Charlywalker's Blog












I have been informed by current dog owners (CDO’s) that it is important to get your new dog a “puppy check” a.s.a.p. I am a new puppy owner and have not owned a dog since childhood and apparently this is a  check-up to verify if you have a healthy or sick dog. This “puppy check” will establish him with a Vetinarian to gain a history and secure his records. Hmm…. very similar to what I did when my kids were born, however, that was covered by insurance.  My dog was a quasi rescue and did not come with any records.  Maybe the Vet will conduct a back round check.  I’ll have Charly-dog present a puppy print to be submitted to the canine data bank.

I did not grab the yellow pages and seek out an established Primary Vet right away, instead, I went the cheaper route and did a one stop shop at the local S.P.C.A to get his initial set of required shots.  Also known as “The Clinic”.  I have worked in the hospital environment and for all of you who work or have worked in a hospital environment; back then the word CLINIC meant: “Line ’em up, step right up, one ata time folks…get your shots here..hurry while they last..that’s right little lady don’t be shy, now serving number 187”: All accompanied by a waiting room full of the village people.

My 15 year old son accompanied me to the clinic clutching the pup close to his chest as if he were cradling a football and running for that 60 yard T.D.to get to the head of the Free Shot Line. We stood in line for over an hour along with other dogs all senior to our pup.  My son tired of holding Charly-dog and decided to set our mongrel down to mingle with the pack, at the ripe old age of 7 weeks.  Apparently my son missed the lecture in the car regarding immunities, vaccines, and death by Parvo!

The line moved slowly toward the table that dispensed the paperwork. They asked for my ID and the name of the dog and DOB.(date of birth). The pup was 7 weeks and was born sometime in July so I made my pre-calculous privately schooled teenage son do the math.

We were then escorted to another table ( the paying one) and gave our donation. We waited in line as  I witnessed the Vet-du-jour give vaccines consecutively to all the dogs as he inched down the line without taking a breath. It came to our turn and I looked at our new puppy resting in my arms staring at me  with those Margeret Keane eyes.   My heart was pounding and I was near tears. I couldn’t watch as this fully Tattooed, braided pony-tailed with no credentials in view VET (?)  approach my pup with a hypo from the 1950’s…….. I made my son do it.

It went so quickly and not one yelp from our puppy, not even a sniff. This master with a needle had a soft touch equipped with precision that didn’t even tussle a piece of fur.  I was so impressed, I slipped the VET a twenty and mentioned that my son is due his tetanus soon and maybe he’s free on Tuesday……..

I may have spoke too soon;  a few days later our pup came down with a doggie cold or as the professionals call it: kennel cough; and, as newbie owners and ignorant about puppy ailments, we did what responsible adults do…….dialed  doggie 911.

It was a weekend and we did not do step one of new puppy ownership: Get Established With A Vet.  So we had to go to an Emergency Vet Hospital, on a weekend, with an On Call Vetinarian….This visit cost nearly the same amount of money as a one nights stay at the Hilton with a spa package.

  The Vet receptionist had us enter through the “sick pet door” where we were quarantined in a corner seat in the waiting area. We were greeted much like a regular hospital E.R.; as their initial instructions were:

“Please sign in and fill out this paperwork”.

Our puppy was lying listless in my lap and displaying shallow breathing. We have only owned this dog for seven weeks and I am presented by the receptionist at the Vet E.R.  with a vibrant blue page to be filled out immediately. I mentioned to her that my dog will be the color of this form by the time I finish with this paperwork.  She turned away smacking her gum to the tune of  Springsteen’s “Born in the USA”……..

  I noticed  at the bottom of this Blue Page there were  two options that required One mandatory check mark:

  Option 1: ( short version) We will take the pet and do everything possible to save it costing you at the least $750.

Option 2: DNR.

I was hoping that DNR had a different meaning than the one used in People Hospitals.  I was thinking that maybe Vet clinics had their own special vernacular and acronyms that pertained to animals, and that maybe their version of DNR meant something less devastating. Like:

Do Note-the Reading-material-while-you-wait……. or…..Dinner Needs Reheating… or…. Did-you Need-to-Rethink-this-puppy-thing?….

As it turned out our pup had a mild form of a kennel cough and just needed a dose of antibiotic and we didn’t need to go to Eddie Bauer in search of an oxygen pup- tent.  Our little pupster came through with flying colors as I stayed curled up next to him throughout the night and day.

I know I inherited this mutt a mere seven weeks prior to his illness and my attachment to him was still in a foreign  stage to me.  I know I was riddled with guilt  despair when I was faced with the decisions of those two options  listed on  the required Royal Page. I know that in those fatal few seconds in between my puppy’s breaths, thoughts flashed through my mind of various views before my pen decided to land in the blank box nestled near the bottom of the Bright blue Form.  My mind was being coerced into choosing between an eight week weakling that I barely knew that could stiff me for a giant Vet bill or Do Nothing Right-now……

I know you are dying to know which option I chose…..

That is not an option………

spread the humor.

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Well…I’m heading out West soon for a family wedding.  This could either be a great time or a prelude to a Muppet’s reality show..

The trip started with my two kids , Sweetums and Scooter  being yanked outta the airport security line and experiencing their first Pat Down.  I ventured through the X-ray machine first followed by my son Scooter wearing his hipster cargo shorts that carry more compartments than a B757-200 freighter on it’s way back from China. Lagging behind donning her jewels of the Nile draped like Christmas lights, was my daughter Sweetums.  I gave a pre- flight demonstration the night before we were to depart to the West explaining the list of; What Not To Wear when flying.  My Coed daughter assumed this pertained to Mr. Blackwell’s list.

The first shiny badge to grab me was Fozzie Bear asking if I was the mother of young Scooter behind me.  Three seconds of thought had my mind grabbing my items and race down the corridor to see if  there was a solo seat left  on any flight to Italy and enjoy the Tuscan sun, instead of joining the cast of characters that awaited our landing out West……

I conceded that he was my son and Fozzie said I needed to watch as they Pat Down my teen….with emphasis on his Cargo room.  My son glared at me when I tried to suppress my grin as his six foot frame was experiencing the blue hand grope assisted by Grover.  My son is a character all his own.  He doesn’t need any help from anyone to produce a stand-up routine and gain attention from a crowd.  It comes naturally to him.  When Assistant Grover started the Pat Down procedure  on  Scooter with Fozzie Bear supervising, Scooter decided to give a low groan of “ohhh yeah….”  just as Grover’s Blue paw passed the no FLY zone on his Cargo pants.

I shot my son a lightening stare of a cross between; “Just wait til I get my hands on you, and ,my God I’m going to burst out laughing“.

My daughter, Sweetum’s was snatched by Rizzo the Rat and thrown into a glass maze.  I was made aware of this by the noise her colossal earrings made when they hit the side of her jaw as her head turned to find me. This sound proof booth was a check point for explosive residue.  I watched  as Rizzo  nabbed an instrument  and slowly swept Sweetum’s body with a Geiger counter spewing gusto as if it witnessed the aftermath of a day at Chernobyl.

I saw Sweetum’s leer at me with  worried wonderment and I  returned her gaze with a  reassuring  Cheshire grin through the looking glass.  A smile that carried a bulletin of: Now do you get that mommie doesn’t just blow hot air through your auricles to land on deaf ear-lobes  that dangle designer plastic hoops…..

We made it to the plane and my two darling puppets started to argue as to who will get the window seat. (As if it really mattered and they really wanted to view the geographic’s of our lovely globe.) They both spent the entire flight electronically connected to some type of computer generated apparatus.   Scooter won the window seat lottery and viewed the  whole flight via Ipad Navigator.   Sweetum’s clung to a stuffed bear given to her by her absent boyfriend and plugged herself into her Ipod and lost herself in mood music.

I tried to flag down a frazzled flight attendant to order a bloody Mary and I was met with Miss Piggy pushing a beverage cart down the aisle and yelling at  Steward Beaker to get more cups. Every time Miss Piggy turned to face a passenger someone sitting in the the aisle seat got a shot from the hip. At least it was a padded blow to the head.  I jokingly asked her if she could remain standing there for the complete flight so I could have a head rest and grab some shut eye.  My son laughed at that one.

We landed on the West and were being picked up by my older sister who I haven’t seen in years.  She text me to describe her gold luxury 300G and said  she would be getting us outside the baggage claim.  My children and I grabbed our bags and rolled on out to the crowded arrival deck. We located a Gold Sporty SUV  idling with a woman in the drivers seat staring straight ahead who resembled my sister. We all waived in unison to flag her down and approached her car smiling with glee and started to load our luggage into the back of her car. As I lifted the first suitcase we heard a honk from  the car behind us and it was my sister; Foo-Foo.

Foo-Foo drove us to her lovely home on the water where we  were to stay for a few days before we headed north to attend a family wedding of my brothers son.  Foo-Foo, Sweetum’s, Scooter, and I enjoyed our time together until Foo-Foo’s husband, Oscar-the Grouch, came down with walking pneumonia and made our stay short lived.  Foo-Foo ferried us to my mother’s  (Camilla) place packed in her Luxury Gold SUV for a two hour ride to a charted island.  There we would be met by the Skipper and Gilligan; a millionaire and his wife, the Professor AND Maryanne……….

We stayed between Camilla’s house and my Brother Elmo’s place at the beach house which harbored the likes of:  The Swedish Chef concocting the most delectable treats roasted on Elmo’s Fire, Pops in his walker which was stolen and used as a wheelie- toy by great grandson Kermit.  The cast of relatives included: Rowlf the Dog, Hogthrob, Dr. Teeth, gaffer, Various, Waldorf, Uncle deadly, Julius Strangepork, Floyd, Robin, Thog, Lew Zealan, Gonzo, Dr Bunsen Honeydew, Zoot, Muppy, Beauregard, Janice, Wanda, Hilda, Sam the Eagle, Statler, Wayne, Crazy Harry,Sue, Lips, Nigel, and, last but not least, Animal on drums.  Most of whom began their day with beer and dough nuts and ended the night with fantastic stories which made you laugh until your stomach hurt. Each of whom could capture and carry the most renown version of  Marty Robbin’s song of El Paso in the key of F (flat) to be sung all through the night in various locations in a sleepy town 78 miles north of the Emerald City.

The wedding was a smash hit especially with the Muppet clan singing El Paso as the Bride and Groom took  their fateful walk down the aisle of Marriage into the reception hall.  I loved this group of Muppet misfits and I am proud to have been a part of them during this glorious time.  I didn’t know what to expect  given the horror stories of family gatherings, but this by far was an  unexpected pleasure and sheer Puppet mastery with no strings attached.  Well, maybe with the exception of Crabby Patty resurfacing on shore trying to keep his claws out of the drink.

This was your Muppet News woman reporting……..spread the humor.



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