Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Poor li’l Lucy

While I was growing up, there was always one dog (although not necessarily the same one) in our household whom my Dad called ‘The Flying Nun’, because it had to wear a head cone to stop it scratching at some injury or other.

The original Flying Nun was the annoying (and annoyingly ageless) Sally Fields, who played the part in a 1960s sitcom produced for American TV. The premise was that, thanks to her very light build and heavily starched cornette (headpiece - brilliantly, if a little disturbingly, illustrated at left), she could catch any passing breeze and fly. In this way, she solved the problems of her community. (I know. Sheesh.)

Since I’ve had my own household of animals, the dogs have escaped the Flying Nun treatment, but our cat, Evan, did not. When the vet fitted the cone, to stop Evan scratching at a mysterious gaping wound on his back, I expressed serious reservations about him actually keeping it on for the requisite 10 days. And I did finally have to take it off when Evan simply would not learn that he couldn’t take a running leap between the burglar bars as usual – the cone would cause him to bounce back, which was absolutely hilarious to watch, but made Evan embarrassed and depressed.

And now it’s poor Lucy’s turn. She developed some sort of ulcer on her cornea (probably caused by running pell-mell through a prickly bush, as she so loves to do, and impaling her eye on the tip of a thorn) which didn’t respond to topical treatment, so the vet decided to stitch her eye shut to give the cornea time to heal.

It’s been a difficult time for Lucy’s mom, Tanya, not only because having an ailing loved one is worrying (‘you’re only as happy as your unhappiest child’, as the old saying goes), but also because Max, the love of Lucy’s life, turns out to be something of a lookist. He is one of the most beautiful dogs on the planet, it must be said, but does that really make it okay for him to be so disdainful of Lucy, temporarily disfigured as she is? Sure, she’s not as pretty now as she was – but she needs lots of love and support, okay??! And it’s not forever!! Ugh, men!


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