When I was only a few weeks old, one of Momma’s “friends” took one look at me and said, “Do you think she’ll ever grow into her ears?” When Momma got over her irritation, she took a closer look and realized they really were quite large. Thinking maybe she was on to something, she nicknamed me “Little Big Ears.”
When I started my Blog, they became a really big deal for Momma – she had pie-in-the-sky ideas of making money off the big ear concept. Therefore, you can imagine that what happened a few days ago was a near-tragedy in her mind.
We had just returned to Florida when Momma decided to buy something for me (probably to keep up with the other doggie mommas in her building). She swung into the local pet store and found a cute tee (which would be great if I wanted to wear a tee) with “Marco Island” emblazoned on it. Not knowing if it would fit – and not wanting to have to return it, Momma insisted that the sales lady try the tee on another dog who weighed about the same as me. It fit perfectly and Momma shelled out the money.
Arriving home, Momma called out, “Lina, wait ’til you see what I bought you!” and pulled my new tee from the bag. (It should have been a clue to her that this was a bad idea when my ears fell and I ran into the next room to hide.) Undeterred, Momma found me and pulled the shirt over my head and tucked my little legs into the openings. Satisfied that it fit – and picturing showing me off to her friends – she exclaimed, “Don’t you look fetching, Lina?” and went about her putzing.
Meanwhile I noticed that something was wrong – my left ear felt funny – so I started whipping my head back and forth to get rid of the sensation. After about five minutes of this, Momma looked at me and said, “Okay, Lina, let’s take it off for now.” She removed the dreaded tee but the strange feeling in my ear did not go away and I continued to vigorously shake my head.
Now I really had Momma’s attention. “What’s wrong, Lina?” she asked, taking a good look at me. At this point she saw that my left ear no longer stood up like the right. In fact, it was plastered against my head! Momma went into a panic and wailed, “Oh my God, Lina, what’s wrong with your ear?” Momma was terrified that her tugging the tee over my head had done some permanent damage and frankly, extremely concerned that our “Little Big Ears” franchise was in danger.
Seeing no alternative, Momma called the emergency animal hospital who predictably recommended that she bring me in. So off we went – me in the front seat so Momma could keep an eye on the precious ear and see if it popped up again.
When we arrived, Momma carried me up to the front desk of the hospital. The two receptionists looked at us quizzically and asked what the problem was. When Momma explained that there was something wrong with one of my ears, they paged a nurse who came into the waiting room to take a look.
Admittedly, it didn’t look like much was wrong, so the nurse asked Momma to tell him what was going on. “Well, I bought a new tee shirt for Lina and tried it on her and now one of her ears won’t stand up anymore,” Momma explained and added helpfully, “and she keeps shaking her head to straighten it out again.”
As you can imagine, every eye in the place was now on us, all ears perked up (except for mine). The nurse looked at us as if we had just dropped in from Mars. Also I’m pretty sure I heard a few snickers from the other dog owners. Seriously, who brings their dog in because one of her ears won’t stand up?
Also, by now my errant ear was looking better – it was at least at half-mast. Just so the nurse didn’t think Momma was totally crazy, I shook my head emphatically to demonstrate that something wasn’t right. Although he had pretty much determined there was nothing wrong with me – indeed that maybe he should call security – the nurse invited us to have a seat and wait for the doctor, warning us that it would be about an hour (it was three).
At the point Momma was wavering. It didn’t appear the nurse was concerned – and did she really want to spend Saturday evening at the animal hospital? That all changed, however, when she learned that the young, hot Dr. Varny who had seen us before, was on duty. (Am I the only one who suspects that she knew this all along?) Suddenly a three-hour wait on a Saturday night for a likely unnecessary $150.00 exam seemed like a gift from God.
When Dr. Varny finally appeared, Momma repeated the ridiculous tail about the tee and the lopsided ears. He listened patiently, if warily, but as expected couldn’t find much wrong – even though I did the head-shake for him too. Nevertheless he gave me an anti-inflammatory shot before sending us on our way. To Momma’s disappointment he did not say we needed a follow-up exam.
Lina, The Author Formerly Known As Little Big Ears