Tucker has a problem with his left front leg. Could be a hot spot. Could be a lick granuloma. (More about that in a later post.) Either way, the dog needs to wear a cone to keep him from licking it.
It’s one of those terrier things: when you do something, you do it incessantly. Like play ball until your tongue hits the ground (or mom refuses to throw it anymore). Or dig nests in the family room sofa every single night. Or lick your leg raw because it’s a bit itchy.
For a peripatetic (always wanted to use the word) dog like Tucker, a cone can be a real drag. Literally. It scrapes along the floor, bangs into walls, gets caught on chairs. Our pooch soldiers on, doing the best he can; he continues to bring his beloved ball or his favorite stuffed chicken to me for a game of fetch.
It’s sad, though, and you can tell it wears on him.
What’s interesting is to watch how the other family members react to our coned canine.
Jasper, who seems to think Tucker is a pesky younger brother, would normally get up and move when the Tuckster lays down next to him. But I think Jasper feels sorry for him, and lets him stay closer than normal.
Lilah, who is doctor and mother wrapped up in a black Border Collie package, is also sympathetic. She’ll actually snuggle up to him.
One could say that those behaviors are expected of dogs. They’re pack animals, social creatures who are known to be able to pick up on subtle cues to the physical and emotional states of others.
But our cat Calvin’s reaction is a little more unusual.
Two years ago, when Tucker had to wear a cone for a while, Calvin seemed to understand that it made Tucker sad. Back then, I watched the cat lean into the cone and groom the dog.
Like last time, Calvin seemed very interested in Tucker’s cone these past few days. But it’s more than curiosity. Yesterday afternoon, I turned from my desk to head downstairs and I found the cat curled up next to Tucker.
There was a little bit of sun shining on him, but that wasn’t the only reason Calvin was there. More expansive sun puddles were only a few steps away in the hall.
Believe what you will, but I think Calvin was offering comfort to his brother.
I picked up my camera and caught a few moments of interspecies kindness.
It’s days like this that make life with dogs and cats so awesome.
How do your pets act when you or another family member is under the weather?
You may also like:
- Oh Brother!
- You Never Know About Cats
- Friends Share Common Interests
- Strange Bedfellows: Dogs and Cats Sleeping Together
- What Dogs and Cats Say
- Dogs and Cats Living Together
- Photo: Love will find a way
- Photo: No barriers between friends