My dogs would never be featured in a horror tale; unlike Cujo in Stephen King’s novel of the same name, neither Dexter nor Comet seem to have anything more menacing than licks and the frequently crowding when I try to get my shoes on. Nor would they be featured in a tale of heroic service like those featured in newspapers, magazines and books on the K-9 military dog. Only vaguely do i recall a tale about dogs escaping from a Government lab for germ warfare and going on an happy-go-lucky adventure in Middle America.
but perhaps the germ warfare tale is a little closer to home. Dexter and Comet have a vital role in distracting me from focusing on a persistent cold this season. I’m a bit of a hypochondriac in my middle age you see. After many years of being in close quarters with people in the Navy, we shared various colds and flu every time we were about to set off on a deployment. And after many annual bouts of being violently ill apparently due to a food allergy. I would never make it in my wife and son’s nursing profession as my constitution is just not what it was twenty-five years ago.
I don’t go to extremes of locking myself away or wearing a necklace of garlic to ward off evil germs, but I am more focused on getting sick than preventing others from becoming sick. I am using self-talk a lot to not dwell on the scratchy throat coming, but realize in the following morning that I may have been contagious to those I ate dinner with! But my medicine cabinet is stocked with two kinds of daytime cold remedy, two kinds of nighttime remedy, allergy pills, six bottles of various vitamins – the gummys are the best – assorted bandages and methylated patches for aches and such.
For the dogs, we have chew-bones, and dog food. I hear all the radio advertising about vitamins and remedies for their aches and ills, but don’t see any need. We have yet to ever experience them getting ill except in the last years of a dog’s life. Absent the various tick and flea-borne illnesses – they don’t get as much contagious contact on our walks as perhaps the pampered pooches in doggie day-care.
So “sick as a dog” doesn’t have a frame of reference here in our home. Maybe “sick as The Man” is more appropriate?