Characteristics of my Sick Puppy

Happy Friday, everyone! Who else is excited for the weekend? Have you made any plans? My plan is the best one - to cozy up on the couch with a bunch of good books.

Shane's feeling a lot better today although he croaked like a frog when he tried to wish me good morning when we woke up. Ribbit!

His throat is pretty fucked and I opened my eyes this morning with the knowledge that I'd have to fight a long and tiring battle with him to fix it. He was already in the living room by the time I got out of bed, and once I was fresh and ready to start my day, I stood near our kitchen and asked him to please do a saline gargle. I was shocked out of my skull when he swiftly got up from the couch and collected the warm salt water mixture from me before proceeding to the bathroom. Man, his throat must've been KILLING him.

In my state of shock, I started thinking back on all the times that he's been sick since we started living together, and like all partners can, I began to mentally put together a list of his peculiar characteristics around the time of being sick.

  • Denial: This one lasts for about 2 days when he starts feeling the symptoms but tries to convince himself that he's absolutely fine. And a part of doing that is by hiding it from me.

    In a way, he might be superstitious that if he acknowledges it, it might just come true. This is the reason why I only find out that he's sick by the time a simple saline gargle won't fix what started out as a mild throat infection.

  • Sad Puppy: Then comes the part where he realises that he might have to ask for help. And that thought alone makes him very sad. That's when he's too weak to stand up and his head droops onto my shoulder. If he were smaller than me, I'd totally wrap my arms around him, cradle him on my lap and carry him to bed. And the best part? He'd let me.

  • The Morning After: Is when everyone knows that feces hath hiteth the ceiling propeller. Sad puppy is now Mad Kitty. He's mad at himself for showing weakness, at the infection for latching on to him, at me for trying to fix him, and at God because he needs someone to blame and this might as well be a good time to acknowledge the existence of a supernatural power that controlled his circumstances and made him sick.

  • The Grunt: This is a continuation of the 'Morning After' phase where he responds to every question with an angry grunt. Mostly because he's mad at everything but also because speaking hurts. This is also the phase where he refuses to cooperate with any plans for his recovery, especially saline gargle. He HATES that step. He will throw the biggest fit imaginable to prevent salt water from touching his throat. Yeah, this phase is just ridiculous.

  • Out of Control Zoned-Outedness: You might remember that he generally tends to zone out a couple of times a day and only a select few know how to capture his attention under the circumstances. But when he gets sick, this tendency gets out of control. He's mostly so tied up in internal monologues about the unfairness of his situation that even an "Are you hungry?" which is known to elicit an immediate response, escapes his notice. That's when those maternal feelings of cradling him in my arms, carrying him to bed, and swaddling him in a blanket suddenly escape me and get replaced by feelings of wanting to throw him off the roof to test if he'll land on his feet after an entire day of acting like a fucking cat.

  • Weird: I couldn't think of any other term to describe this phase. This happens after he starts to get a little better and Graymalkin finally walks out of his body. For some reason, he immediately switches back to being a puppy but not one that's as sick or sad. The highlight of this phase is his annoyingly heightened sense of gratitude. He thanks me for every little gesture and makes a big deal out of the fact that I fed him proper food three times a day or injected his body with fluids or made him eat oranges or remembered to give him his medicines at the right time. He acts as if no one else in the world does this for a sick loved one. Basically, he's weird and gets on my nerves during this phase. I begin to miss Graymalkin.

  • Denial Part 2: What follows is the second stage of denial where a tiny improvement in his physical state wrongly convinces him of a full recovery. This is where he dances, attempts to sing but all that comes out is "ribbit", helps me in the kitchen because "you've done enough for today", showers me with kissies even after I scream "DON'T GIVE ME YOUR GERMS!" because, "What germs?". Yeah, this is the happy phase which I love for the happiness but hate for the germs.

  • Miracle: Okay, I must admit that I love the 'Denial Part 2' stage the best because that kind of helps with his recovery as long as he doesn't try to sing and dance too much. Because even if he wakes up with a sore throat, he generally feels a lot better and cooperates when asked to do a saline gargle. He feels (or thinks he feels) healthy enough to get out of bed, get involved in work, cook, and go back to being normal. It's like a Christmas Miracle.

If you asked me to write down my sickness routine, I wouldn't be able to do it. For all I know, he might. But this was fun documenting. Is there anything on this list that you guys could relate to?

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! :)

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