Tuesday, June 12, 2012


   Kismet's assault of Aki occurred days ago, and was seeming like a distant memory... until last night, when poor Aki's face suddenly swelled up like she had the mumps. I knew immediately that this was a very bad sign: that her wounds had become infected and that she needed treatment very quickly. Since I had some antibiotic tablets and ointment on hand, I opted to watch her throughout the night and try to avoid the emergency vet. She slept next to me, and I had her in to see Dr. Ebeling as soon as Red Bridge Animal Clinic opened its doors.
   Dr. Ebeling put her on more of the same antibiotic that I had used at home, plus a painkiller/anti-inflammatory combo. His biggest concern was that her cheek, which had an abscess from the bite wounds, appeared to be on the verge of rupturing, and she may soon need to be sedated so it could be surgically drained. And then he said, "She needs to wear an E-collar." This is short for Elizabethan collar, but not the fancy ones like royalty wears. He meant a cone. And I knew Aki was not going to like that idea one bit. 
"Portrait of a Woman" (1628) by Michiel Jansz van Miereveldt
   She actually liked it even less than I expected, as it took THREE of us plus a muzzle many, many, tries before we could get the cone over the head of the fiercely-struggling twenty-one pound dog. It's times like this that I can actually believe the Shiba's heritage as a bear-hunter. (Although clearly not a tiger-hunter, as she was in this whole predicament from a feisty ten-pound housecat.)
   Once the cone was on, she settled down for the ride home, no harm done. I dropped her off to be supervised by Diane & Lindsey and headed to work. Before I even arrived at work, I had received a text from Diane that the cone was off. Aki laid on her back and plucked it right off with her front feet. (Someone remind me why I opted for a smart breed over a nice, sweet, stupid dog?)
   When I got home, Diane and Lindsey had done a great job of keeping Aki calm, and I was able to replace the collar myself with little struggle from the patient, who seemed to have resigned herself to the idea that it was for her own good. In fact, she wore it well… though she was clearly not going to take any mocking from her housemates. 
It was hard at first for her to navigate with the cone.
"What's going on out there?"
 She looked quite pathetic... 
   That is, until she discovered that a cone is a handy tool for scooping up fresh poop, and she could stand there and dine right out of the cone! What a wonderful and novel idea!!!
(Think you could at least be a dear and lick the cone clean?
   And to commemorate this whole event, and more specifically, Kismet's fighting spirit, I purchased my very first ねつけ (netsuke) from the Nelson-Atkins Museum: a fierce tiger!
I think it looks just like her!
Okay, maybe more like this one: