Cozy Tales: 41. Cozy gets Spayed

Putting our fears aside, and having had enough of Cozy being in heat twice a year, we decided to do the right thing and schedule Cozy for surgery to be spayed. This seemed simple enough; drop her off, wait a few hours, then pick her up. We had read that Newfoundlands might not need as much anesthesia as other dogs, and that we should use a vet with a lot of experience with the breed. We decided that instead of using Dr. Fritz, we would use the vet group that our breeder used, which happened to be staffed entirely by women. Being the pig man that I am, I of course assumed a veterinary office staffed with supermodels all wearing French maid and nurse’s outfits. I’m not sure where the French maid thing fit in, but we pig-men are  not really a complicated bunch.

I loaded Cozy up in the Outback and set off to the vet. Riding in the car with Cozy was an interesting experience since she liked to look around and slobber over every transparent and reflective surface in the car. I swear she would jump into the car and start doing the math; If I sit at 92 degrees offset from the centerline of the car, then shake my head with precisely 32 newtons of torque, I’ll land a flooger right on that mirror he likes so much.

During the times when Cozy and I would be alone in the car I would talk to her constantly. She would tilt her head as if processing what I was saying, though I suppose it’s possible she was just trying to get a better view of the expertly placed drool on the rearview mirror. For this trip I told her that it was going to be all right, and that we would take care of her. I told her that she was a good girl and that we loved her. After a few miles she got bored and lay down, and I turned to the radio to help pass the time.

I pulled into the vet’s office and found a place where I could back up the Outback to a hill so she wouldn’t have to jump down; gotta watch those hips! She eagerly jumped out and was ready to play, no doubt assuming we were at the park. I clipped on her leash and walked with her into the office where I was greeted by a surprising lack of supermodels in skimpy uniforms. We sat for a bit in the waiting room hoping that no one brought in a cat. Cozy sniffed around searching for whatever it is dogs seem so intent on finding.

We were led into an examination room where the vet (not a supermodel, or a maid, or even french) came and told me what would happen. We discussed having her hips x-rayed to test for dysplasia while she was sedated, and I agreed. I was informed that I could pick her up at 5pm, that she would be groggy and “not herself”, and that I shouldn’t be alarmed. I knelt  down and gave my Cozy some hugs and kisses, then handed her over to the vet who tried to take her into the hall. I say “tried” because Cozy had no intention of going anywhere without me. No problem, the vet said, if I would just walk with them into the back, then Cozy would have an easier time. Remembering the difficulty that the vets had when trying to x-ray her during the bladder stones affair, I figured this made as much sense as anything else.

As we walked into the back room, we saw that there was a huge cage at floor level ready for her. As we walked in, Cozy saw the cage and immediately tried to hide behind me. A couple of vet techs came in to help, and they tried to grab Cozy and gently stuff her into the cage. Cozy wanted nothing to do with it and tried to bolt back to me. I could hear her in my head screaming DADDY NO! Don’t leave me! PLEASE!

Again I needed to leave in order for the vet to get Cozy calmed down. I walked out of there with the image of her trying so desperately to get back to the safety of my arms while I turned my back on her and walked away. Cozy knew that I was supposed to  protect her, and here I was abandoning her.

When I got back into the car I was overcome with emotion. How could I leave my Cozy? How could I abandon her? She trusted me! For a brief moment I had visions of breaking the door down, running in and breaking her out screaming “I’ll save you my Cozy!”, the waiting customers erupting in applause. Instead I forced myself to stop sobbing, started the car and drove home. I felt beaten, sad, and alone.

A lifetime later, we got the call that my Cozy was ready to go home. I eagerly drove back, faster than I should have, and arrived at the vet’s office, thoughts of supermodels long gone. I waited for a short while and they brought me to an exam room. The vet came in and told me that Cozy’s hips were badly dysplastic and showed me the x-rays. That was pretty bad news for a big dog, but it was all a blur – I wanted my Cozy back. At my request she excused herself and went to get Cozy.

The vet came back with Cozy on a lead. She looked like my dog, but this was not my Cozy. She was dopey, her head and tail hung low, and she had no idea who I was. She seemed to barely have the energy to walk. My magnificent bouncy Cozy seemed to be gone, replaced with a downtrodden, depressed, and listless shell of a dog. They had warned me, but it was still heartbreaking. She didn’t even look at me when I called her name. This was terrible. What had I done to her? How could I have allowed this? The vet told me that she’d be back to herself in a few days which was hard to believe, but what choice did I have? I leaned down to kiss her nose, and she managed a low hanging wag. She then proceeded to mash her face into my lap. Fighting back tears, I threw my arms around her and told her I loved her and that I would take care of her.

I had once again parked the car near a hill that would allow Cozy easy access. She was so confused though that she didn’t understand that this was her car, or that she was supposed to get into it. I helped her and got her settled into the Outback, locked her in and drove home.

She didn’t vomit, and she wasn’t herself all night, but the next day my Cozy was back. As soon as I saw her in the morning her tail thumped on the floor the way it should have. All had been forgiven, but more importantly My Cozy was home.

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