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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Chicken Toothpaste

As someone who spends a significant portion of time with delusional individuals, I am sometimes unsure about whether I am delusional myself.

You know-- I'll think I hear someone calling my name, and all I'll get is a roomful of blank stares. I'll lie in bed awake at 3:06am convinced, after hearing the smallest creak, that masked gunman are going to enter our home, "Patriot Games" style and place unsolicited bullets into our brains when it's just my wife getting up to use the bathroom.

On Tuesday morning, at the vet's office I was almost convinced that I was delusional yet again when the vet advised me to commence brushing our two dogs' teeth with chicken, um, toothpaste.

Surely you jest.

"Make it a game for them, you know, make it fun!" the blonde, bearded man with the jaunty smile said as he dropped his black Littmann stethoscope on the floor. I noticed that he had an unusual amount of chest hair, for a blonde person, positively billowing out from inside his opened shirt collar.

Hmpf, I thought, if I had an issue like that, I would close up shop nice and tight and wear ties every day. Of course, that is precisely what I would do every day anyway, if I didn't work in a place where psychotic people could potentially use said neckwear to strangle me.

"Make it... fun?" I asked Dr. Furrychest, cocking my head, as a dog would.

"Sure!" he said, picking up his stethoscope and slinging it lazily over his left shoulder-- the reason it had fallen in the first place. "Put some on your finger and let your dogs go bananas over it! Then, stick some more on your finger and slide it all over their teeth."

I was so preoccupied about the impending bill that would have to be settled at the Counter of Financial Devastation in just a few minutes that I was barely listening anymore. I grew confused. What was I putting on my finger again? Was it bananas? It was getting awfully hot in that exam room.

"After a while, they'll start to look forward to tooth-brushing time!" he announced, grinning like, well, a Lab.

"Haha," I said unenthusiastically while Molly, our youngest and most impish dog jumped up on Finley, our oldest and most curmudgeonly dog's head, "that's funny."

"You may think that the idea of brushing your dogs' teeth will be like some kind of a circus, but trust me, they'll love it!"

Ah, I conceded in my head, but, will I love it?

There are plenty of things you think about when deciding to move into one neighborhood or the next. We spent three years living in the Germantown section of the city. We used to find discarded condoms and crack vials on the sidewalk in front of the house where we rented a charming and gorgeous apartment. When deciding to move into the suburbs, you think about things like real estate taxes and school systems and proximity to on-and-off ramps. You think about elementary schools for potential bobbers and whether the roof's been done in the last five years. You think about growing up and growing old. You don't necessarily think about schlepping your dogs to an upscale veterinary practice where they propose doing cardiac workups on your dog because he's had a heart murmur for the past seven years, and where they talk about funny things like chicken toothpaste.

Or was it banana toothpaste? I can't remember. The bill for both of them was $532.05, I can recall with little to no effort.

And that's no delusion, baby.


  1. Our vet wanted to charge us a few thousand dollars to put our dog under to clean his teeth.

  2. Wow, ew.

    I am surprised Australians haven't been using chicken toothpaste. they like chicken. They have chicken salt, and chicken flavoured potato chips, and oy.


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