One Week to Go
Quick summation: mad daily deadlines aside, we're pretty much all set, thanks to my wonderful husband, who has had to handle almost all the arrangements. As payback, he says I have to handle everything once we're on English-speaking soil again. He's taking advantage of my currently apologetic state. And I feel bad enough to let him.
Last week: Got Edward microchipped. To enter Japan, your dog must have a microchip that's ISO 11784 or 11785 compliant (in case anyone's confused, we had to get this done in preparation of our return to Japan in a few years). Got a bit worried the night before the chipping, but a quick online search reassured me that it's nothing worse than getting a vaccine and most dogs don't seem to mind. Then we got to the vet and she started saying things about big needles, blood, and it being best if I stayed out in the waiting lounge while they inserted the microchip. After an increasingly tense 45-minute wait, the vet, face strangely flushed, finally stumbled through a door and ushered me into one of the rooms. My eyes instantly fell upon Edward, who lay in a defeated slump on the examination table. (His normal response to those tables is to climb the nearest available person to get off it or simply take a flying leap, never mind that for his height, that must be the equivalent of a free-fall off the Brooklyn Bridge.) Another nurse was pressing some gauze to a spot near his shoulders and it came away bright with blood. Then I saw the needle itself. It was big--2mm wide, the vet said. I think Edward thought so too and tried his best to protest--hence, the red-faced vet. We then had to wait another hour, back in the lounge, with Edward collapsed on the couch beside me like a deflated soup dumpling. When a fat corgi waddled in and Edward's ears didn't even prick, I almost thought they'd drugged him. He remained in this shell-shocked state the rest of the day.
When I took a break from work in the evening, I turned to find Edward huddled against the couch
and finally had to launch a vulture hand puppet (one of his toys) attack, to coax him out of the Land of the Impossibly Betrayed.
He's fine now. And he beeps, like an item getting price-checked at Walmart, when you hold a microchip scanner over his back. It's rather funny in a totally exploitive way.