June 14th, 2024

Brushing a dog’s teeth a ‘ruff’ experience

By Lethbridge Herald on November 26, 2022.

Al Beeber
Lethbridge Herald

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right? When I look at the world around us, I tend to ask that question a lot lately, even as early as  5 a.m.

If it isn’t one politician causing an uproar, it’s another. Or there’s more reason to fear the impact of climate change. Or another wave of COVID is hitting.

We in Alberta also now have to face uncertainty about the healthcare system that we dearly treasure so as Christmas approaches, it’s tempting to drop the “ho ho ho” stuff and just groan “oh, no, no.” 

How bad can things possibly get or do I dare ask?

The world is seriously getting to be a depressing place. I’ve found myself trying my best to tune out Twitter as much as I can on weekends because I find the conflict there insufferable and exhausting.

When I post on Twitter, which is often, I purposely try to upset the apple cart and write something  irreverent or funny just to lighten up that social media platform which I’ve seen no imminent threat of disappearing despite mass hysteria.

I’ve read of many threatening to quit because of Elon Musk’s purchase of the platform but so far I haven’t seen any of my 704 followers leave. Yes, 704, not .704, in case you thought that was a typo. 

I’ve got a following apparently and I have no clue why unless it’s because like me, some people need a break from animosity and anger.

I find it interesting that the people who threaten the most loudly to abandon Twitter tend to be some of the meanest users of it. They attack and judge until their fingers are sore. But they don’t quit and I’m sure it’s because these people crave attention. Without the massive audience of Twitter, they wouldn’t be in the spotlight so they won’t leave. They’ll just continue to antagonize.

So I go out of my way to post the most random, dumbest things that spark my imagination. I’m sure some of my followers must shake their heads to the point of whiplash but it’s time to lighten up a bit.

None of us are getting out of this alive. I swear  that some people are so obsessed with battling on Twitter, I bet on their deathbeds they’ll hang on just to get in that one last message or 18.

Personally if I want a fight, I’ll sit on Ben dog’s side of the couch on a Saturday afternoon and do a staredown until one of us acquiesces and moves which is usually me.

Whether it’s a bed or sofa, Ben has to have the right side and don’t dare take away a pillow. He’s a creature of habit and if not for his four paws and disgusting bad breath, he almost could be a human. 

That rancid, gag-a-horse breath is why I have to brush his teeth daily and no human being knows what a fight really is until you try to scrub an unwilling dog’s fangs.

With Ben, I have to sneak up, talk baby talk, and surprise him with the brush. He caught onto that routine early on after dental surgery last fall so daily there’s a struggle to keep his mouth open as I reach deep with finger brush – a soft rubber sheath – to clean his choppers.

It’s exhausting. He’s as slippery as a snake covered in olive oil, not that I know from personal experience. 

With Ben, brushings have become a necessity because unlike Rio the shepherd who at 12 has beautiful, glistening – and sharp – teeth, Ben doesn’t like chewing bones. 

He prefers cheese, especially curds and anything else that’s soft so his teeth require cleaning to get rid of plaque and the smell of corpse. 

Since he was a pup, I always encouraged him to give doggie kisses when I arrived home from work. 

Now I’m like “Ben, go see your brother.” Honestly, it’s so bad that in the dark without glasses on I’m often not sure if I’m talking to his front end or back. And I’m not getting my nose close enough to find out.

So that’s the only fighting I’m into these days and I do it because vet bills for removing teeth are expensive and chicken-flavoured toothpaste isn’t. Yes, that’s a thing.

I’m sure Ben and maybe a lot of dogs would prefer other flavours, none of which thankfully I’ve seen on store shelves yet. 

To help with dental care for both dogs, I also use drops of stuff that is mixed in with their drinking water. I have seen no improvement in Ben so I’m sure it just adds, you guessed it, chicken flavour to the water dish.

 Maybe it’d be more effective if I dumped some in the toilet tank because as you guessed that, too, they like their water fresh. 

The only positive is Ben’s teeth are actually staying clean and I’ll keep fighting with him every day until he finally gives in and goes with the flow. 

Hopefully with my eyes closed eventually I’ll actually know which end of him I’m talking to.

Follow @albeebHerald on Twitter.

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