Rosie and I are on the front porch, where she has been sleeping on my chest, wrapped in a blanket, for half an hour or so. Now she is sitting up and quietly looking out the window. Quietly! Rosie!
When she walks, she limps, and when she eats her breakfast, she puts no weight on her rear left leg. If I touch the leg, she squeals, very quietly, almost a whimper.
She had her first visit to the vet last night--to our vet, Dr. J., that is--and I think the soreness and slight fever (she has been shivering all morning) are a reaction to the Lyme disease vaccine. She also got her second distemper shot, and a full checkup (which was free, since she's a rescue dog), and she was handed around from vet tech to vet tech, who oooed and ahhhed over her and smooched her snout.
She licked them on the nose, but she chewed on Dr. J's hand and he said, opening her mouth, "Look at that. She's like a little shark."
In the exam room, she thrashed while he was trying to listen to her heart (he eventually picked her up and held her close to his chest, and she quieted--a little). By the end of the exam she was making those Cujo-like growls that she makes when she is overly excited, and as we were leaving, Dr. J said, "Tell Doug congratulations, and he has my sympathies."
She's a good weight, and very healthy, other than a tiny heart murmur, which Dr. J. believes she will outgrow. (Toby had a heart murmur later in life and that's what eventually killed him; Boscoe had a heart murmur most of his life and it never grew worse and never caused him any trouble at all.)
This part of responsible parenting is hard: Shots, and exams, and in a week or two she must be spayed, which we are really dreading (Doug said, "But she's so little!") and then there will be more shots.
But it must be done. I hope the Lyme vaccine wasn't a mistake; we are going Up North in May, and there are ticks galore up there. But right now she looks confused and miserable. I will call the vet clinic when it opens and make sure that this soreness, this slight feverishness, this limping, is all to be expected. (She did eat her breakfast just fine, and drank water.) But, man, for Rosie to be quiet and subdued is really something.
Oh my god. She looks so sweetly sick. She is sitting at the end of the porch couch, holding her stuffed raccoon in her mouth, a blanket over her shoulders, staring sadly out the window. Or maybe not sadly; maybe that's just me.