Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2021 >Daily Dispatch #175

June 25, 2021: Shadow and Ryder Converse

Ryder: Shadow, you don’t seem like yourself. What’s wrong?
Shadow: My gut hurts.
R: Indigestion? Eat too many horse trimmings? Belly up to the compost bucket?
S: No, my underside feels like I was cut open.
R: Oh Oh.
S: Want to see?
R: Not particularly.
S: They keep using the word spayed.
R: Ohh, I get it. You were spayed.
S: I was spayed?
R: Yes, you were spayed.
S: What does it mean, to be spayed?
R: The veterinarian did surgery on you. He opened up your abdomen, took out your uterus and ovaries, sewed you back up, then sent you home.
S: Ohh, this makes sense. Yesterday, this happened yesterday. I remember two things. First of all, I remember meeting my mother, Ember. It was like looking in a mirror. She looked just like me. She also smelled like me. But she was not very friendly. I don’t think she knew she was my mother. I knew she was my mother because I remembered her. The second thing, I remember being on a table and in

Shadow and her collar

terrific pain. I was also seeing things that terrified me. Alys was there – she looked worried, and this scared me further. I finally realized that if I quieted down, that I would soon be able to go home.
R: My experience was a bit different than yours.
S: How so?
R: Alys and Pete dropped me off at the animal hospital in Butte, and they left me there. They came and got me later in the day. In the meantime, I was spayed. And yes, it hurt something awful. After, I was put in a cage and left alone. There were other dogs that day that were also being spayed. They all made a lot of noise. It made my ears hurt.
S: How come I’m wearing this thing around my neck?
R: So you don’t rip out the stitches.
S: I think I can get around it.
R: Don’t. If you rip out the stitches, you will have to spend more time in Dr. Kaiser’s mobile van.
S: I hear you. Did you have to wear a collar?
R: No. But like you, Alys and Pete kept a close eye on me.
S: I think we are lucky to be with them.
R: They’re good dog owners. Alys has a temper but makes up for it in other ways.
S: How so?
R: She believes in the use of positive reinforcement training. For example, if you started to lick your stitches, she would not yell at you. Rather, she’d distract you and give you something else to do.
S: Like a bone to chew on?
R: Exactly.
S: Pete – he’s my buddy. I sleep beside him at night, and during the day, lay next to his computer when he’s working.
R: Yes, but who do you seek out if you want to do agility or a trail ride?
S: Alys.
R: So it all works out okay in the end.
S: Except for the fact that neither one of us can have puppies.
R: I think we are better off for it because they would give those puppies away.
S: Oh.
R: Yes, oh is right.

Next: 176. 6/26/21: Art on Fire

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