Getting Plastered

There’s currently an invalid limping around the house with a leg in a cast, feeling sorry for herself. But in a major surprise, it’s not Emily – who seems to sprain, break and tweak things with the same regularity I went through glasses at her age – but Cleo, the psycho bitch from hell. “Bitch” used advisedly here, since she’s a dog, rather than a mad Japanese person with a fondness for gouging eyes out of videotapes.

When she started limping, at first we refused to take her to the vet – the last time we went there, it cost us the best part of a thousand dollars, and all we have to remember Max by, is his collar hanging up on the wall. Finally, Chris’s ex-husband took her, which is only fair since it was his dog to start with, and only ended up here after…well, let’s just say the words “canal”, “bricks” and “sack” underlay his comments to the children. Nice going – no wonder the dog was traumatised. [Yeah, I think she’s a useless waste of space too – but she’s our useless waste of space.]

Cleo came back with a cast on her leg, and since then, I can honestly say that, for the first time, the mere sight of her brings a smile to my face, rather than a scowl and shout of “Getoutofthatgarbagecan!”. [I think she probably believes her name to be Stopit] The house is mostly tile and wood floors, and they do not mix well with bandages – the net result was like watching Bambi on ice, complete with much the same look of utter consternation, or perhaps a drunken octopus, attempting to do the lambada. I mean, we are talking limbs everywhere. At one point, we toyed with the idea of putting a mattress on the wall outside our room, where the corridor bends, since it had gone from tricky chicane to death-trap status.

However, Cleo has now adjusted relatively well, and scurries along on three legs, the fourth wavin around at whatever odd angle is appropriate – Robert has renamed her “Tripod”. However, the standing-up and sitting-down part still gives her trouble, and so, when anyone comes to the door, she now just barks from a horizontal position, without bothering to get up. This is precisely what Max used to do, because he was well into his second century of dog years – we’re now wondering if Cleo has been possessed by his spirit, perhaps brought home in the aforementioned collar. Watch out for the Stephen King TVM soon.

We even signed her cast, just like a human’s with pithy comments such as, “This is what happens when you chase parked cars.” We do remain mystified as to what precisely caused the injury, and chipped a bone inside her foot. We live in hope that perhaps the garbage can she was raiding, bit back, and she’ll now be dissuaded from going in there without us needing to buy mousetraps [As an aside, we were in the hardware store, and technology has clearly been building a better mousetrap, complete with artificial cheese. Was less impressed with the sticky pads, like fly-paper for rodents – I guess they just starve to death instead, which is nice.]

There’s about another three weeks of careful surveillance in prospect, largely to make sure she doesn’t go for one of her swims (less perhaps for her benefit than ours; given the walking thing, the sight of her swimming might just induce a hysterical fit of some kind in spectators). Three weeks of blissful peace, without having to fend her away every time anyone is at the door. Three weeks of unraided garbage. Come that glorious day, I may well be calling Tonya Harding, to see if she fancy doing some work for me…