Standing guard during dog’s recovery from dental procedure | News

He never said anything, but when you’re as close to your dog as I am to mine, you just know when something is not right.

So when I had the impression that the hard, dry kibble I’d been feeding him — and feeding every other dog I’d ever had for the past 40 years — seemed to bother Roof, I switched to a softer food that I thought might be less uncomfortable.

His vet confirmed my guess: Roof had a tooth — actually two teeth — that needed to be removed.

So we scheduled an appointment, and on a bright, sunny morning, I picked up Roof’s leash — much to his delight — and asked if he wanted to go bye-bye.

The answer, as it always is, was a wild and enthusiastic yes.

He hopped into the passenger seat of my truck and off we went.

Usually when we go somewhere early in the morning, I will swing into a drive-through and surprise my dog with a sausage biscuit. I don’t care for those myself, but he likes them, and a very good boy like Roof deserves a treat now and then.

But on this occasion, there was no sausage biscuit. In fact, there had been no breakfast at all, nor had there been dinner the night before.

The fact that my dog gazes at me just as adoringly whether I feed him or not … well, we should all be loved so unconditionally.

Anyway, we zoomed over to his vet’s office, which is staffed with people who wait patiently while you kiss your dog goodbye and tell him to be good and be brave and don’t worry, the nice lady will take good care of you and Mommy will be back soon and I love you and be good and all right, I’m leaving now but Mommy will be back ….

I went back home and waited by the phone, leaping to answer when the vet called to report the outcome.

Roof was resting comfortably. Still groggy, but he came through just fine. The vet confirmed that Roof is an inside dog — in other words, with air conditioning on such a hot day — and said he’d be ready to pick up in the early afternoon.

I arrived at the office and told the receptionist I was there to pick up Roof. “How is he?” I asked.


“I looked in on him when I got back from lunch,” she said. “He was standing up; kinda wobbly but wagging his tail.”

She handed me a small bottle that contained the two teeth the vet had pulled. (My grandgirl wants to be a dentist when she grows up, so these artifacts will be used for an upcoming learning opportunity.)

“Does he still have a pretty smile?” I asked. Of course I would love Roof regardless, but I was glad to hear the extractions had little to no impact on his appearance.

“Wait here,” she said, and disappeared into the back room, returning shortly with Roof on his leash.

His smile was as beautiful as ever as he zoomed into my embrace.

“Oh, my good Roofie,” I crooned. “My good, good boy. Mommy is here. Mommy loves you. Are you ready to go home? Want to go bye-bye?”

His reaction was slightly more subdued than usual, but the general idea was that yes, he wanted to go home.

I drove as slowly and carefully as I could, avoiding potholes and bumps. He leaned against the back of the seat and dozed, but opened his eyes occasionally and smiled as I sang along with the radio.

His ears perked up when I turned onto our street and he sat up straight as I pulled into the driveway. I hurried around to his door and gently invited him to hop down, which he did, somewhat unsteadily.

He went immediately to my room and hopped up on the bed, still woozy.

I kissed his nose and patted his head. “You go to sleep now, Roofie,” I said. “Mommy will be right here.”

And I was — standing guard, checking to make sure he was resting peacefully, guarding against anything that might disturb him.

All the things he does for me.

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