. I understand what they’re saying to me but they can’t understand what I’m saying to them.
Eventually, before they took the hood off, the only way Mummy and Daddy could get me to eat these special tinned supplements, which smell like foie gras, was for them to feed me with a spoon, rather like feeding a baby, which I am not now.
Eventually I grew to like the special supplement and when the hood was taken off and I got my appetite back, I ate it willingly. Drinking, however, was another problem. I just didn’t want to drink any water despite Mummy and Daddy encouraging me to do so. By the Friday I was feeling much better and whenever a visitor came to the house, I behaved in my normal, welcoming way.