There is a terrible irony in the notion that our Deaf dog, Azure, seems to suffer from chronic ear infections.
My sister has had sinus problems all her life, even after her tonsils and adenoids were removed and tubes were put in her ears. I myself suffer from a serious combination of selective hearing and earwax overproduction, which led to routine “treatments” through my childhood. My childhood ear de-waxing regimen was a special form of torture concocted by my mother, which included such sterile and highly medical implements as a hand towel, baby oil, warm water, a recycled “booger sucker,” and a bobby pin, all treated with isopropyl rubbing alcohol.
Because of my heightened awareness around ear canal issues, I have a special sympathy for Azure’s ongoing issues with her ears. Across the past couple of weeks, we have plowed through a dosing of Amoxicillin, cleverly disguised in anything necessary to get her to take it. When K was dispatched to Dr. Kevin on another canine health matter, we asked for another round of something stronger. Dr. Kevin instructed K that if all was not better after this round, we would need to bring Azure in to have her knocked out and get her ears flushed out.
When Azure continued to shake her head and scratch at her ear after the last dosing of Doxycycline ran out, we decided to take her in to Dr. Kevin to apply his version of ear de-waxing, hopefully without the bobby pins. Always looking for the bright side of life, K and I agreed that while Dr. Kevin had her unconscious, we would take full advantage of the opportunity to trim her nails and do any dental work that seemed appropriate or necessary.
Leashed and loaded, Azure and I headed out for a date with the Doc. The very short ride was unremarkable except for one lunge Azure made across the front seat to defend me from the tractor-trailer carrying an oversized piece of heavy equipment in the oncoming traffic lane, from which we all emerged alive. We arrived early and after practicing making eye contact and sitting on command in the front seat of the Jeep, exited the vehicle to walk off our nerves a bit.
As it turns out, we should have started walking our nerves off at about 3 a.m. No amount of sniffing, of practicing our sitting, of being reminded in sign “Me” + “Boss,” dampened Azure’s high-spirits or desire to engage in such entertaining activities as: jumping up into the window of the Beauty Parlor adjoining Dr. Kevin’s office; jumping up into the windows of parked cars containing other canines awaiting the arrival of Dr. Kevin; and, jumping out into the field by Dr. Kevin’s office to take me on a doggy doo-doo sampling tour.
When he looked mildly surprised to see me with Azure in tow, I reminded Dr. Kevin that he had admonished K about bringing Azure in for an ear de-briding if the last round of antibiotics didn’t work.
For being the guy who is in large part responsible for her continued existence on the earth, Azure doesn’t like Dr. Kevin much. She wasn’t having him so much as touch her head, much less look in her ears. When he dared try to look at her from across the service counter, she retorted with a snarl and a growl. She didn’t want his pets. She didn’t want to be in a small room with him. She darn sure didn’t want the lovely shot full of magic wellness potion he had to offer her.
In the end, Azure didn’t get knocked out and de-brided. What she did get is held tightly in place using her leash and the handrail of a bench for leverage. Dr. Kevin got to work on practicing some snazzy dance moves. I got my hand bashed against something. The syringe and needle got to administer a shot of Dr. Kevin’s magic elixir with the needle at a 90 degree angle. The woman standing in the waiting room with her extraordinarily tranquil boxer got to see quite a production.
The good news is, Azure continued to funnel her ire at Dr. Kevin. After the ordeal was over, she curled up against me, happily followed me to the Jeep without any interest in the windows of adjoining businesses or vehicles, and insisted that I console her with constant petting for the car ride back to the Farm. As we stepped out of Dr. Kevin’s office, it began to rain lightly.
For the record, Azure hasn’t completely overcome her hatred of windshield wipers.
For photographic proof, witness the “before” photo of the Jeep dashboard:
And the dashboard after Azure’s sojourn to the Vet: