Toilet Paper Love, Canine Communication and More Medical Fun

You know you’re getting old when your significant other measures the depth and intensity of your love for him/her based on whether or not you have left him/her sufficient toilet paper to handle the “morning paperwork.”  Jerry expects me to leave him a whole roll of TP in the mornings, and I can understand why. 

I am continually amazed at how my dogs communicate with each other.  I’m not talking so much about the dog greeting that we humans think to be so nasty, even though I wonder why a creature with such an infinitely acute sense of smell will readily plow its nose into a fetid pile of trash, a steaming pile of shit, or into another dog’s asshole.  I am a dog lover, but I find their preoccupation with offensive (at least to humans) smells rather bizarre.  Kayla (rest her soul, and yes I do believe dogs have souls) used to love to roll in dead things, and she would come in smelling to holy high heaven of some partially decomposed carcass from time to time.   I miss dear Kayla, (she is much of the reason why Clara is such an excellent dog) but I certainly don’t miss that dead carcass smell.   Luckily for me Clara didn’t pick up that nasty habit.  Lilo likes to carry around dead things, but not necessarily to roll in them. She spent two weeks playing with a dead bird before it got so gross I took from her and put it in the dumpster.   Heidi as usual is in her own little world, happy simply to have food to eat and not have to spend her whole life in a 6X6 pen outside anymore.

It is amazing how dogs read behavior- not only among other dogs but also human behavior.  Since I am very weak in intuitive skills (I gravitate more toward the concrete that I can see and understand and prove) I gain much from observing my dogs.  They speak primarily through their body language with the others.   A head nod or a nudge or a glance speak volumes in the world of dog communication, which makes me wonder if they are not more visually oriented than many researchers think.   We know they are heavily reliant on  olfactory and auditory input (far more than humans who are primarily visual) but I believe there is much said in the visual signals.  I don’t know exactly who did the study, but even the way that dogs carry their tails is a form of communication.  It’s more than simple up or down but even the direction of the tail wag means something- subtle visual cues that are likely used in combination with the auditory and olfactory information all dogs both emit and translate.  They know and understand more than we give them credit for.

Thankfully (hopefully) for the next month or so I will not have any more medical fun to endure.  Yesterday I had the liver ultrasound, more blood draws, and the paper nightie visit.  The scary part of this is that as many times as I’ve had to have medical tests, procedures, etc. it is becoming almost second nature.  For the most part I know the drill a lot better than I want to- where to park, to make sure to ask the phlebotomist to draw blood from my left arm because that’s where the good veins are, and to have my laundry list of meds neatly printed out so I don’t have to try to remember them all and/or scrawl them all down in a space where there isn’t enough room to scrawl them all.  I am thankful most of the Dr.’s offices have gone to an automated format so all they do is input your information. It saves me time too.

I’m trying not to get too freaky about the liver tests, etc.  The abnormal readings are likely a result of diabetes and may not mean a whole lot.  I know they want to rule out really nasty things like hepatitis or cancer.  The whole idea of cancer scares the hell out of me not so much because I am afraid to die but I am afraid of a long,  painful and expensive death.  I can only hope and pray that when it’s my time to die I go quickly, painlessly and inexpensively.  Sometimes I wonder why the medical profession tries so hard to delay the inevitable rather than do what they can to make a person more comfortable if they are terminally ill anyway.  I don’t have the answer for that.    I am glad that I don’t have to endure the paper nightie visit again until next year.

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