Tuesday, September 2, 2014
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.