And Pumpkin is having laser surgery. She has extra eyelashes, and they’ve got to go.
Before you start thinking that that is the cutest malady ever in the history of the world – yes it is, but on a serious note, her extra eyelashes are growing inside her eyelids and scratching against her corneas with every sad-eyed blink. This is in no way a cosmetic procedure. And being tiny, she worries me. Naturally, she will have to have an anaesthetic, a dangerous enough medical encounter but Pumpkin is only 3.7kg. I’ve worn heavier jewellery.
Even when the veterinary centre calls me and tells me what time to pick her up, I still won’t totally believe she’s all right until she’s back on the sofa.
On a side note, I call her Pumpkin, as does the vet and anyone else we come into contact with. It’s her name. I chose it. Pumpkin it is. Aimée calls her Wibbler. The logic behind this is: she’s too slender to be a Wobbler, so she’s a Wibbler.
Pumpkin first had this procedure, to treat something that sounds delightfully Latin, when she was only sixteen weeks old. She got through the surgery, no problem, but naturally they wouldn’t just let us pick her up once she was awake. The veterinary centre had to keep her for observation for a couple of hours. Pumpkin screamed her head off from the moment she woke up until she was carried through to us in the reception area.
In the space between then and now, eight months have passed and she has grown what has been termed ‘a good crop’. The tears running down her face have been near-constant and it seems, when she runs her face along the carpet, she’s trying to dry her eyes.
I don’t pretend to be a surgeon. My understanding is limited to the uncomfortable knowledge that they will laser shut her extra follicles and send her home with two types of eye drops, painkillers and a bill.
We dropped her off at nine in the morning. It’s a fairly traumatic drive, just over twenty miles, the final stretch of which is along a single track with very sporadically placed passing points.
I am blessed with the kind of face that tells other drivers it would be cruel to make me reverse. Most of the time I am lucky, and others find somewhere safe to pass for me. Not so much today. Still, we got there. Some muppet parked next to me in the car park, but did it so effectively that Aimée couldn’t get out of the car.
We had a little chat with the nurse, who went through some paperwork with us about Pumpkin’s medical history, date of her last set of jabs, worming and flea medication timeline, any known allergies and whatnot. And then we had to leave her. She followed us with her eyes as we left the room and my heart cracked.
On arriving home, we kept ourselves busy. Aimée walked the dogs, and made a special fuss of Poppy, who usually has to share attention with her sister. I emailed my Movie Nighters, went food shopping, changed the advertising board outside the Legion, avoided using the phone – in case the veterinary centre had to call.
And indeed, they did. It was around three o’clock when they said we could pick her up at half-four. Having warned the veterinary nurse that Pumpkin would cry until we got there, it was with some concern that we entered the centre and heard nothing. When Pumpkin cries, she sounds like she’s being put through a shredder. There was nothing.
There were other people and their dogs, cats, ferrets, maybe dragons, waiting in reception, so it took a little time before they brought the Wibbler through.
She was fine. The nurses had been spoiling her rotten and had decided that they all wanted one. Not just a miniature dachshund, but a Pumpkin.
Aimée has been making bone broth again. It will be gentle on Pumpkin’s stomach. She currently smells of something like TCP.
Poor little thing, it’s been a busy day – she’ll have a bath tomorrow. She’ll be back to smelling of blueberries in no time.