A remarkable behavior breakthrough for our almost nine-month-old pup? Hardly.
Gus caused us no problems because he wasn't home. He was at our veterinarian's office, kept overnight for observation following surgery earlier in the afternoon. Gus is now an it.
Getting him neutered was something we had to do as part of the contract we signed when we bought him. But besides that, I am thrilled by the possibility that the procedure may help calm him down some.
And then AJ ruined my euphoria with a simple question.
"What does 'neuter' mean?"
Uhhhmmm... how do you explain that to a first grader? Why did I think it would be a good idea to give the kids advance warning that Gus would be gone for a night? Why did I start this conversation when Jeff wasn't home to help me?
"Well..." I chose my words carefully. "We want to make sure Gus doesn't make a girl dog have puppies. You know how a baby needs a mom and dad? Puppies do too."
I spoke in as vague of terms as I could think of, and then quickly shifted the topic just enough to distract him. "It's important that we do that because there are already so many dogs in the world that some don't have owners. And do you know what happens to dogs that don't have owners? Sometimes they have to be killed because they don't have anyone to take care of them."
AJ was incensed. He had all sorts of suggestions of who should be responsible for feeding dogs that have no owner, and then proclaimed, "When I'm president, I'll pass a law that says the pound can't kill any dogs or cats."
Does this kid have a future in politics, or what?
So the big day arrived, and with it the instruction that Gus wasn't supposed to eat after midnight the night before. It was easy enough to keep his food dish out of reach. It's all the other things he tends to put in his mouth that we hoped wouldn't reach his stomach.
Gus's surgery was at 1 p.m. I was allowed to stop in and see him after work. The vet assured me that all went well. Poor Gus was still really drugged up. Or maybe he found it extremely irritating that four hours after having his private parts snipped, I was trying to take his picture.
I'm blaming it on the morphine. Poor
The kids whined a little about missing Gus. AJ thought it was unfair I got to see Gus when he couldn't. Sydney, meanwhile, quickly recognized the opportunity to play with the toys we've warned her to keep packed away from Gus.
Now for the eerie part. Jeff will be going to the vet to pick up Gus this afternoon... exactly one year to the day after bringing Maggie in for the check-up where we learned the horrible news she had cancer. I'm trying to figure out if there's some symbolism in that. Thankfully, today should be a far happier occasion for us all, and any pain medications for Gus should be a short term fix, rather than a life-extending savior.
This next week ought to be interesting. Gus is supposed to continue wearing the cone to prevent him from licking his stitches. I wonder if it will make it harder for him to chew on Barbie dolls.