ALIENS HAVE LANDED ON MY DOG
By ERIKA WEBER (Johannesburg, South Africa)
It came out of nowhere... this thing... this creature... this... well, we didn't know what.
But there it was, making itself at home on our three-month old Newfoundland, Ben.
We peered at it intently and asked each other what it could be (paranoid
about anything on Ben's skin after recent bouts with all manner of skin problems and itching). We all agreed that Ben looked
decidedly ill. In fact, this thing on his leg (we said to each other) is
definitely growing! We told the children not to touch it, because we've
NEVER seen anything like it before...
The entire family was horribly upset. I, the real dog-lover, and my
husband John, the ever-reasonable one, tried to console the children. Kendra, our 12-year old daughter, wisely elected to stay as far away from Ben as possible, lest she get
infected. John, our 9-year old son, could only manage to stutter incomprehensibly in the face of the tragedy. And 7-year old Dana asked his father fearfully if Ben was going to die. John replied in the gravest of tones, "I don't know, my Sweet. We should prepare
ourselves for the worst."
We phoned up half of Johannesburg and ardently discussed the Thing (capital
justified as by this time we were SURE that It was growing - fast). Nobody
knew what It could be. We eventually found the Animal Emergency Clinic and
hustled accross town, shouting at each other furiously. We missed the turn
to the clinic and shouted some more, while making a rubber-burning U-turn.
We raced into the clinic with Ben, filled in forms and sat down all
a-flutter to wait for the vet.
But then we looked at Ben. The Thing was gone! Where It had gone we didn't know. Our imaginations ran wild. Had It already found its way through the dog's skin and now might be eating away at his insides? We turned him from side to side, finding nothing. The vet examined Ben and
could not find anything amiss. We described The Thing (yeah, two capitals
by now) but no, she had never encountered anything like it...
Brokenly and very worried, we walked back to the car. We switched on the
lights inside and started looking for The Thing.
There It was! Down on the carpet!
John carefully picked It up and we examined The Thing closely under the street light.
YES! THIS WAS DEFINITELY THE SAME THING!
We scooped It carefully on to a piece of paper and carried It triumphantly
back to the vet (at arm's length). The vet looked at it, picked It up
(shudder...), crushed It and made her diagnosis: "Grass Seed."
Crestfallen at first, on the way home the whole family broke up laughing.
And carried on laughing until about midnight - we just could not stop. On
the whole I would say that an emergency trip to the vet, only to have a grass seed diagnosed, is a wee
bit expensive. On the other hand though, you can't find better
entertainment for the whole family at that price!
Regards from Johannesburg (where the grass is starting to
grow again after winter...plenty of seeds but not an Alien in sight).
-- Erika (permanently blushing) and Ben (who's not sure if the Aliens have
landed on him or if this family of his is just plain dilly - clever boy!)
SPECIAL THANKS TO ERIKA & FAMILY FOR SHARING THIS STORY WITH PETSTATION
AND TO EVERYONE AT NEWF-L
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