Day whatever of quarantine

90 degrees hit like a truck last week. We all live in LA for the weather, but c’mon dude. April, in the middle of day whatever of quarantine, is too dang early for a heatwave! I suppose there’s no one to blame but humans fudgin’ up Mother Nature’s groove, per usual. 

Pepper the Afflicted, first of her name, has had a whole suite of issues warranting several money hemorrhaging session to the vet. I touched on this in my last post, but I fear the people deserve more than just a splash of pup tales to add to their quarantine reading list, and thus I’ve typed away to bring you the latest.

It began with red, occasionally pus-filled bumps on her tummy and VULVA (quoting the doctor’s notes here), which we had to apply ointment to twice daily. But because we’ve tried to hold off grooming her during this time, she’s got crazy thick fur all over the place. I’m talking dense patches of fuzz sprouting all around her legs, tummy, and yes, vulva. This meant that 1) we had to apply appointment daily to her NETHER REGIONS (quoting the doctor’s directions, but caps lock for my artistic emphasis), and 2) the ointment would then stick to her fur all day, and then she’d walk around, and get God knows what superglued into her fur. Scientists may never know what was truly collected in her hair during this time, but I can tell you it was dirty and brown and essentially a petri dish of the very unique breed of grime floating around Hollywood (this is worse than the grime in other neighborhoods, btw) — and this happened, every single day, twice a day, for a week. There was no getting her clean, there was no avoiding making a cringe face when putting the ointment on her, and there was not a care in the world coming from Pepper herself, who seemed to kind of enjoy the ointment and ensuing garbage stuck to her. 

Finally, just as the bumps started to recede and her stomach began to not look like one giant turd bath, she then began to violently scratch at her left ear. It started in the morning and we looked in the ears and found nothing, but the scratching became fully nonstop by evening (the peak occurring right after I made myself a huge bowl of ice cream, to boot). So naturally we hurried as fast as possible (I will admit I did finish the ice cream) and took her to the animal ER that night, where a brave vet assistant in a hazmat suit collected her from our car, and we were directed to wait in a parking lot for three hours — and it is at this point, dear reader, when an earthquake struck. To sum: dog bumps, ointment trash collector, ear infection, three hours in a car, earthquake. The whole thing was about as LA as a holistic wheatgrass cleanse and reiki session, wouldn’t you say?

The funniest thing about all of this — and when I say “funniest thing,” I mean the colloquial, “heinously diabolical and hellish thing” — is that I’ve had to navigate Nationwide pet insurance’s website and policies and coordination between vet invoices and doctor’s notes, which has been a whole to-do, and exactly -5000 degrees away from how anyone should spend their time. Nationwide came back a week or so ago and told me they classified Pepper’s skin issues as a pre-existing condition for reasons I can only deduce as “corporate greed” and “making a profit at all costs” and “hoping consumers just give up instead of fighting stuff.” Luckily, this ol’ Jew (I can say that as Jew) is ready to combat injustice where I see it, and this time, that injustice is an animal coverage provider trying to make pay for dumb shit. So now I’m gearing up for an epic battle with my dog’s insurance company because this is America, and what would life here be if you didn’t have to spend time and energy to fight tooth and nail for coverage to protect not only yourself and the humans you love, but also your freakin’ dog with a minor ear infection and bumps (on her belly and VULVA, lest you forgot), totaling a whopping $378.14, as my bank account cries out to no one, et tu, Nationwidè?

Alas, our dog is now recovering (and blissfully unaware of anything except the joys of ripping the wings off her stuffed animal duck). I’ve learned earthquakes on top of a global pandemic are not my cup of Xanax. And it turns out that pet insurance is just as horrible as the human variety. 

I’ll end with a plea: c’mon, Nationwide PR person who reads random internet blogs. Give a dog a bone!!! Me being the dog, and the bone being the 90% coverage per our contractual agreement. 


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