It turns out that a dog who wants to travel in the passenger section of an airplane needs a clean bill of health from a vet within ten days prior of the trip. We (and by "we" I mean "my wife") have decided to take the Bink home for Christmas. So this morning, I took Bink to the vet.
Usually my wife handles this kind of thing, both because she's more qualified, and less afraid. But today, after working in the early morning on a poem about lust, women's butts, and Aristotle (really) I loaded an unsuspecting dog into his carrying case (a black duffel bag with various points of access, many air holes, and a shoulder strap), bought him out to the car, and set out for the other side of town.
Getting to our old vet from our new house takes at least thirty minutes and involves a number of freeways. If you're a small dog, this means carsickness and that means vomiting. Sure enough, within the first ten minutes the high plaintive squeals of indignation and grouchiness had given way to the stunned silence of intense motion sickness. By the time we'd reached the vet, there was vomit on the bottom of the duffel bag and on the hair around Bink's mouth. He was shivering uncontrollably, his heart was beating like someone on speed, and his general demeanor was one of stunned terror.
After the appointment itself--a large part of which consisted of me trying unsuccessfully to wipe vomit off a dog's mouth with a wet paper towel--we got back in the car. This time the whimpering ended within minutes. The silence that followed was a different silence--a better silence. It sounded not like someone who had just thrown up, but like someone who has started to acclimate themselves to living for short stretches in a duffel bag. (A silence I think we all know.)
Unfortunately, I had to brake suddenly on the street near my house and the duffel bag tipped over. Upon removal, both Bink and bag displayed not only a fresh layer of vomit but an accumulation of something that looked dismayingly like urine. (I didn't investigate too closely.) The duffel bag got hosed down. The Bink was allowed to wander around the house for Free Play. And then, I drugged him.
Really. Because he's going to be on airplane, in the same duffel bag as above, for about four hours, we've decided for the sake of everyone involved to take the advice of past travelers and sedate him with Benadryl. The hope is that this will entail less whimpering, vomiting, and overall misery. Today marked the first test run of operation "BinkCalm." It involved one confused husband, a small pipette of Benadryl (previously prepared by his wife) and a more or less willing dog. (Luckily for us--at least some of the time--the Bink will pretty much eat anything).
The Bink, at this moment, is sleeping. I also would like to be sleeping, but I must go online and play poker, and try to win some money to pay for the Bink's vet bill, duffel bag, and plane ticket. Still, there's no doubt--his day was far worse than mine. Although, by now he's probably totally forgotten all of it.
Fun times. Fun times.