You know how there’s always that one family member who sort of baffles you? The one that drives you crazy with their dramatic displays, yet lures you back in every time with their neediness? That one fringe member of the family who’s slightly unhinged, fiercely loyal, and definitely whack? The one that you don’t quite know how to handle but whom you also couldn’t live without?
As most of you already know, we adopted him as a puppy from the humane society last year and he’s already given me more fodder for blogging than I’d actually appreciate.
He is by far the quirkiest Salhus yet, and that is saying something. Don’t let this puppy picture fool you- he’s a giant beast of a thing, but somehow he’s convinced that he’s not physically capable of jumping up into the car, which means that on the rare occasion that he actually needs to be somewhere, we’re stuck hoisting his big hairy butt into the car ourselves- a fact that causes me to curse under my breath every single time.
He makes more eye contact than any dog I’ve ever met. He’ll maintain extended eye contact for as long as I let him, but I can usually only bear 30 seconds or so before it gets awkward and I have to look away.
He’s terribly needy and emotional. He also has a bad habit of aggressively smelling the crotch of every person who enters our home. I honestly don’t know how to get him to stop doing this. It’s kind of out of control, actually. I’ve literally caught myself telling a guest as they uncomfortably back away from Scout’s prodding nose, “I’m so sorry. And don’t worry, it’s not that you smell or anything. He does this to everyone”, which in retrospect, really isn’t a great line to open with.
He refuses to be left out of anything, especially any kind of snuggling or a family photo.
He goes everywhere I go. He even follows me into the bathroom, you know, just in case someone is in there waiting to murder me.
We’ve learned his quirks and for the most part his flair for drama is endearing.
Except for when it’s time to go to the vet.
I had to take him in for his one-year checkup today and after enduring his antics, I’ve decided I will not be taking him again without Husband’s help. And by help, I mean Husband can take him to the vet while I do something else instead. Something that doesn’t make me want to club myself over the head.
We were there all of two minutes before he had successfully separated my fingernail from my finger in an attempt to climb on my lap, tangling us both up in his leash. It was clear his anxiety levels were off the charts. If he could’ve successfully climbed on my back he would’ve. He paced, whined, and gave me pointed side-eye while we waited for what seemed like an eternity for Dr. Steve to come in.
He finally arrived and greeted Scout, who returned the favor by shoving his nose into Dr Steve’s crotch just long enough for Dr. Steve to get uncomfortable and ask him what he smelled. At which point I just laughed nervously, because what do you say?
It wasn’t until the vaccine needle made an appearance that Scout really lost his mind. He was trying to run in every direction at the same time, nearly dislocating my arm that held his short leash. It reminded me of those old “Hyper Hypo” SNL sketches with Mike Meyers as the hyperactive, hypochondriac boy who was always trying to run away but was jerked backwards by the leash connecting him to the playground.
I had to help Dr. Steve hold Scout down while he administered three shots, at which point I began to sweat through my beanie and Scout, to my horror, got an actual fear-boner. Yes. He did.
Dr. Steve then decided we needed to clip Scout’s nails, which meant I had to basically lay on top of my dog while he writhed and gave me all manner of dirty looks. There really is no dignity in such a moment, in case you were wondering. Meanwhile Dr. Steve tried to have a leisurely conversation with me about how we should be careful not to let Scout jump too high. Something about his having a barrel-chest and skinny legs put him at risk for hurting himself? I don’t know, I wasn’t really paying attention because at that point I was just trying not to get paw in the eye.
“Does he like to jump a lot?”, he asked slowly, as if he were sipping tea and not helping me physically contain a 75 pound canine.
“Yah”, I accidentally lied, forgetting that literally the only time Scout will jump is when it’s onto Bella’s bed.
“You really do have to be careful about that” he monotoned. “He really could hurt himself.”
Sure thing, Dr. Steve.
It was a considerably stressful half hour but we were eventually excused to leave, and after I attempted to pay while he made friends with every single dog in the waiting room, we finally reached the car. I opened up the back and tried valiantly to get him to jump up himself, but he must’ve really took Dr. Steve’s boring speech to heart about not jumping too high, because he just sat looking at me desperately, raising his left and right eyebrows in turn, until I finally gave in and wrestled him up into his spot.
It was all so stressful that I’m a little embarrassed to tell you that on the way home I made the unfortunate decision to drive through Taco Bell. At 10:00 in the morning. I could make up excuses about how I skipped breakfast and I was starving, but let’s all be real here: I just love me some Taco Bell.
We both survived our trip to the vet, but one of us now has cold sweats and is going to take a shower while listening to Annie Lennox’s “Why” on repeat, and the other one of us got two doggy treats out of the ordeal and is now napping peacefully.