My dog got a nose job
Yes, I know it was bad when my last dog was on antidepressants, when my dad would send me these huge envelopes stuffed with Lexapro samples. I’m pretty sure there was even a time when we were both on it at the same time and would clink tablets before we swallowed, me with a glass of water (OK, vodka) and Sebastian’s wrapped in a big piece of cheese.
Sebastian was the dog from hell, and he lived 10 years before we finally had an excuse to put him down. The really ironic part was how devastated we all were, as if losing this animal who literally tore the house down was this big tragedy.
“I hope this many people cry at my funeral,” my dad had said.
So I figure I was due for the perfect dog, and I finally got her. I’ve wanted a pug for as long as I can remember, and when I found out we couldn’t have a kid, I figured this was the next-best thing. And there are times when I see those precious young children screaming bloody murder at the grocery store dragging their half-dead, sleep-deprived, still-trying-to-lose-the-baby-weight mothers around that I think just maybe I lucked out with the whole infertility card, and please don’t hate on me for being real.
So the vet said because Gertie’s face is so flat, her breathing passageways are pretty crappy. He said he could open up her nostrils and she’d be able to breathe better and would have a much more active lifestyle. Already she’s a pretty awesome mountain pug and has conquered some pretty impressive hikes for a creature that is only 6 inches tall. She’s got a lot of chutzpa and struts her marshmallow-shaped body right up Smuggler like she can show the other dogs a thing or two. But if the temperature is even 1 degree over 60, she’s hosed. She gets too hot and can’t cool down, and then I have to carry her, thinking, “Who buys a dog they have to carry?”
Apparently, I do.
So I was talking to the vet about the procedure and how much it costs and he goes, “The rhinoplasty is $8 million dollars.”
And I’m like, “No way, it’s actually called rhinoplasty? You have got to be kidding me,” not really reacting to the price. I’m pretty good at blocking stuff like that out.
Naturally, I knew quite a few girls who got nose jobs growing up. It was practically a rite of passage, somewhere between the bat mitvah and graduation from boarding school. I never got one, though I probably should have.
I broke my nose pretty badly during a lacrosse game once. When you are born crosseyed like I was and you don’t have any depth perception, you should not play ball sports, especially with a ball as hard as a lacrosse ball.
I did have surgery that time, but my parents were too cheap to go with the plastic surgeon and were too dumb to realize that, hey, this is the perfect excuse for a nose job procedure. The whole “deviated septum” racket was totally overplayed. So they sent me to a ear, nose and throat guy who put my nose back on my face, and even though it’s a little crooked now, it was good enough for the insurance company that was willing to pay for it.
Years later, I went to a speech therapist who told me my public-speaking skills were fine but that my only big problem was that I needed to have my nose fixed. She was some big-time speech therapist to the stars in L.A. and I paid $250 for a half-hour consult in which I learned nothing about speech but was told point blank that my face was not in proportion. “You’re so dang cute, but your nose is just too big for your face,” she said, adding that she could totally see me ending up in Hollywood someday. She gave me the name of a surgeon and closed the door behind me. Did I mention that this all happened at Bikram yoga teacher training? This lady was a friend of Bikram’s and came to give a lecture on public speaking. How anyone could go to a yoga training and end up being told that the answer is plastic surgery is beyond me (but apparently not beyond Bikram).
I obsessed for years about getting a new nose, but the idea of breaking it in order to fix it freaked me out. Plus, it cost more money than I had.
The irony is not lost on me that after learning I couldn’t have my own kid I bought a designer dog who is spoiled rotten and yes, treated like a baby. She wears all pink and has a leopard-print bed and sits on my lap all the livelong day, and we coo at her and give her little nicknames like “Boonunu” and “Nook Nook.” She sleeps with us even though I totally judged my friends who co-sleep with their kids and now I’m doing it with a dog. Plus, now there are like 80 pug photos on my Facebook page. My relationship status should just say, “crazy childless dog lady.”
Hey, look at it this way — at least I don’t have cats.
So poor Gertie has a cone on her head and stitches in her nostrils and is all pathetic and banging into stuff and looking at me with those pleading eyes to take the goddamned thing off.
So I scoop her up in my arms and tell her what every mother tells her little princess at some point in their lives: We must suffer for our beauty. And if you think this is bad, just wait until your first Brazilian bikini wax.
The Princess is totally losing it and should probably go back on Lexapro. Email your love to firstname.lastname@example.org.