"You know, he has a big scrape on the top of his nose," said Gregg, "I'll get something and clean it up."
So Dr. Gregg tended to the hound. Josh, Rachel, and I chatted while I tried to ignore my impending doom.
Monday, Ray went to daycare while we went to the hospital. The procedure and recovery took much longer than expected so Ray didn't get home until almost 7:00. I was already ensconced in a recliner, which is where I was going to be sleeping for the next five days and from which I wouldn't be moving for about as long.
Ray came over to sniff interestedly at the piece of bloody gauze suspended under my nose (I looked like an elderly Groucho Marx after a bar fight). His nose got closer and closer. I retreated into the depths of the recliner, I knew a lick was going to be next. Ray, knowing his boundaries, drew back. Everyday, a couple times a day, Ray would come over to check on the progress of my nose. Sniff, sniff, sniff, closer, closer, closer; then satisfied that all was as it should be, retreat.
The week of misery was long. My lovely husband took the week off to tend to me and keep Ray out of my nose. He ran him, took him to daycare on the one rainy day, and took him to the dogpark on the other days. Ray was good the entire week.
But on Thursday night, something outside was upsetting Ray. At about ten, Ray struggled up out of his bed, growled and started to yell. I was dozing in the recliner but was brought sharply awake.
"What's up Ray?" I asked as Ray headed to the back door, growling, snorting, and yelling.
He paced and yelled in the kitchen, wanting to get out back to take care of whatever was out there disturbing him. Gregg was smart enough not to let him.
"It's alright, Ray," I soothed, over and over.
Ray went back to bed briefly then started his pacing and yelling. I went back to soothing. Gregg put Ray on a leash and took him out back to see what was up. Nothing.
For the next hour or so, the scenario repeated itself a couple of times. Gregg went to bed. I was downstairs alone with my worried dog. He came over to check on the status of my nose one last time, then instead of going back to bed, he curled up on the couch within arms reach of me. He settled down with a bit of a grumble, then growled.
"It's OK Ray," I said.
Ray growled and grumbled, snorted and sighed.
"It's OK Ray," I repeated.
Ray growled and grumbled, snorted, sighed, groaned, yipped, growled.
"It's OK Ray," I said again.
Another series of Ray noises.
Another platitude from me.
The conversation repeated over and over for about 10 minutes. I sat in my recliner and thought briefly of retrieving my video camera to record the whole thing. The sounds coming out of the dog were so human. Like a crotchety old man that no one takes seriously. I could easily translate the whole thing.
"It's OK! Can't she hear anything! There's a pack of wolves outside the door and she tells me everything is OK! No one listens to a thing I say! I try to warn them and all I get is "it's OK." Idiots!"
Ray finally settled down and we both went to sleep. Although I didn't feel particularly well, I felt very well-protected by my grumbly hound.
On Saturday, my Groucho Marx mustache was downgraded to a Charlie Chaplin version. I'm well on my way to recovery.