The Million Dollar Cairn

Maya snow face

Mom’s calling me Maya, the million dollar cairn because every time she takes me to the vet it escalates into a major financial investment. Take yesterday’s teeth cleaning as an example. My breath has been an issue in the house for a while now. Mom has fed us Greenies and bones, cooked all our food and made sure we had plenty to chew, but the breath thing was still pretty bad.

Seamus and Tessa made sure to sleep upwind of me so they wouldn’t have to smell my breath, but mom caught a few good whiffs each morning when I moved in close for my belly rub.

“Oh, Maya, girl that’s some nasty breath you have. I guess it’s time I learned to brush your teeth.”

So, mom bought some really hideous smelling toothpaste and attempted to brush our teeth, on occasion. As time passed she focused more on my big canine teeth because getting to the back ones was an exercise in futility.

One morning I returned from chasing a herd of deer trailing blood across the white snow. In a panic mom rolled back my lips and the truth was known, bleeding gums and infected teeth; time for the doggie dentist.

This winter of deep snow and ice has made us all snow blind. Natures palette of white on white freezes ones perception of time and this has settled into our brains. It is difficult to take in information or that is a good excuse for making rash decisions; and that’s just what happened to mom. Doctors will tell you the worse and rely on your emotions to make spur of the moment decisions. They told mom I have a heart murmur and all hell broke loose.

“When did this happen?”, mom asked, attempting to control the pitch of her voice. “One day she’s fine and the next she has to have x-ray’s and possible medication for life. Plus your vet bill has miraculously doubled in size!”

When love is the food for thought any fool can be had for a price. Suddenly a simple teeth cleaning had escalated into a life and death situation. A battery of new tests were needed due to the implied possibility of my heart expanding to the point of, in mom’s white-outed brain, exploding.

Later that night mom brought me home from the doggie hospital. Seamus was all over me trying to get the story by sniffing at my privates. I overheard mom on the phone saying she can’t afford to take care of her own teeth, much less her dogs; and where’s the Obama Care for animals?

“I’m going to strap a small sleigh to Maya and she can go around the neighborhood delivering wood to pay for her medical bill!”

I chuckled to myself as I lay curled on the big chair, still groggy from the medication. I could hear mom telling Seamus that in a world that swings between life and death, health and sickness, the degeneration of the physical body is inevitable. However, it is the right of all Earth’s citizens to have access to free health care.

She was on a rant of major proportion.

As a small doggie who will probably never go to war, although I would make a good spy, I’ve heard that soldiers return home shattered in mind and crippled in body so that the government can spend a fortune putting them back together.

Mom says that war is a game old men play using the lives of young men and women as pawns. I say that humans should send those old geezers to fight the wars and you will soon find them sipping tea with the enemy seeking to negotiate a peaceful treaty.

As a warrior cairn terrier I say that humans should take the trillions of dollars invested in fighting useless wars and use it to feed, educate, house and heal their own people; and let others do the same. As I lay here dreaming of a peaceful world Pete Seeger is playing on the radio and perhaps it is a coincidence, but more than anything it is a reminder.

Where have all the soldiers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the soldiers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to graveyards everyone.
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

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