Yesterday Padawan and I took a trip out to his Mother's house to leave her flowers for Mother's Day. (I have a key to the house, so it's not like we broke in or anything.) Since we were there, I thought it would be a good thing just to check in on Sausage, just to see how he's doing.
The last time I saw him was March, and he's fatter now than he was then. I took him outside to the yard to play, and I tried to engage him. He got excited and chased me for a few seconds. No, I'm not exaggerating. I mean to say he played for seconds before he stopped and had to lay down because he couldn't breath. Too fat to play, poor thing. So I took him back inside and we played tug of war for a few minutes, but he got tired really fast with that, too. Then he just threw himself into my lap as if to say, "Please stop making me do these things. They make me tired. Can't we just lay here together so you can pet me?"
I obliged him. Sausage has this one spot on his belly that is either really ticklish, or it feels good to have it scratched. His foot goes crazy when you scratch it. Cutest little thing. Choo Choo, unfortunately, doesn't have a foot thumping spot. She just enjoys a good scratching all over.
Before we left I went to check out the special Diet foot Clueless bought for Sausage.
I never look at brands when purchasing dog food because the brand is irrelevant to me. I always look at the ingredients. The brand she was using was something called Beneful (Beniful?) and the first two ingredients were yellow corn and "chicken by-product meat", followed by "cornmeal gluten."
The first two ingredients say it all: this is not a good food for any dog, especially one that's on a diet. I don't buy Choo Choo any food that lists those ingredients. Her food may cost me an arm and a leg every couple of months, but at least I know exactly what's going into her stomach. What exactly is "chicken by-product meat" anyway? A quick Google search tells me that "chicken by-product meat" means clean parts of the chicken that aren't actually meat. Lungs, brain, bone, liver...those kinds of parts. Why on earth would you want your dog to eat that when he's already got health problems?
I pointed it out to Padawan, who promised he would, once again, say something to Clueless. Who, by the way, has her court date set for the end of this month. I would say something to her myself, but we're at that same impasse we've been at since the day after she got out of jail after her second drinking and driving adventure. You know, the one where she's so embarrassed she won't look me in the eye or talk to me because her mother told her all about why I take drunk driving so personally and she knows, or she thinks she knows, what I'm thinking when I look at her.
Stupid and selfish is what I'm thinking, for the record. I make no allowances for youth because plenty of young people her age don't drink and drive. I make no allowances for her being the middle child because I myself am a middle child, and you don't see me doing stupid things like that.
In the middle of all of this selfishness and stupidity sits Sausage, depressed and lonely and incapable of even playing outside because it's physically strenuous. Poor thing. I am determined that he will come stay with us, if not immediately then when she gets sentenced off to do her time.
And for the love of sanity, I hope she doesn't make more friends while she's in there. Jail isn't a damned party. It's a punishment. There's something really wrong with our system if people actually come out of jail with friends and claiming they had a good, relaxing time. Is this what my tax dollars are paying for? Criminals enjoying themselves?
Meanwhile, I gave Choo Choo a thorough examination yesterday, shifting through her fur to find out exactly how bad this skin rash thing is. And I thought it was just the few small spots where I could actually see the skin coming up and making the fur stand out. I thought it just wasn't so very bad. But what I discovered is that this rash/skin irritation covers most of her back and sides. It's just that she can't reach all of those places to scratch. The skin is only coming up in the places she can reach to scratch incessantly. And scratch she does. She rubs on furniture, backwards across the carpets, against the wall while standing on her back legs (and I wish I'd had a camera because, disturbing thoughts aside, it was a pretty cute thing to see her do), and then scratching the regular way with her paws. I brush her three times a day to help drag way the dry skin, but it's not enough. She just scratches up more.
But there are patches of red, dry, flaky skin everywhere. And I can't figure out how she's not losing fur with her skin this irritated. I'd be ripping my hair out if I itched that badly.
I made an appointment with the Vet this morning. She'll go in Wednesday at seven, and we'll drop her off. Then Dr. Spacey can run tests on her. (They said testing skin samples, which I guess means they'll be pulling off layers of her skin and examining them under a microscope or something.) When they're finished with the tests, they'll call me and tell me what's going on with her. Then they'll say, "You can come pick her up at such and such time." And then they'll give me whatever medicine she needs, instructions, and I'll take her home.
It's unfortunate that Choo Choo came down with this in May, but it's not her fault that May is such an inconvenient time for her to get sick. May is just an inconvenient month. First, there's Mother's Day, which means gifts for Mom and Memaw. Then it's Choo Choo's birthday (which was on Mother's Day). Then Mouse's birthday. Then Relly on the 11th. Papaw on the 18th. Breezy and Lydia on the 27th. And then somebody is always graduating in May. This years it's my cousin, we'll call her Brick, so I'm taking the long, boring drive up to Dallas to be there for that. (Though why I should have to when she didn't even come to MY graduation, I don't know.)
Speaking of commencement, Mouse is coming home in June because he's served his four years of active duty to the Marine Corps. It's about time he comes home. Four years is a long time, and he's missed all of my birthdays for the last four years, and I haven't been able to visit because he's been either in Haiti, where I can't go even if I wanted to cross a shark infested body of water to get there, or in North Carolina when it's iced over in an unpleasant way and I can't deal with painfully cold temperatures.
It will be nice to have him close enough to see regularly for the summer. You know, before he and his girlfriend/fiancée pick up and move to the outskirts of Dallas at the end of the summer. But Dallas is a lot closer than Haiti and North Carolina.