Sunday, October 25, 2009

Yummy Worm Medicine

Here I am with the recent arrival, called Butterball by me and Tugboat by Mr. P. He has decided to stick around despite the rigorous diet, exercise, and medication program at the 9 Dogs Howling Resort.

We wormed 10 of the 11 puppies today (1 of them was MIA, but showed up later for supper), with an audience of Blackie, Goldie, Smoky and Miss Kitty. Thankfully, none of the Little Puppies screamed when the medicine dropper went in their mouth, the way the Big Puppies did when they were teeny (the Big Puppies made such a fuss about the worm medicine that ever since then, when they eat or chew on something they're not supposed to, I tell them, "No, no! Ick! Tastes just like worm medicine!"). But it was a chore nonetheless. Here is the procedure:

1. Collect worm medicine and a bathroom scale.

2. Enter garage and shake the puppies out of the crate by tipping it on end.

3. Grab a puppy before it gets away.

4. Remember that you need to weigh yourself without the puppy. Hand the puppy to your partner, who says, "Are we ready yet?"

5. Weigh yourself and, while groaning about the weight, search for a pencil and paper (should have thought of that before).

6. Grab the puppy and weigh again. Calculate the difference between your joint weight and your single weight. "Um, 1XX.6 minus 1XX.8 is, dang, why didn't I bring a calculator out here? Well, about 6 pounds."

7. Stick your finger in the side of the puppy's mouth to pop open its jaw and clamp its mouth shut again after the medicine goes in. While waiting for the puppy to swallow (it's amazing how long they can go without swallowing), tell it how smart and adorable it is.

8. Put the puppy in the empty crate and shut the door.

9. Grab another puppy and repeat steps 6-8. Grabbing the next puppy gets tougher and tougher as the little devils retreat under the tractor, behind the rakes, and out into the asparagus patch.

10. Tell the imprisoned puppies, who are howling, to get over it.

11. Scratch your head. Was that 11 puppies we just dosed, or only 10? "I think the girl is missing."

12. Fruitlessly search the asparagus patch, under the shed, by the cow fence, down the driveway.

13. Take the (howling) puppies out of the crate one by one, checking their sex, while your partner counts.

14. Ten puppies, including the girl, got dosed. All we know about number 11 is that he's black. The black puppies look pretty much the same, so who knows if the missing one will ever get dosed? Better luck next time!

15. Take the scale back inside and disinfect it while your unlucky partner wipes worm medicine off his shirt.

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