I'm nearly three hundred pounds lighter today and I don't mean of the weight variety but of the wallet kind. Before you go imagining a big ostentatious piece of jewellery or even a boring state of the art washing machine, think again. It was spent on Snoopy's visit to the vet. Whilst at my mum's, he became very subdued, morose-looking (if you could say a dog looked as if he was about to slit his wrists - he looked it), slept all day on the bed upstairs, would not be sociable at all and would not eat a morsel for three days. Finally I noticed, when he did put in an appearance, that he kept pawing his face or rubbing his left cheek along the floor. Putting two and two together (the fact that he did not want to eat and rubbing his face) it did not need a detective to come up with toothache or something similar. A visit yesterday to a local vet confirmed my suspicions. Snoopy had a temperature and appeared to have a swelling like an abscess on one of his teeth. The vet decided an operation today under general anaesthetic was the only way to examine what the extent of the problem was and possibly extract the tooth. So after a worrying night (for me - Snoopy didn't have the foggiest idea) I took Snoopy along first thing this morning, held his paw while the pre-med injection took effect and until he was led off mildly-protesting to the operating theatre! It was rather comical seeing him desperately fighting the pre-med - his body wanted to collapse onto the floor, but his brain was telling him to try to stay upright. The result was a lot of wobbling and sinking of his back end, followed by rigid attempts to stand upright again. It was hard leaving him, but I knew it was for his own good and would make him better in the long run.
I telephoned the surgery after lunch to find out how the patient was doing and was told to collect him mid-afternoon. To my utter surprise, I was told there was no abscess at all but an enormous lump of sharp wood wedged between two back teeth and a pointed bit jammed into the roof of his mouth. Ouch. I was given said lump of blood-stained wood in a plastic bag as proof and a memento to frame, so Snoopy could tell his descendants in the future all about his war wounds. The vet thought I had been throwing sticks for Snoopy and warned me against doing this. I had to correct him that Snoopy just helps himself to twigs as they lie around in the park or woods and chomps through them (and even swallows them). No matter how hard I try to get them off him, he runs away, thinking it's a great game of chase. "It's my stick, you find your own", he seems to say. The only way to stop him eating the twigs would be to have him on the lead all the time, which, as any serious dogwalker knows, is not ideal exercise for the dog.
Anyway, the removal of said bit of wood (the consultation, pre-op blood tests, pre-med, anaesthetic, antibiotics et al) came to a few pounds short of three hundred pounds. I could have got a nice day or two at a health farm for that! But, as they say in the l'Oreal advert, ...... he's worth it.