Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Severed Grapes: A Neutering Tale

I totally forgot to document that Eak and I finally had Porthos fixed. That solemn day was Monday September 18th, and our not-so-wee one is doing well now. Originally it was supposed to be September 11th but upon bringing the little guy into the vet, it turned-out he had an infection that we were unaware of. So he had to go on some medication for a week and we rescheduled the operation to this week.

Eak took him in and stayed with him for the blood test which checked-out perfectly and then the deed was done. The vet's office called to tell us that they had to let Porthos wander free during the day though because he was so distraught and vocal about being cooped-up in a strange place by himself. So he kept everyone company when he wasn't sleeping and we were told he behaved like a perfect little angel as long as he wasn't in the cage. Sounds just like him: create the perfect ruckus til he gets what he wants.

That puppy is such a little bad-ass, even though he's a complete sweetheart. He hates to be alone. He only does things when he feels like it, and he's constantly trying to steal toys, food and attention from poor Cole. But at the same time, he adores Cole... worships him really. It warms my heart. I really must find a way to post pictures from work. I've got some sweet shots that Eak snapped while I was giving both dogs a bath on the weekend.

But back to the neutering for a moment. We're still contending with the guilt of having Porthos fixed. It could just be a "male" camaraderie thing goin' on, but there really is something so basically "evil" about fixing an animal. Even the term "fixing" alludes that something is broken and needs our intervention. I understand why we do it to them, and maybe it's just a cosmic trade-off that an animal pays for enjoying the love and attention of being domesticated, but I still feel like we don't have the right or rather shouldn't have the right. With Porthos, there is a certain comfort in knowing we're not ending his breed. He's a purebred Basset Hound, and although they don't seem to be a "popular" dog, there's no danger of his bloodline completely disappearing. Cole is a completely different story however. It still bothers me (more often than I'd like to admit to the sane) that we had him neutered because he is so perfectly unique. His appearance, his personality, temperament and behaviour.... Cole is one special little dude. And there will never be another dog like him. No offspring, no other occurrence even close to his uniqueness. THAT makes me sad, because I can't help but think he could've fathered puppies that would have passed along all his best traits to a new generation of mixed-breed dogs. (Cole is a beagle/black lab/daschund mix for anyone wondering). -sigh- My special little guy. All in all, I'm just grateful to have such a wonderful dog, and now a second one. I love 'em.


Keltie said...

I do think that neutering is a very kind thing to do for housepets if they're not going to be bred. It doesn't take anything away from them except for the frustration of not being able to mate.

Even more so for cats, I think, as they seem to be even more affected by the mating imperative and tend to become a lot more contented and friendly after sterilization.

One of the great things about mixed-breed dogs and cats is that they tend toward more stable health and 'unique' personalities, as you say. We had both of the cats to the vet this year and Shelley (as a moggie, or mutt-cat) has much healthier teeth than Mong, who tends toward weak teeth as Siamese tend to.

Anyhow, this has gotten very long. I'm looking forward to seeing Cole again, and meeting Porthos! I love Basset Hounds!

Jerome said...

And I'm looking forward to seeing both of you again. The dogs will be a bonus. So will the cats. Ted too. And Andrew.

Um ... anyone want to meet the tarantula?

John said...

Porthos and Cole would LOVE to meet the tarantula. I snicker to think of how freaked-out they'd likely be. Probably, not the wisest introduction, for the spider or them though.

I appreciate the encouraging Bob Barker'ing Bo. ;) You're totally right that it's ultimately the good thing to do for the sake of their frustration. (I seem to recall a favourite kitty stuck to the screen door everytime I came to visit who certainly "acted" like he was in physical and psychological turmoil.) I'm feeling better about it already, because here it is, less than 4 days later and Porthos is up to all of his pre-op antics. Mischief and mayhem abound... : D

Keltie said...

If you're thinking of Tears, he was already neutered! He was just a Cassanova naturally, for some reason. Probably because we got him as an adult and he was neutered later in life.

As for Xanthia (that's the spider's name, right?) I think my cats would attack her right away. Mong certainly would. I would like to meet her. Just not hold her.

John said...

Yeah, I'm not gonna be so big on holding the spider either. No offense Jerome. But it'd be neat to see her. In a quivers-n'-shivers-down-my-spine-send-me-squealing-into-another-room kinda way.