Kasey likes her walks, but they come at a price. Nine times out of ten, she ends up with what I call the Kasey Kough — a kind of weird, rasping, unnerving throat noise that makes everyone think that she’s got some kind of soon-to-be-fatal doggie disease.
The problem is this: Kasey can’t wait to get outside for her walk, and she strains mightily against the leash to move ahead as quickly as possible. Unless you sprint down the stairs and trot along as she moves from here to there, as unpredictably as the tail of a rattler, you’re going to apply some resistance to the leash . . . and therein lies the rub — literally.
Kasey apparently has the most delicate throat in the canine kingdom. If you tug on the leash even slightly, it provokes an apparent throat muscle collapse that causes her to start making a kind of retching, throat-clearing sound, as if she’s trying to get rid of a hairball or is about to shoot a phlegm wad across the street. It’s a disturbing noise that causes passersby to look at us with some suspicion, as if we’ve just come from the nightly dog-strangling session at our house.
When Kasey gives us the Kasey Kough, Kish will give her an on-street throat massage to try to restore whatever throat integrity Kasey once had. Sometimes this technique works, but mostly it doesn’t, and Kasey keeps hacking away. Often the wracking heaves don’t end until we’ve turned the last corner on the way home.
It’s always a relief to know that she’s survived another walk.