Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Trip to the Dentist and Back

Cocoa went on an odyssey of body, mind, and mouth yesterday. It was her first trip to the dentist in her entire eight years!

Although dogs do not need teeth cleaning every year, Co's health and well-being were neglected in many ways during the first half of her life. We do not understand how people could be so cruel to animals - Co's story (never been groomed or to the vet, tail chopped off, then abandoned) sounds positively cushy compared to others we've read. Suffice it to say that animal rescue is becoming a new passion of Betty's, especially given the post-Christmas mass dumping of unwanted animals in city shelters. She is determined to find ways to help other dogs in need, chiefly through the generosity of Waggytail Resuce. Check out some of the "Happy Tails" documented on their site if you're looking for something to read.

Animal abuse and neglect makes both of us so, so sad. As the New York Times wrote in its obituary/editorial for Barbaro called "One Horse Dies", "You would have to look at long, long time to find a dishonest or a cruel horse." The same could be said for all the dogs in the shelters, even the pit bulls (who make up the majority of dogs at New York City Animal Care and Control) who are trained to fight in illegal spectacles. The smaller ones are used as bait.

For little Cocoa, life is changing now, thank goodness! She did beautifully with the dentist. First, she hopped into Emma Zerner's old boat bag and Betty covered her with blankets. The wind made the air bitingly cold, so Betty wrapped Co up tight before braving Delancey Street. She handed her off to the vet on Eldridge without a peep, and by three p.m. the little girl was out, a little woozy from the anaestetia, but walking around with a CLEAN MOUTH. Turns out she had had an infection in there, with one tooth clinging to her gums with only tartar, and the deep grime was affecting her respiratory system. Now she's chipper and feels renewed, and is literally and noticably breathing much easier. We imagine she's sleeping more sweetly, too.

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