…and today was Vincent’s. For those of you unacquainted with the [unnecessarily stressful] saga of the quarrel between my dog’s dominant behavior, his testicles, and his cleft palate, let me summarize:

First up, the cleft palate, which he was born with and had surgically attended to when he was an eight week-old mite of a Frenchie. Then the drama of the divot still remaining after the surgery, which meant I had to pull out food stuck up in the roof of his mouth before it rotted and caused all manner of nasty infections. Yuck!

Thankfully, the divot was flattening gradually as his head widened under he influence of all that testosterone now starting to express itself. So we put a kabosh on the neutering thing until which time it might even out sufficiently to allow for testiculectomy (my word).

Horrors, though! Vincent turned out to be an unruly, dominant creature whose interests (and mine) would be far better served by severing the source of all those heady hormones. His bouts of redirected aggression, in particular, have recently gotten way out of hand. Example: if someone knocks on the door, he growls and clobbers his sister, Sophie Sue. Now that’s gotta go. No amount of calming behavior modification was working against that particular activity.

Finally, his breathing: When many short-faced dogs breathe, they do so with a rattle. Many people think of this as a “cute” bulldoggy thing. In reality, it’s the result of an impediment in their airway, usually their fleshy soft palate, an extension of the hard palate (which in Vincent’s case was extra-specially messy as a result of his congenital condition).

Now that I’ve convinced you never to get a Frenchie, let me assure you that few are as disastrous as mine. Sure he’s a gorgeous specimen, an ultra-lovable smushball 99% of the time. Sure, he’s sweet, sassy and vivacious. But, man, is he a PIA in almost every other way. And so go the testicles. And a hefty slice of the soft palate, while we’re at it.

Today was the day. He’s recovering beautifully at the specialist's hospital (btw, I recommend that every pet owner have a vet surgeon for a mate--but hands off mine!).