Wednesday, 16 April 2008

All Muzzled Up

I really think that the French vets need to get more exposure to Sussex Spaniels. If they are to survive in one piece, that is.

They see a hairy brown sausage on four short legs, with a superb spaniel head and a beautiful fur coat three sizes too big for the body - and go:

Ah! Elle est trés belle! Sa couleur est magnifique, incroyable! Viens ici, ma petite!

And she goes:

1. You smell just like that bastard who hurt me the last time!

2. What the hell are you saying?! Can't you speak the Queen's English?!

3. That's it, I have had enough! Snap!

A Sussex Spaniel might be short, but goodness they are strong.

A Sussex Spaniel might have the softest mouth, the most protected teeth (enough flews to hide a dozen ducks in there) and be superb at carrying game without damaging them. But they do have teeth and an awful lot of them! And a jaw that can break bones! Human bones!

They are stubborn, get increasingly grumpy and pissed off in their old age, and have seen off enough vets to fill heaven.

In the UK, our vet was a spaniel groupie. He LOVED spaniels, and our Sussex Spaniels loved him. Even though they were nervously shaking at the time, and he invariably put a thermometer up their nether region, they still thought he was OK.

Now Xena has her vaccinations every year, and has become increasingly suspicious of French vets - and we have tried a few.

Last year, the young man told us, as we entered the surgery, that he was really a cat person. And that was that. He found out the hard way that a Sussex has very fast reflexes - and luckily has an owner that used to be a handy rugby player.

Richard knows how to neck-lock a Sussex, I can tell you!!

So we invested in a muzzle. The shop looked at this adorable, short spaniel and offered us a small/medium sized muzzle. Fat chance. She might be short, but Xena has a muzzle the same size as a rottweiler - so make that a large.

And that is what we have. And once in the blue moon, that is what Xena has put on her.Oh, such joy. I put it on her because even our Sussex is not stupid enough to bite me. Xena might have tried to nip me once, I think, when she was a puppy - but she learnt her lesson. She knows who is boss in this house! And it is not her!!

There she was in the boot of the car.

There was I putting on her muzzle.

She took one look at the vet, and her efforts to remove the muzzle increased to frightening proportions! But we survived. And so did the vet.

Richard and I are absolutely shattered.

Trouble is - she has to go back next month as well.......
For a long time now, we have been finding lumps appearing in various places on Xena. We have been getting increasingly worried about them, and in particular about the two either side of her tail.

So there we were, at the vets, with a muzzled dog, and thought that it was the ideal time for the vet to get a good look at the problems.

Could she find them?! No!

Could we find any lumps on Xena?! No!

Did we feel right pratts?! Yes!

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