For His Own Doggone Good

Dearest Rachel –

I think this is Chompers’ sixth time at hydrotherapy, and each time, he likes it less and less. The whole trip there, he was sitting on your towel (yeah, I’ve been using one of your purple towels to wrap him up afterwards – I hope you don’t mind, seeing as to how you’re no longer going to be using them), alternating between whining and barking.

When he did that on previous trips, I could understand, as some of those days it was brutally cold. Not today. Well, it wasn’t Miami Beach out there (“Not hardly,” as the radio guys in Punxatawney would say), but it was in the forties; surely tolerable, in comparison to previous weeks.

But no, he was complaining the whole way there. I don’t know if he just doesn’t like riding shotgun (I would think it would be preferable to riding in the well of the back seat, especially with the heated seat on), or if he’s just twigged onto where he’s going when I put him in the car on the towel, but he made it abundantly clear that he was not happy about it.

And yet, it’s all supposed to be for his own good. Certainly, our vet thinks this kind of exercise is good for him, and considering he doesn’t walk far when we take him out (he does a little more now than in mid-February, thanks to the warmer weather, but still, he barely gets as far as the next-door neighbors’), it’s what he needs. But he’s bound and determined not to enjoy it.

Even as the girls got him into the pool, and encouraged him to kick his back legs (and even more as he actually did kick them this week, as opposed to last week when I think he just floated in their arms), he was glaring daggers at me.

And I dare you to tell me otherwise

On the way home, too, he was barking angrily at me, complete with chattering teeth as though he was cold. And admittedly, the girls at Splash Dog aren’t exactly thorough with their towel rub-down, and the reverse vacuum they use blows regular air, rather than hot air. But today wasn’t any different from any other day, and I wrapped him in the towel more carefully than usual.

So why was he complaining more than usual?

Maybe we’re like he is. Some days just get under our skin that much more, and it feels like everything hurts that much more. Certainly, every day has been like that to some degree or another since you left.

But maybe it’s for our own good. If every day was nothing but comfort and bliss, we’d just lie there and atrophy into amorphous blobs of ourselves, like the uniformly obese specimens of humanity in Wall-E or some such. We need unpleasantness in our lives to grow and improve – or at least, stave off decline and decay.

Still, I’m going to see if I can’t get his pain medication prescription renewed. Maybe that will help.

I’ll keep you posted, honey. Until next time.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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