Have Your Dog Inspected Every 1,000 Miles | HumorOutcasts

Have Your Dog Inspected Every 1,000 Miles

April 23, 2012
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We have a dog, and as anyone who has ever owned a dog knows, it’s a lot like owning a car.

Before the animal rights activists start sending nasty e-mails, all I meant is that taking care of a dog can get expensive, in the sense that the warranties tend to expire at much the same time and then you have to start paying out-of-pocket for things like oil changes, bumper dings, tire rotation and anal sac draining.  Sorry.  I meant wiper fluid refills.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love my dog. We got Jade as a puppy, and all puppies are roly-poly, furry balls of fun. But I noticed recently that my veterinarian and my mechanic get the same look on their faces when the warranty is about to expire.  The conversation could be totally innocent and happy, and then it’s like the lights dim. The room quiets. Their expressions morph into a feigned frowny-face of concern for my welfare and disappointment that they have to break this bad news to me. And that’s when I know it’s coming. That’s when the interrogation begins.

“Has Jade ever had her teeth professionally cleaned?” asked my vet.

“You mean like at the dentist?” I replied, trying to play dumb.  I know where this is going, and I know it’s about to get expensive.

“Yes,” she said, patently refusing to give up on a victim patient so quickly.  “Her breath smells kind of funky.  It could be a sign of tooth decay.”

“Tooth decay is bad.  Plus, her tires need rotating,” offered my mechanic.

“If you don’t brush her teeth at home, you really should let us do it,” said the vet.

“Here’s a bill for $600.00,” my mechanic piped up helpfully.

So my vet cleaned Jade’s teeth and her breath doesn’t smell funky anymore.  I wish it had stopped there.  She recommended that I buy a special toothpaste made for dogs and take up the hobby of brushing my dog’s teeth in my spare time.  It would not surprise me at this point if someone told me that they teach the art of talking about things like “spare time” with a straight face in veterinary school.

I should probably state here and now that I’m not even sure if my kids really brush their teeth or whether they’re just humoring me, but off I went, dutifully, to buy my dog some toothpaste.

The selection surprised me. They have flavors like Vanilla Lavender and Sparkling Fresh Peppermint, but I’ve lived with dogs all my life and I’m pretty sure that when they are thinking of flavor enhancement, they are not thinking of potpourri.  I don’t know about your dogs, but if they asked Jade, I think her preferences would be along the lines of Butt, Toilet Water, Crotches of Total Strangers and Roadkill.

Oh, and for those of you keeping track, adult dogs have 42 teeth.  That works out to $14.29 per tooth.  Not including the rear view mirror air freshener.

(Reprinted with permission from Springfield Patch.com, 2010)

 

Deb Amlen

Deb Amlen is a humor writer and crossword puzzle constructor whose work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The New Jersey Star-Ledger and other respectable, mainstream publications she tells her parents about when she calls to borrow money. At other times, she is part of the outlaw posse that writes The Onion/A.V. Club crossword puzzles and is also the “X Games” columnist for BUST Magazine, but don’t bring that up if you run into her folks at the Early Bird Special. It just makes them crazy. On the other hand, she would tell you that she has more than made it up to them by writing for The New York Times as the online voice of the daily crossword puzzle in The Times’ blog “Wordplay." Deb is the creator of the humor column called “Next Exit” about life in New Jersey for SpringfieldPatch.com, and was recently honored to be a featured speaker at the Erma Bombeck Humor Writers' Workshop where, among other highlights, she broke the ice with her students by attempting to use the ladies' room while wearing a live mic. Her first book, “It’s Not PMS, It’s You” (Sterling Publishing) is in stores and available online now, and she figures that, if she did it right, this book about male-female relationships will have absolutely no educational or life-changing qualities whatsoever. Please read it anyway. She lives in New Jersey with her children and her Extremely Spunky Border Terrier™, Jade.

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4 Responses to Have Your Dog Inspected Every 1,000 Miles

  1. April 24, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    I think I’d be happy if my vet told me that my breath smelled kind of funky, Hell, I’ll take compliments wherever I can get them!

  2. Kathy Minicozzi
    April 24, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Don’t talk to me about vet bills! I was smart enough to take out the ASPCA pet insurance on my last cat (Oliver) and on my present one (Harmony). Oliver was older, and when he developed health problems his vet bills would have been impossible for me without the insurance. Harmony is a youngster, so hopefully I will be able to go for at least a few years without having to worry about big medical bills.

  3. April 23, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    Fun read! We don’t currently have a dog, but I am well aware of the potential costs. I don’t believe we have practiced good doggy dental hygiene in the past — we had them cleaned occasionally at the vets, but didn’t brush them ourselves.

    Donna, you are a real trooper (3x per week! You must have a lot of “spare time”! LOL)

  4. April 23, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    I will admit that I brush my dogs’ teeth three times per week. I started it when I had my German Shepherd and we didn’t have teeth problems. These two are a never ending vet bill, so I am as proactive as possible when it comes to their upkeep. Great post!!!!



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