White Dog buried her head under the blankets. "Make him STOP!" she whined. "I am not getting ANY sleep!"
She was referring to Taiko's coughing. He has a sporadic chronic hack as a result of years of living outside and a narrowed trachea but the past few days have been worse than normal because of heavy pollen counts and their toll on all of the White Dog Army's allergies. The others have had itchy eyes and slightly runny noses; poor Tai has also had to deal with a ramped up frequency and intensity of his cough.
Dr. Julia prescribed cough tablets to be used as we needed them for our boy, but they have been ineffective during these days. We gave him an herbal calming compound in hopes of reducing his anxiety over the hacking gunky eruptions. No effect.
Finally at sunrise we broke down and pulled the Robitussin cough syrup out of the medicine cabinet. We double checked dosing instructions and I gathered Taiko into my arms. Steve was confident that he would just lap the medicine off the spoon. Taiko sniffed and decidedly turned away. Steve carefully explained how the liquid would help. Taiko did not believe him.
Next, Steve spread the syrup on a piece of bread; Taiko loves bread. By now the entire White Dog Army was awake and watching. Taiko took the bread but the minute it touched his tongue he spit it onto the floor. YoYoMa lunged for the rejected treat prompting a food possessive growl from Taiko but no interest in actually eating the bread. Every pup then had to have a bite of the multigrain artisan bread.
Syringing the teaspoon of liquid down Taiko's throat meant getting past his bared teeth and calming him enough to not snap. Our rescue still has issues with being restrained. I held our boy and spoke soothingly while gently and strategically positioning my body and arms to act as a buffer if need. Steve managed to slip the tip into his mouth and release the fluid. Taiko held it in his mouth for the count of two then threw his head wildly from side-to-side sending a shower of red drop all over the living room...then he went into a coughing fit.
Our final attempt, we agreed, would be to mix it into a couple of spoons of the premium wet dog food we reserve for Oso when he has bad eating days. Taiko stuck his nose into the bowl and carefully began to eat around the food that contained cough syrup. Steve quickly pulled the bowl away and thoroughly mixed the ingredients...there was no way to avoid the medicine now. Taiko sniffed and thought for a minute. He knew he was being tricked and he did not want to be gullible...but darn it, that food smelled so delicious even with the awful medicine. He resisted another thirty seconds before giving in and gobbling it down.
I am not sure whether the cough syrup did its job or if Taiko was just exhausted by all of the maneuvering to medicate him but he slept until breakfast time. Steve (and his study buddy, White Dog) looked at the clock, sighed, and headed into the office to do school work.