Tuesday, September 03, 2013

A Dog Tale ~ My Column from Sunday's Paper

I got a postcard in the mail a few weeks ago from the Red Barn Veterinarian clinic reminding me that it was time for Caillou’s annual checkup.

For new readers, Caillou is a collie that came to live with us in March of last year. Our great nephew Jordan’s favorite cartoon is about a young boy named Caillou so that’s what we named our new dog.

He’s a full-blooded dog and looks like the star of the TV show Lassie, which was popular in the ‘50s and ‘60s.

This afternoon when Jilda headed off to work, I called Caillou outside. He loves walking and follows me around like a summertime shadow, but he’d rather have an eye gouged out with a sharp stick than ride in the truck.

He must have sensed that I wanted to take him “for a ride” because he became elusive.

I finally got close enough to snag his collar and lead him to the truck, but he wouldn't get in no matter how convincingly I coaxed. I finally had to pick him up and put him in the front seat.

On the way to the vet's office he laid his head in my lap and looked up at me with pitiful eyes. “Daddy, please don't put me down. I'll be good. I promise. I won’t pull the pillows off the couch at night anymore.” I kept petting him and talking reassuringly, but he was convinced his days were numbered.

When I opened the door after arriving at the vet's office, he darted out of the cab before I could grab his collar. I thought he'd be halfway home before I could catch him, but instead he ran a few feet away and turned to look at me.

I squatted down and called him over to me and he came. I clipped the leash on his collar, and we walked in.

They called us back to a room immediately, leaving the door open. Caillou sat between my legs and listened intently. In the next room, a dog was howling as if the vet were lashing off a paw.

Caillou looked up at me as if to say, “I’m sorry I did my business on the walking trail, and I promise I’ll never dig in the flower beds again!”

One of the vet tech's in training stepped into the room with his annual shots and put them on his chart.

I said, “See there, she doesn’t look mean.” Caillou was unconvinced and tried to crawl into my lap. I cupped my hands over his ears to drown out the sound of critters being tortured and maimed in the adjoining rooms.

When it came our turn, the vet, who is a good friend, sat on the floor and petted Caillou for a long while.

She swept her arms from his nose to tail and said to the vet tech in training, “now this is a typical collie.”

Like most dogs he loves being petted so he didn’t realized she'd given him shots.

I paid the tab, and soon we were on the way home. I stopped by a convenience store and bought him a Slim Jim, which for him, makes any unpleasant experience better.

When we got home, he jumped out of the truck and it was as if a weight had been lifted. I'm guessing he knew immediately that he'd over apologized, and it would be a good idea for me to watch my step when I walk tomorrow. 


  1. Haha, how cute Rick :)

  2. He's a beautiful boy.


  3. Holy cow, you just described how I act when I have to go to the doctor...I think Caillou is beautiful. My boys always loved reruns of Lassie. It wasn't Lassie that fascinated them, it was Timmy' s Mom. They always pointed out that Ruth Martin made pie for desert every day...unlike the mom in their house.

  4. Awwwwwwwwwwww!!! I hope Caillou gets extra treats and lots more slim jims! Yay! Take care

  5. Spot on for the typical spoiled dog. Job well done on both endeavors. Love your blog.

  6. Loved it Rick. I don't know how much your Caillou weights but my collie was 85 pounds. He was huge and at the vet was the biggest wimp you ever saw...lol. Everybody loves a collie. They always want to pet them! Great post!

  7. What a beautiful dog! They all hate going to the vet though.
    Mine comes home limping to show every one he was abused. lol
    They are certainly like people.

  8. That is a beautiful dog. Lassie was one of my favorite shows when I was a kid. Our dog hates going to the vet, she trembles, and puts her feet down and refuses to go in the door. We have to pick her up and carry her in.

  9. What a beautiful loving dog he is.

  10. Caillou is a beautiful collie! The comments about dogs being afraid to go to the vet--that's new to me. Great Danes don't care where you take them as long as you take them! They just love to be in the thick of everything. I don't think they even realize they've been given a shot. My Worf and Jadzia were brother and sister from the same litter (I'll never do THAT again!) and they were wonderful children. Worf died of renal failure five years ago and Jadzia died of old age last October. She was ten years, three months and one week old. I miss them both very much, but Great Danes don't live as long as many smaller breeds. They are heartbreaking to lose, but well worth loving for the short time we have them.

  11. Rick, you're killing me with this post. I was right there with Caillou, pitiful as could be and scared to death he'd be at least mistreated if not put down. Breaks my heart. Good writing.


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