Seriously, don’t read this if you’re eating.
We have two dogs, Gericault and Brodie. We got them as tiny puppies, brothers from the same litter, and they are wonderful in almost every way. They keep the rabbit and squirrel population down, guard the house, protect the family, live to please, and love to snuggle. With us, not with each other. For some reason they barely tolerate each other, and a lot of they time they don’t even do that. When they were still waddling infants they were already trying with earnest ferocity to tear each other’s throats out, and five years later they still haven’t managed to settle their differences. I’m not talking about the normal play-fighting that dogs do. These two seriously put their best efforts into killing one another, when they’re not working together like a well-oiled machine to eradicate the rodent population. It’s a thing of beauty to see Gericault chasing a rabbit across the orchard, straight into Brodie’s waiting jaws. The cooperation and teamwork are flawless. And then someone will try to pet Brodie, and the neurotically jealous Gericault will leap snarling at his brother’s throat, and there’s nothing the would-be petter can do but get out of the way.
I suspect that they have the same mother but different fathers, of genetically incompatible breeds. Their appearance tends to support this theory: they both have their mother’s coloring but completely different body shapes and personalities.
This is high-strung Gericault:
And this is laid-back Brodie:
I mention all of this to explain why, when I first noticed Brodie nursing some kind of injury on his ribcage, I didn’t even bother to look at it. It’s not uncommon to see one of them limping around or to see blood on them from some minor bite wound. All four of their ears are more scar tissue than cartilage these days. We’ve all gotten used to this.
But a week or two went by, and Brodie was still licking the same spot over his ribs. So I chose a time when Gericault was outside, and took a close look at Brodie’s owie. I saw a small round puncture wound, but beneath it was a lump, just under the skin. Since most people have guns up here, and my dogs tend to wander despite all of my efforts to keep them contained, the first thing that came to mind was that Brodie had finally caught a slug. The other possibility was that he had some sort of tumor. Neither of these ideas was appealing. Sentiment aside, I wasn’t sure where I’d come up with the money for Brodie to see a vet.
I fretted about it for a while, and then I decided that, if it WAS a slug from someone’s gun, maybe I could squeeze it back out through its entry hole.
So I squeezed the bottom of the lump, and some pus and serum came out, and then THIS oozed out:
It was freaking huge. It looked like aliens were gestating in my dog. Like one of those brainworms from The Wrath Of Khan.
The Googles assure me that was only a botfly larva, and nothing to be alarmed about now that it’s been removed and squished. The wound appears to be healing quickly.
But, can I just say EEEWWW?
I hope so, because I’ve been saying it a lot.