Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Good Dog



Albert's had a rough day. He had to get all his vaccinations -- 3-year rabies, parvo, measles, mumps, polio. Ok, maybe not the last three, but something that sounds like Italian sandwich meat -- mortadella, portadella? Bortadella? He's whacked; too weak to excavate the trash, bark at the UPS, or chase the bird around the house.

Here's the good thing about Albert, why he is Prince Albert. Aside from food, inexpensive, non-prescriptive food, the guy only costs $100 a year in vet bills.

My other main guys, Bru and Phoebe, they cost the earth, or at least a mortgage payment, monthly.

With Bru and Phoebe, a visit to the vet meant a line of assistants bringing in the tomes, documentation of their doggy medical history -- volumes 1, 2, 3, 4a -- refer to notes in volume 3b -- and lay them "oofda!" next to the examination table. Heartworm, roundworm, skin cancer, ear balloons, bladder infections, fungus, athlete's foot, pancreatitis, kennel cough, allergies. And wounds, stitches from all the fights, and stitches ripped out after the fights.

Albert? The vet walks in with one single slip of paper, no thicker than a Ralph's receipt. His history: an embarrassingly pudgy year in 2010, perfect weight over the past four, and the current efficacy of all his shots.

"Albert looks great," Dr. Dawson says.

A hundred bucks. That's all.

When I found him in 2007, Albert looked at me and seemed to say, take me in and you won't regret it. Eventually. Eventually -- well, that was the key.

If I were to attempt an ROI, a cost-to-benefit analysis, weighing his powers of incredible indoor and outdoor furniture destruction those first three years, our toilet-training arguments, and what seemed an impossibility to ever get the god damned guy to heel, versus his perfect health, manners, and affable nature today, I'd have to admit he turned out to be absolutely right -- I don't regret it now. We had to stick around for the eventually.

25 comments:

  1. Awww, what a good boy. I love when you post photos of the "goofy Albert". Sounds like a keeper to me :-)

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  2. Why Hollywood isn't calling, I'll just never understand.

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  3. Persistence, on both your parts, has paid off. Plus he's fine blog fodder, so there's that.

    I'm learning how frustrating it can be to have a battle of wills with a willful dog. I love Wilma but I'm hoping she compensates in vet bills.

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  4. Albert is exceptional blog fodder. Rare is the companion who doesn't mind being fodder and whose medical upkeep is $100 pre annum.

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  5. We adopted a lab, partly due to you. Our lawyers will be in touch.

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  6. It took a while for him to mature and settle down, but I'm glad he's got there now. That was high praise from Dr. Dawson! More than I ever get. I've always admired Albert's slim physique - it's so unusual for a lab,"the dustbins of the dog world." What discipline it must take to resist giving him treats or too much food. Well done, both of you!

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  7. Albert is amazed at how quickly you learned to be such a good and cooperative human!!!

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  8. I am glad that Albert looks great!
    He is an adorable boy!
    Sending kisses to him. :)

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  9. "The dustbins of the dog world," you nailed it. I complained to another Brit once about Albert and his counter surfing, and the guy said, "Labradors, they're thieves! Absolute thieves!"

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  10. Feel better soon, Prince Albert. Mwah!

    My Norwegian boyfriend used to say, "Enough is plenty." I like "Oofda!" too.

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  11. Quite a nonregretting history, if you ask me. You did ask me, right?

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  12. Albert is indeed a prince. We marvel daily at what a 'good girl' our Willow is now, at age 3. When she was a puppy, I had regular meltdowns, my marriage was at risk over potty training disagreements, the vet bills for trauma surgeries were shocking, and she chewed/ate everything she could get in her mouth. I swore I would NEVER get another dog again, ever!

    Somehow she became brilliantly well behaved, polite, healthy and able to understand English. She still thinks poop is a delicacy.

    Give Albert a squeeze from us, will you?

    Blessings,
    Carolynn

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  13. Yeah, Carolynn. Based on my experience, I'd say labs are the stupidest dogs in the canine world for at least the first three years of their lives. Boxers are Einsteins in comparison. But then, when labs finally understand the lay of the land, they're absolutely trustworthy and consistent.

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  14. And so did he get any Italian lunch meat in compensation for (a) his being used as a pincushion and (b) his low annual upkeep bills? Just look at that face; he needs a treat!

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  15. "an ROI, a cost-to-benefit analysis"

    What about that? Crunch those number, Albert. crunch crunch

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  16. Sweet Albert. Scout had nor of those you won't regret it looks too. I hadn't really thought about that before. But that is exactly right.

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  17. No, he never gets any treats, other than the occasional pretzel. Although friends sneak-feed him under the table -- I know they do.

    But he can crunch all the tasty numbers he likes.

    Yeah, an Margaret, it's that look, that undefinable, if-you-don't-take-me-I-will-die look. That's how we end up with them.

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  18. Oh, I suppose that should have been "indefinable." But we're talking dogs, here, and they're very forgiving when it comes to language.

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  19. Cost-benefit analysis aside, he is a good boy. Funny how it's not just human bodies that occasionally say, "Go to bed."

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  20. Ah, Albert. Such a sweetheart. As Ms M has observed, a keeper, indeed.

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  21. Oh man! We are in the same boat. We always seem to have four cats. They are all rescues and of course we really never know the true status of their health when we get them. There has always been one who costs us a fortune. Of course, it is always the one that I'm most attached to. Once we're attached, the medical costs don't matter. The newest cat, which we've had for about 3 years, ended up being diabetic. Insulin, syringes and many vet visits, cost a ton! It's worth it...

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  22. Albert is one of a kind, I knew that the first time I "met" him. He found the perfect owner, which always helps;) I think I wouldn't have that kind of patience for the eventually...but then I've never tried. Maybe someday. I bet he's back to his wonderful self by now.

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  23. Far from perfect, Sharon. I've been known to be verbally abusive.

    Oh Pat, I think diabetes is the one disease my dogs have been spared. They were too busy getting cancer.

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