The puppy who lives in our house likes to chase lizards. She never even comes close to catching one. She's kind of slow and kind of goofy - she's a lab after all - but with all that puppy energy it's good for her to have a job. Not Catching Lizards. Recently, I've had to add to her job description: don't get stung by a bee.
There we were, up at the barn, me working and Maisie running. One minute she's all sleek and black and shiny, cute little labby face and lips. The next minute she's Angelina Jolie.
I rushed her to our vet's office, Malibu Coast Animal Hospital. It's a real hometown practice. Dean Graulich came to Malibu soon after graduating veterinary school and worked at every clinic in town. Now he owns one. He and his staff remember your name and remember your pets and the pets remember them. They treat Dr. Dean like a rock star.
One look at Maisie and they took her into a treatment room. Rattlesnake? Bee? They didn't know yet. But they found the stinger, pulled it out, checked Maisie's vitals, gave her a shot and said she would be fine. They gave me a teensy bottle of Benadryl and kept saying she would be fine until I believed them. I mean, did you know a dog's face could do that?
Later, standing in the waiting room, the tech and I and the rest of the clients just stared at Maisie's astonishing lips.
"It's OK to laugh," the tech said.
And to take a picture?