Why my animals keep me constantly amused

It was the evening feed time here at Animal House North. That means feeding six (soon to be seven) birds and two dogs, both of whom are also on medication. In order to do this without losing my mind on a regular basis – and yes, I still do have some of my mind left to lose! – I have a routine I try to stick to as closely as possible. First I feed the dogs so they stop standing directly in front of me so that I’ll trip over them every time I move. I think they do this for fear I will forget their meal. Then I feed the upstairs birds. Then I go to the downstairs birds.

Now you need to understand that in the evening, my upstairs birds get something called Avicakes that are covered in honey to hold the seeds together. Both of my dogs think this is akin to ambrosia falling from heaven so my African Gray Abdul nicely eats his portion in such a fashion as to have what he is shredding fall down to the newspapers below on his cage bottom where stand my two dogs, heads directly over the spot where the manna should hit.  And yes, this is why my dogs spend a lot of their lives walking around with birdseed in their fur.

Anyhow, the dogs were doing guard duty under Abdul’s cage when I headed downstairs to feed the other half of the family. A few minutes later, I heard a fight upstairs. Apparently they’d both gone for the same dropped seed and were now entangled in a snarling mass. Since the last time that happened and I didn’t arrive quickly enough to immediately break it up I ended up spending over $500 at the vet to repair the damage, I hauled ass upstairs faster than any old woman should be able to move.

I separated the snarling darlings and quickly looked for signs of blood. None was evident. But Blondie was sitting there trying to lick something in her mouth. Her tongue worked frantically while her head shook from side to side. I could see a big swelling on the left side of her face right at her jowl. But still, no blood.

I opened her mouth and my hands came out clean. I could see no injury and she wasn’t yelping. But she was frantically shaking her head and her tongue was clearly worrying that left side which remained swollen. I thought about ignoring her for a few minutes to see if she’d calm down and maybe all the movement was just adrenaline from the fight. But then I looked at the time and figured if she had to go to the vet, I wanted her to go to her vet and that office was closing in 30 minutes. I decided to bite the bullet and just head out.

As we got to the bottom of the stairs, I looked at Blondie again. Her head and tongue were still working frantically but she just didn’t seem in any pain or other distress. I decided to try and take one more look inside her mouth myself.

Gathering all my courage and remembering some of the grosser things I’d done when nursing, I opened her mouth and ran my finger around her upper left teeth. Only I couldn’t get all the way around because somehow, during the fight, her jowl had become stretched up over her upper teeth and there it remained. She literally had her lip caught on her teeth and couldn’t undo it.

I gently pushed on the jowl and felt it snap back into place on her face. She looked at me in stunned surprise and then turned and went back upstairs and got into another growling match with Blue who was still standing guard under the bird cage.

Yep, having pets means never ever being bored.