Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Eardrops and dogs recipe for maiming

Step-by-step instructions for horrible task

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Today's topic for frustrated dog owners is: How to put medicated eardrops in your dog's ears when, if given the option, your pooch would rather fling itself into a pit of rattlesnakes.

As a seasoned dog owner, I would like to assure everyone this is a relatively simple medical procedure that should take no more than six or seven months to complete, depending on the size of your pet.

Here is my home-tested step-by-step guide, which you should not let your dog read because you are going to depend heavily on the element of surprise:

Step 1: First, you are going to need a dog with an ear infection. In this case, I used our newest dog, Mr. X, who resembles a cotton swab but, despite being the size of a two-slice toaster, has a major attitude problem and struts around with its chest puffed out in a cocky manner like a Canadian senator with $90,000 burning a hole in his pocket.

Step 2: If you are not sure whether your dog (or senator, depending on what you can afford) has an infection, I recommend paying a vet a large sum of money to stare into its ears in a professional manner and then hand you a tiny bottle of eardrops with a price tag equal that of maintaining a second residence in our nation's capital, if you catch my morally outraged drift.

Step 3: Before you can apply the drops to its ears, you will first need to locate your pooch, which is now in hiding because (a) it read the newspaper before you; or (b) was paying close attention when you took it to the vet.

Step 4: Lure your dog out from under the bed with half of that large blueberry muffin you were thinking about having for breakfast. Employ the insane sing-songy tone of voice you would use if you were trying to persuade an unruly toddler to have its picture taken with Santa Claus, assuming the toddler had rows of razor-sharp teeth.

Step 5: Hold your dog down and quickly squeeze the drops into its ears. Ha ha ha. Just kidding. There is no (bad word) way you are ready to do that at this point. You have as much chance of getting your pet to sit or lie down as you have of winning the lottery or dating a supermodel.

Step 6: Because you are nurturing, hip dog owner, go online and Google "how to put drops in your dog's ears." Next, watch a helpful video on one of those how-to-do-it websites. The first thing you will notice is the dog in the video, unlike your deranged mutt, is calm and collected and, if it had opposable thumbs, would gladly apply the eardrops by itself, and then top things off by filling out your income tax forms and cutting the grass.

Step 7: Realizing you will need another pair of hands, inform your spouse that "her dog" is being a major problem and maybe she would like to put the medication into its ears because "her dog" clearly prefers her to you anyway.

Step 8: Listen briefly as your spouse explains all the work she does around the house while you are lying on the couch like an inconsiderate slob watching sports highlights, then walk into your daughter's room and suggest that, if she ever wants to get her hands on the car keys again, she will get into the den right now and give you a hand.

Step 9: While your daughter patiently explains why you are an idiot, firmly grasp the dog with both hands and attempt to pin it to the rug like an Olympic wrestler, thereby causing your pint-sized pet to spin and thrash around like a wild jungle beast in the throes of a serious crack-cocaine addiction.

Step 10: Ask your wife where she keeps the (very bad word) bandages and tell your daughter to stop laughing because those scratches on your arms really sting.

Step 11: When your dog thrusts all four legs stiffly in the air as though it is in the final stages of rigor mortis or auditioning for the role of Frankenstein in the school play, hold it securely with one hand while folding back its earflap with the other, then, in a high-pitched voice, shriek at your daughter in capital letters: "DO IT NOW! DO IT NOW!"

Step 12: Allow your eyeballs to pop out of their sockets when, as your daughter jams the nozzle into your dog's ear, it spins its head 360 degrees like Linda Blair in The Exorcist and clamps its tiny but powerful jaws onto the pasty flesh of your unprotected wrist.

Step 13: Whimpering softly, sit on the couch and give your dog the "stink eye" as your daughter, with comparative ease, orders it to sit still, then casually squirts the medication into its ears and storms away muttering something about going to the zoo to visit her real dad.

Step 14: Don't forget to give your dog a treat.

Step 15: Now walk over to your bar and pour a large shot of alcohol. Make sure to stuff a cushion in your mouth to muffle the screams, because single-malt scotch really stings when you pour it on an open wound.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 17, 2013 A2

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