Mike was trying to be funny with that headline, of course. Certainly I can express myself eloquently, as my loyal readers already know. However, I can’t really express myself, in the sense of emptying, my overflowing anal glands. If I could, and believe me, I’ve tried, Mike and Heather could save all the money they pay the vet’s assistant to do it (once or twice a year at least (so far, anyway). It’s a smelly job, but somebody’s gotta do it.
Behind the crated curtain: What are you doing in there. Chloë?”
What am I talking about? For the uninitiated, we talkin’ ’bout canine anal glands here. Can I make myself any clearer? Should I draw you a picture? Read this, and the photo alone should be all you need to know. Dachshunds seem predisposed to this condition, too, or so I’m told. My brothers Frank and Stanley and I have discussed this topic extensively.
But as far as Mike was concerned, I had not exhibited any of the usual telltale signs of packed anal glands (butt dragging and excessive butt licking). Heather, on the other hand, told Mike that my breath smelled bad, a sign I was licking my itchy butt. (Now, I have to admit doing this every once in a while, but always in the privacy of my own cloaked crate). Heather wasn’t surprised that Mike didn’t notice it, because her sense of smell is much more advanced and sensitive than his. (As in other areas, Mike is a bit deficient). So he dutifully scheduled a vet appointment for me, throwing in a pedicure on the same visit so I could get a double dose of physical agony and emotional torture in one 15-minute period.
After two weeks of scaled-back rations, I was looking forward to another weigh-in in the hospital lobby, but unfortunately I tipped the scale at 18.9 pounds, a gain of another tenth since the last weigh-in. Not the greatest news, but the rest of my visit wasn’t nearly as bad as I had feared it would be. I managed to exit the premises with extra treats and my dignity intact. Passing Heather’s sniff test that night was the icing on my cake.
There is an addendum to my vet appointment, however. Hustling me out the door that day, Mike dropped something, and I parlayed his momentary lapse of attention into a sprint down the street to stalk the Bartons’ cat, which I had recently sniffed in the vicinity. Mike tried vainly to step on my leash to stop me, but in his haste took two stumbling steps and sprawled forward, skidding down the front walk on his hands and knees ad coming to rest with face on the sidewalk, where he could see me take a hard right toward the Bartons’ fenced back yard. When he came hurriedly to the gate to lure me back with Charlee Bears so we could get to the vet on time, he was bleeding profusely from both knees. After corralling me, he had to bandage himself up quickly and get to the animal hospital, but when we got back from there he made me take pictures so everybody could see how hurt and mangled he was. No sympathy from me; as the Romans said, “tufus est” (that’s tough). It was his own damn fault, wasn’t it?
Chilling before the rain.
Mike may have been pissed at me, though, because the next morning after breakfast he and Heather drove off somewhere in her car and left me home alone. It didn’t turn out to be much of a punishment, however, when my best friend Lynn came over a few hours later to stay over, and my other best pal Charlie took me for walks on Saturday and Sunday, although Sunday’s walk was cut short by heavy rain. Even that worked out well for me, because I got a nice bath out of it, washing away any nasty stuff I may have been carrying around since my vet visit the day before. Now I’m as fresh as a June day in Seattle is long.
Anyway, mostly when I hear the phrase “express yourself,” I think not of canine anal glands but this fine tune, which has demonstrated great staying power from its debut in 1970. Enjoy, and feel free to express yourself in the comments below.