“Prometheus” sounds like an awful big name for a little dog who just had his balls removed. I took him to the vet for neutering on Wednesday and picked him up yesterday morning. On the trip out, the unwitting pooch happily wagged his nubbin as we passed his friend, Tootles, playing outside. The scene reminded me of a classic “Far Side” cartoon, where a dog mocks his canine pal by telling him: “Ha ha ha, Biff. Guess What? After we go to the drugstore and the post office, I’m going to the vet’s to get tutored.”
The vet assured me the puppy sailed through the procedure with flying colors. Even so, knowing what he’d sacrificed, I couldn’t help but cross my legs sympathetically while waiting for him after surgery. I didn’t feel much better when I saw the critter either. With his head sheathed in a white plastic cone to prevent him from chewing his stitches, he looked positively forlorn.
He seemed more like his old self this morning, thankfully. Despite obvious annoyance at the cone, he pranced around the house with a spring in his step. I wasn’t about to leave him alone though. So when my father-in-law asked me to help move furniture, I brought the dog along.
My mother-in-law answered the door. To say the least, she acted strangely. Indeed, I thought her downright loopy. Not only did she greet me with unusual enthusiasm, but after spotting Prometheus in his temporary headgear, she literally shrieked. Then she crossed herself and dropped to her knees, where she commenced babbling in Italian. I didn’t understand a word until she clearly enunciated “Santo Prometheus!” Struck dumb by the bizarre turn of events, I watched mutely as she scooped up the mutt and carried him to her bedroom.
Just then my father-in-law appeared, and I told him about his wife’s odd behavior. As Vito explained, Maria had taken a potent painkiller for a migraine she’d suffered earlier. I concluded that the narcotic, in combination with her natural religious fervor and her overexposure to Catholic iconography, must’ve caused her to hallucinate and mistake Prometheus’ cone for a halo. How the dog could’ve leapfrogged the entire canonization process and skipped directly to sainthood remained a mystery, however.
Before helping my father-in-law with his furniture, I checked on his wife. I discovered her in the master bedroom introducing an intrigued “St. Prometheus” to her beloved wooden statue of Jesus. Seeing a golden opportunity to restore the dog — and, by extension, me — to my mother-in-law’s good graces, I left him in her care and went off to haul couches with Vito.
I found Maria fast asleep upon my return to the bedroom a half hour later. I figured her painkiller, and its accompanying delusion, would both wear off once she awakened. Of course, I planned to be long gone by then … knowing the Catholic zealot would little appreciate the sight of her wooden Savior, shorn most of one sandaled foot, thanks to the highly un-saintly gnawing of St. Prometheus.