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Sing With Me If It's Just For Today...
If I should fall behind, Guyster, wait for me.
Bob and Dr. Elliot's duckling
The increased dosage of Bob's arthritis medicine has not helped his ability to assume the position for doing his Big Business. It's torturous to watch as he looks up at me helplessly while we're on a walk and just lets his poop drop without squatting. He's embarrassed, I'm paralyzed and the whole experience lacks the fun we used to have on our walks. It's time to see Dr. Elliot again.

He is a thin, short, clean-shaven man with Jewish good looks and soft, sympathetic brown eyes. Normally my head wouldn't turn if I passed him on the street but sitting in his exam room and looking into those eyes, I take notice. He's a vet, after all. He is so gentle with Bob, raising his tail slowly to see the reaction to his spine or gingerly raising his head in an odd position but doing it with loving care.

He surmised it may be a spinal disc problem where calcium builds in the lower region about an inch above the tail and it could be pressing on the nerves causing Mr. Slobbers pain. He decided to prescribe a steroid treatment for the next month to see if the inflammation will recede. When he left the exam room to inspect Bob's x-rays that were taken last year, I hugged Bob's thick neck and spoke softly into his ear.

"You like Dr. Elliot, don't you?" I cooed.

His ear twitched which I took to mean a resounding, "Yes I do and I know you do too!"

The doctor came back into the room, apologizing for taking so long and decided the steroid regimen would be best. If that doesn't work, he suggested a surgery to correct the problem. My heart sank.

"How dangerous is the surgery?"

"It is not without risk considering Bob's age and the anesthesia and we are working with the nerves," he said looking right at me, gauging my fear.

I gulped, nodded and mentally weighed the options. I hoped the new treatment would work magic and Bob would be a downright puppy in no time flat.

"There is a strong possibility I will be moving for a job to DC very soon. How will that affect Bob?" I asked a question although I doubted I would get any information I didn't already know.

He looked at me and smiled, "Well he's not going to like the cold very much. His joints will ache more in the winter time."

"A heating pad maybe?" He nodded yes to my question.

"He already hates the rain and blames me when it happens," I joked.

"You know we both had a devastating loss last year," I said as I had told him about Billy last year during the visit when Bob had been attacked by a pit bull.

"I know."

"And Bob likes change as much as I do!"

"Like father, like son," he said and I wanted to blurt out that Billy was Bob's father and I was just someone else who lived in the house. But I didn't.

"What is bringing you to DC?" he broke the brief silence.

I explained the job and offered, "Perhaps you'd like to be on Emergency Vet? Or we could do the Dr. Elliot Show and have cameras follow you around for 24/7."

"That would be a very boring show, I assure you," but at that moment, I wasn't so sure. Maybe it would have an audience of only one, me, but I thought it would be great to follow around Dr.Elliot.

"I'll have this prescription filled in a moment," he said as he ushered Bob and I to the lobby. We waited and watched the TV that was on. Kathy Griffin was being interviewed by Anderson Cooper on CNN, talking about her extreme makeover. The only thing extreme I could see was how little had changed on her.

Dr. Elliot walked out holding in his palm the littlest duckling I ever saw. It was making chirpy mewing sounds and looking around its sterile environment. In Venice, there are thousands of ducks that live on the canals. They sometimes stray into other parts of the neighborhood and they get lost. It is not uncommon to see traffic come to a dead halt while a mother duck crosses the road followed by four or five of her little charges waddling behind her.

"Where did you find him?"

"Some kids brought him in yesterday and wanted to euthanize him!" the large Latina behind the desk chimed in.

"I hand fed him some grain and now he seems to really be doing well," the vet in him proudly said as he knelt down and put the little duckling on the floor. He gently coaxed him with his finger and the waddle started in tiny tiny paces. He held out his hand and the duck made it right back into his palm.

"You know you are forever his mother now," I said and felt like I wanted to kiss Dr. Elliot's cheek and thank him for taking care of this little lost soul.

"I've been worse things," he laughed and I doubted his statement. Dr. Elliot had no skeletons in his closet. He was just a kind and increasingly sexy man who made his life helping animals.

title or description
Bob and his Daddy taken in the backyard in 2001.
9 comments or Leave a comment
jdjdjd From: jdjdjd Date: July 11th, 2003 12:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hon. This post was very sweet. And I'm sure you like Dr. Eliot very much. But reading this is frustrating for me. It could very well be a back/disc problem. But you can't know that without xrays. Which disc? And suggesting surgery without more diagnostics bothers me. That is the kind of surgery we would send out to a specialist. Who might or might not request an MRI. Bob's xrays are a year old. Things change. Please get a second opinion. Did you ask about the other things we discussed?



These are both in Orange County. The Surgeons at both places are excellent. But I can try to find more closer to where you are if you like.

guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: July 11th, 2003 01:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
I so appreciate your knowledge and concern. He did suggest an MRI as well as x-rays and I will have them done should this new treatment not show quick and significant signs of working. He also said that Bob would be sent to a specialist, that he would not do the surgery. Before any surgery, though, I assure you I will get a second opinion. No one is coming near Bob with a knife without my due diligence.

Thank you. It's so cool having a vet person on my friends list!
From: inkprincess Date: July 11th, 2003 01:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
I second that! Judi rocks! :)

Hope Bob's new meds work good. I look at my Sumo and can tell he's gonna need to go to the vet soon. taking longer for him to get up. poor old hind legs not as strong anymore. :(
wonderboynj From: wonderboynj Date: July 11th, 2003 01:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aren't hind leg problems/hip problems, very common in older dogs, especially large dogs? How much does Bob weigh?

I know we have had several people in our family with larger dogs have the same problems as the dogs aged, especially those with Golden Retrievers.

I loved your story btw, Dr. Eliot is a great guy : )
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: July 11th, 2003 02:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Large dogs are prone to hip dysplasia but being the dietary taskmaster I am, Bob has kept his weight in perfect check.
From: umkinda Date: July 11th, 2003 02:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Don't think for a minute that just because I didn't pet him last night that I didn't love your awesome dog. Here's how the conversation went when you left to get more drinks:

Me: Did you pet Bob?
Sean: Yeah.
Me: A lot?
Sean: Yeah.
Me: Did you pet him a whole lot.
Sean: Yeah!
Me: I think you're lying. I think you should pet him more.

I make other people pet for me, since I can't.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: July 11th, 2003 02:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Surrogate petters are totally cool. They work and Bob felt your love via Sean's gentle touch.
ubermunkey From: ubermunkey Date: July 11th, 2003 03:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
bobby boy. my thoughts are with you both.

Awesome Pic thanks for posting it.

your vet sounds like an incredibly kind soul. not a hell of a lot of those out there...
ruralrob From: ruralrob Date: July 11th, 2003 04:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nice story. All of us here hope Bob will do well on the steroids - and probably start pushing other dogs around no end - but hey, you win some, you lose some!
9 comments or Leave a comment