How to deconstruct a Deerhound drama

July 24, 2010

Yesterday, Rawley destroyed my bathrobe while I was in the shower. Last night he had a tummy ache.

The two things might have been connected. They might not. It didn’t appear he’d eaten my robe, just shredded it, but you never know.

What I do know is that I’d have been a whole lot more worried if he hadn’t been waking me up every half hour to rub his tummy, kiss his little nose and tell him he was a good dog. He curled up on the pillow next to me, shoved his head under my arm, and nudged me awake whenever I stopped petting him.

The reason none of that worried me, despite being totally unlike my scrappy little boy dog, is because I’ve learned over the years I’ve had Scottish Deerhounds that the more trivial the illness or injury, the more histrionics they’ll engage in.

A stubbed toe? A Deerhound will hold it pitifully aloft while screeching his three-legged agony.

A tumor consuming all her vital organ systems? Nothing you couldn’t chalk up to getting older, or hot weather.

That’s why I wasn’t worried (although of course, I poked and prodded his tummy many times, always concerned about bloat and torsion). All that drama was a pretty sure guarantee nothing too bad was going on.

How about your dogs? Drama pooches when it comes to the small stuff, stoic and silent when it’s serious? The opposite?

Photo: Remember when? Rawley in an earlier angelic time.

Filed under: pets, connected — Christie Keith @ 5:05 am

16 Comments »

  1. Never a squeak from Bailey when she had osteosarcoma, and even her limp was so slight I was the only one who noticed–in fact, when everyone else didn’t see a limp, it made me doubt what I was seeing (never again!).

    But then she never complained over anything else, either. The only time I heard her yelp in pain was when she got zapped by an electric cattle fence. That’s a sound you never want to hear.

    Comment by KathyF — July 24, 2010 @ 5:40 am

  2. Ours save the drama for indignation; step on someone who is underfoot, and the shriek will have you clawing the ceiling.

    Dog rips open her abdomen on old barbed wire, I won’t know about it until I notice the blood trail.

    Comment by H. Houlahan — July 24, 2010 @ 7:00 am

  3. Mine are pretty stoic all the way around, with one exception.

    My girl dog (a rescue) came with a nasty scar on one front toe. You couldn’t place a finger on her feet without her wailing like a stuck pig. Bloodcurdling, sickening, deafening screams. It took a LONG time to desensitize her to the point where I could trim her toenails without fear that the neighbors would call the police.

    She’s fine now with her feet being handled by a human, but heaven forbid she steps on something the least bit unusual. It sends her into a vertical all paws off the ground leap. And if it stings, like a grass burr or an insect bite, well, she’s on to the ear-splitting dramatics.

    Comment by Rori — July 24, 2010 @ 9:28 am

  4. I have always thought it funny that retrievers who come back with dozens of lacerations from busting through cover and smashing against heaven-known-what while swimming don’t even notice they’re bleeding, but if you even REACH for the nail-trimmer, they scream.

    At least The Drewbinator, my 14-year-old Sheltie, is utterly consistent. He is ALWAYS a wimp.

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — July 24, 2010 @ 11:45 am

  5. Cleo, like all good little girls, is a total bad a@#. Nothing fazes her, because she knows we girls are tougher. Caesar has BIG drama for the little things. Caesar has little drama for major pain. Everything in between does not matter. Brutus, well brutus plugs along no matter what, but when he isn’t right the biggest indicator is the dog is stuck to me like glue.

    Comment by Cindy Steinle — July 24, 2010 @ 12:38 pm

  6. Not much drama with Darby, injury-wise anyway. He is the same over his ear infection as he was his knee surgery. He makes it clear that he doesn’t love whatever it is you’re about to do to him, whether brushing him out or cleaning a wound, but he’ll passively sit there and take it. I consider it a gift.

    Comment by Vicky — July 24, 2010 @ 1:43 pm

  7. Ah, the sighthound dramatis personae. They remind me of small children. They wail and flail and carry on over the small stuff ( kissit Mummy and make it better), but if the big stuff happens, then they hardly make a peep ( ruh roh, this really hurts, I’m in trouble now). When my dogs’ would act out over a minor thing, my vet at the time would call them “spleeny”.

    Comment by Deb — July 24, 2010 @ 2:12 pm

  8. If a Deerhound were a toddler:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpSfThUv_pc

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — July 24, 2010 @ 2:43 pm

  9. Sighthounds don’t have a monopoly on melodrama. Boston Terriers are total DRAMA QUEENS (regardless of gender). I know it’s not just my boy, because I’ve heard stories from other Boston owners. The first sign for me was Logan’s first week with me, I don’t remember what naughty thing he did, maybe chew a power cord, but I bopped him lightly on the nose and said “No!” When I say “lightly,” I MEAN lightly. He yelped and ran under the desk and would not come out until dragged.

    If you scold him, he will put on the “woe is me, I am so abused” performance. If you give him medicine he will hide in the corner and refuse to come as if he fears for his life. If you give him food he does not like the smell of, he will look at you balefully and go to his corner. If you accidentally step on his toe – you have to pick him up and rub it and give him kisses and tell him how sorry you are and what a good boy he is or you will get the Cruel Mistress treatment.

    The other day, I don’t know WHAT my offense was, but he would not come near me. Someone came to the door and he ran down and started barking at an old lady coming to visit the office. Ken lost his patience and REALLY YELLED at him to shut up. Logan came running upstairs to me, up on the couch and clung to me. Little bugger deserves an Oscar, but exasperating as he can be, I adore him.

    My late Bulldog was very stoic, but she screamed bloody hell when getting her nails clipped at the vet. It took 2 techs to hold her while the vet clipped.

    Comment by Susan — July 24, 2010 @ 3:26 pm

  10. The Aussies are totally stoic. Nothing fazes them. Which is both good and bad!

    Comment by Liz Palika — July 24, 2010 @ 5:05 pm

  11. I’ve got 3 totally different types. Trooper the lab/elkhound mix will come up screaming & refuse to walk after stepping on an acorn. But something serious & the only sign is he’s leaning against me. Rem the chi will hide if anything is really wrong,any other time you wouldn’t know theres a problem.Frag, the beagle is a total baby. Tell her bad girl & you would think she is dying.

    Comment by Leslie K — July 24, 2010 @ 6:34 pm

  12. Gina, the best thing in that video is the dog, just patiently following the people to the other room… hysterical!

    Comment by Christie Keith — July 24, 2010 @ 7:20 pm

  13. Zip is a MAJOR drama queen. If one of those horrid, icky, vile boy dogs so much as comes NEAR to bumping into her she’ll screech like a mashed cat.

    And if they have the temerity to actually bump into her (even if contact is light as the brush of the wing of a palsied mosquito) she’ll scream bloody murder – then chase them down and pretend to attempt said murder. ‘Cause, of course to actually murder one of them she’d have to risk touching him back.

    Comment by Janeen — July 24, 2010 @ 7:57 pm

  14. Henry, the Bichon, is so dramatic that when we arrive for a vet appnt. I can hear “Henry’s here” echo throughout the office as all of the techs prepare to hold him down for his heartworm test and vaccines. The vet always hides the needle behind his back but as soon as he touches Henry with his finger to find his vein Henry starts screaming. When Henry gets a shot he wails during the shot then flails and screams to the point that he has to be put down on the ground where he blindly runs around the exam room crashing into walls and yelping bloody murder. The interesting thing though is that,all the while he is wailing and screeching,his tail is wagging…

    Comment by Debbie — July 25, 2010 @ 11:02 am

  15. I’ve got lots of stoicism here (two pit bulls and a Border Collie) when it comes to physical stuff. Unless you quick a toenail. Then the world might potentially end.

    Comment by Katie — July 25, 2010 @ 4:53 pm

  16. The 3 ES are all stoic, except for Sparky who gets the vapors whenever I take the clipper (aka The Machete) to her nails. And a thorn in her pad will send her running on 3 legs looking for my husband, even if I’m standing right next to her.

    Thankfully, Jet (labby) seems to be pretty good at giving very clear signals when something is wrong with him. When he had 2 obstructions (2, count ‘em TWO!) in the space of one month, he did everything but stand on his hind legs and point to his belly to let me know there was a problem.

    Comment by Melinda — July 26, 2010 @ 9:28 am

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