Yesterday our beloved hairless dog, Walter, broke out in hives.  I’m not talking a light smattering of little red dots, but the sort that make you yearn for a chamomile enema.  The poor pooch didn’t know what hit him.  I’m not sure either; be it he rolled in something or ingested a not-too tasty treat from the depths of the garbage can.  Whatever the cause, neither Nathan and I really know what to do.

Walter, on a better day.

After a night of restless sleep, taking Walter in and out of his crate at his behest and tolerating him snuggling beneath the covers only to pop out minutes later, then repeating the process, we have decided to drug him with children’s Benadryl.  Not that this seems to be doing anything but get him angry.  What was hives yesterday has converged into the singular HIVE, one giant, twenty-five pound, barking, pooping hive.  Walter has taken on a peculiar resemblance of Piglet, a la Winnie the Pooh.  He is frighteningly pink from head to toe and he is wining incessantly, much like his fleshy, Disney-created stunt double.  Nathan took a go at wrapping his neck in an Ace Bandage, plastering his ears to the sides of his head, in an effort to keep him from scratching wounds on the backs of his ears any deeper.  This lasted only a few minutes; I put a stop to it in favor of holding a vigil beside him the entire night.  (I mean really, the dog looked incredibly ridiculous, not to mention he may have been a trifle uncomfortable.)  Nathan suggested that we encase his paws in hallowed out Styrofoam balls.  God, I hope he was joking.

Why does it seem that most folks go ages without a single problem with their dog, only to make the scheduled vet trips for vaccinations, and we end up with our vet on speed dial?  We have made trip after trip to the after-hours emergency veterinary hospital; once because we were positive Walter swallowed a safety pin.  In our defense, we did go over him with a metal detector and a stud finder before we hauled off, breaking every posted speed limit along the way.  Our little dog, Violet, has made many unscheduled trips to the vet, most notably the time that she was unknowingly locked in the bedroom and was later diagnosed with having a simple panic attack.  Hundreds of dollars later, both incidents turned out to be completely superfluous; neither one of them had anything seriously wrong with them.  Turns out the metal detector was probably picking up the filling in Nathan’s tooth.  Other highlights include the ingestion of an entire two-pound bag of bean sprouts (bag and all), a possible consumption of coffee grounds, and my favorite; the time Walter ate an entire spool of dental floss.  I had nightmares about it coming out both ends of him simultaneously.  Ewe.

I have decided that we will be making another one of those visits if these hives don’t pack up and take leave of this house by the end of tomorrow.  Our vet is on her way to a gold plated canine rectal thermometer.