Throughout this whole Tallulah-being-sick ordeal, she's been licking her girl parts like a champ. Everyone in my family has had hilarious jokes about this, and I'd like to take this moment to thank my family for being a big pack of dicks.
I called the vet's office this weekend, knowing they were closed, and what's sad is I know their phone number, their hours, and my vet's day off. "Hey, it's June," I intoned. "Is there a cream or something we can give Tallulah? She's been licking her little dog vagina constantly, and today I finally looked at it and it's really raw. Thanks."
One thing that doesn't come up all the time is the phrase "little dog vagina." And I'm sure Lu is pleased I'm bringing hers up to all 10 of you. CUNextTuesday, indeed.
My close personal friend and now blood sister, the vet, called yesterday. "Hey, can you just drop her off? We'll take a look." And that is how I spent my lunch hour chauffeuring my dog and her vagina to the vet, as you do. They said it might be a yeast infection, and I've told that dog a hundred times to not wear her pantyhose with no underwear.
I was getting ready to go into a meeting when my phone rang. I love it when people say "go into a meeting" like it's a trance or a fit.
And right then, I knew. The vet's voice was unlike any other of our 114 conversations and 114 million dollars in the last month.
She told me that they very quickly found an "abnormality" on Tallulah's urethra, in an unusual place, and it was, indeed, cancer. Inoperable cancer. All those blood tests and ultrasounds and consulting with the devil and all we needed to do was check her undercarriage.
"I am so sorry, honey," the vet said, and that is when I cried. Right at my desk. In the open floor plan. I covered my stupid face and cried for my girl. Goddammit, Tallulah. Why'd you have to be so sweet, and so aloof, and so stoic, and so interesting? Why'd you have to be the coolest dog you could ever pluck off the side of a road?
"I'm ordering her some drugs from the compounding pharmacy," the vet/my wife at this point told me. "They'll reduce her pain and her inflammation."
She also told me that catheterizing a female dog is one of their biggest challenges, and catheterizing a dog with a big angry tumor on her urethra is even harder. And they could tell it made my Lu uncomfortable, but she wagged her tail bravely through the whole thing. She had to get a tech to hold Lu's tail still, so she could finish. "We were so proud of her," the vet told me. "She's such a sweet girl."
I remember one time, when I was running, I'd take one dog a day to run with me, because taking both would have tripped me 60 times apiece. It was always a very big deal to my dogs who got picked, and the other would protest and flop onto the floor and stomp their paws. Singin' songs and carryin' signs. Mostly say hooray for our times.
One day, it was Tallulah's turn, and I'd run less than a block before I noticed she was running on three legs. She'd hurt her paw somehow, and was all, "nope. lu gud. she perfictlee fine. let go!" She was just gonna muddle through.
And that's what she does. She muddles through, uncomplaining, when it hurts. But I know it hurts. I asked the vet if it were her dog, would she put her dog to sleep right now, and she said no. I also asked if it felt like a UTI or a kidney stone, did she think. She said probably more like a UTI, but who wants a UTI for a month and a half?
I couldn't wait to get out of work, pay the nine hundred million dollars, and get my girl. I just wanted to hug her big neck, which of course she kind of hates because she's my dog. I took her straight to a Happy Meal, which worked for Lu just fine. None of that girly "I'm watching my figure" bullshit from that pit. That regal Beagle.
On the drive home, I told her once again how finding her on the side of that road was the best thing that ever happened. She is so over that story.
I apologized for any asshole things I ever did to her. I remember losing patience with her puppy self, and how upset she'd get when Ned and I fought. I told her she'd always be my Lu and I thanked her for all she's done for me. I always feel safe in this house with Lu at the helm. And remember that time she kicked that attacky dog's ass for us?
She listened, sitting side saddle on the car seat because her little dog vagina hurts. I gave her some pain pills when we got home, and she slept in front of me while I sat on the couch last night, talking to Marvin on the phone.
"Part of having a dog is knowing when it's time to let them go," he said, and when did Marvin get so mature? He asked how everything else was going, and I told him how I tried dating, but I'm still in love and having trouble moving on.
"You gotta get over me," Marvin said. "I've moved on."
So, okay, he's not so mature. Thank god. I don't need everything changing at once.
Oh, Lu. Houndy-smelling Lu. I'm going to be lost without her.