If you’re wondering about the title of this post, let me refer you to a popular wartime ditty concerning Hitler, his henchmen, and their – er – dangly bits, sung to the tune of The Colonel Bogey March. While Paddy is mercifully free from any tendencies towards warmongering, world domination or genocide, we found out today that, just like Hitler, he has only got one cojon.
Paddy is part Labrador, and he’s rather boisterous. Make that very boisterous. The boy bounces around like he’s permanently on elastic. Our lovely vet, Madeleine, and his trainer, Alex, have been saying for a while that it would calm him down if we had him neutered. Being a rather over-protective Puppy Mummy, I’ve fended off the Evil Day for as long as I can. However, Madeleine, Alex and many of the puppy books, magazines and websites advise that it’s best to get the job done before the dog is a year old, and as Paddy is now 11 months old, I couldn’t put it off any longer.
Needless to say, I spent a sleepless night worrying how he would cope with it all. When he trotted off happily with Madeleine, I should have been relieved, but I felt really guilty. Paddy thought he was going for a ride in the car, which he loves, and instead, his treacherous Mummy delivered him into the hands of a torturer hiding behind a smile. Or at least, that’s how it seemed to me, and I cried buckets all the way home.
My mood wasn’t helped when Madeleine phoned shortly afterwards to say that only one of Paddy’s testicles had descended, so it wasn’t a straightforward castration. The other one had to be removed from his abdomen, or there was a real danger that it could turn malignant at some stage. Cue more tears, which were only fully halted when Madeleine called back to say that everything had gone well and Paddy was now recovering nicely.
When we collected him late this afternoon, I thought she might have been a bit optimistic. Although he raised a valiant wag of the tail, Paddy was obviously on another planet – Planet Paddy, where everything was suddenly different. He could hardly get to his feet, and it took us two or three minutes to walk the 50 yards to the car. Carrying him was not an option, as he now tips the scales at 32.5 kilos – that’s around 5 stones in English money.
For the first couple of hours after we got back, he never moved an inch, even when I walked past him with a plate of chicken and chips for Tony – I was far too distraught to eat! I did consider calling Madeleine, as she’d said to ring her if there were any problems, but Tony said he didn’t think the fact that the dog didn’t fancy a chip counted as an emergency. Men are so unfeeling over these things, aren’t they?
About an hour ago, he seemed to liven up a bit, and asked to go out. I took him for a short walk, and he seemed to enjoy it, and demonstrated that his plumbing was in perfect working order after the surgery. And when we got back, he had a drink of water, and managed to eat some nice lean ham which I’d bought specially for the occasion. Tony had the idea it was for his supper, but I soon put him right on that one.
Now, though, Paddy is pacing the room, not knowing what to do with himself, and looking at me with those big, soulful brown eyes as much as to say ‘What the feck is going on here, and can you make it stop?’ So, once again I’m in floods of tears, and feeling guilty as hell for what I’ve put my baby through, even though I know it had to be done, and he’ll soon be back to his normal self again. Who’d be a Puppy Mummy?