• stephanieraffelock

The Saga of Mickey Losing His Nuts


My dog. Mickey Mantle Raffelock. The last dog was Jeter, so if you're a baseball fan, you can see that there's a pattern here. Even though I have done everything that I can to wear my dog out, he still has puppy energy to spare. That, mixed with increasing testosterone levels is the combination that recently got him suspended from the puppy play group that he attends a few times a week.


The puppy play group made it very clear that Mickey was welcome back, but not with his nuts intact. The way that the suspension story was relayed, was that Mickey started what was akin to a barroom brawl each time he showed up. Worse, he enticed other dogs to follow suit. This did not make the lady at the puppy play group, happy. To top it off, Mickey had started humping everyone. I’m guessing this is something he did when he was tired of brawling. Clearly, it was time to get Mickey snipped, so I made an appointment.


When I picked him up after the procedure, I was told that he would be a little woozy. To prevent him from messing with the incision, the vet put a cone on him, making him look like a satellite dish. “Keep him calm,” she said. “And only walk him for five minutes at a time, twice a day.”


“How long do I keep him calm?”


“Ideally, fourteen days.”


First of all, Mickey had no sense of space with the cone on his head. He bumped in walls and into me. He scraped furniture and the floor. The poor dog staggered from place to place bumping into everything. He managed to crack the satellite dish several times and I managed to keep taping it up. Even though his perception was off, Mickey found ways to do what was important to him – like drinking from the toilet and sticking his head into the wastebasket to retrieve used tissues.


Secondly, the cone was not only problematic for Mickey. We were awakened in the middle of the night whenever the dog changed positions or moved from his bed to the floor. After three nights, we were exhausted. My neighbor had told us about onesies for dogs. Anything had to be better than that cone, so we ordered one from Amazon. You really can get anything from Amazon.


I wrestled Mickey into the onesie that would prevent him from licking, or messing with his incision. The onesie had a place for the tail to stick through and a snap flap, so that when I took the dog outside to do his business, I could undo the flap. Unfortunately, in re-snapping the flap, the word "wrestle" still applies.


Two days after wearing the onesie, Mickey wiggled out of it. Sigh.


My last resource for keeping Mickey quiet was that the vet had given him a few weeks worth of Gabapentin to be used in case of pain or anxiety. It even came with a little warning on the bottle that stated, “may cause sedation.” What the vet’s office didn’t tell me was that different dogs respond differently to the medication. There was no sedating factor for Mickey. He still jumped and turned air circles in anticipation of his meals or any kind of attention. So much for keeping him calm. Mickey was used to being out on the trail and creating brawls in play group a few times a week. The recovery was not going well for either of us.


Mickey came from breeders at Snowy Pines, Arkansas. In anticipation of a new puppy, my husband and I were asked to fill out long questionnaires so that the breeders could match us to just the right puppy. They told us that they’d had great success with this method. So we got Mickey, a little perv who wants to hump all the dogs he meets, as a matter of greeting. We got the one that starts bar brawls just for the fun of it. And we got the one who has no idea what calm means unless he’s hiked for several miles.


Mickey was the alpha of the litter. Okay, I get the alpha part. Both my husband and I have control issues. But the rest of these personality traits . . . Just what on those questionnaires that we filled out made Mickey the perfect puppy for us? And what the hell were two 70-year-old’s thinking, getting a puppy at this stage of life, anyway?


I’m not sure how any of us are going to get through the next week. In my fantasy of getting the dog snipped, he turns into a mature, calm, well adjusted boy, immediately. I’m counting the days until I can turn him loose on the trail and let him discharge all that puppy energy that he's saving up.


In the meantime, Mickey is still in recovery mode and should be kept quiet. HA! He is no longer wearing a cone. He will not stay in a onesie, and the Gabapentin turned out to be a big “why bother.” Honestly, it's only a matter of time before I put on a onesie and try taking the Gabapentin myself.




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