Poor Auguste has a cold. He has sniffles, and coughs. It started Monday evening, when he kept us up all night with a hoarse, choking cough. The next day, I made chicken broth, which he loved, and Julia gave him some honey. He was still pretty sick, and looked like he had aches and pains. He also sneezed a lot. So on Thursday, after three days of treating him to warm cuddly blankets next to the radiator, lots of chicken soup and doggy biscuits dipped in honey, we took him to the vet, who said he had the dreaded kennel cough doggy flu, and gave him a shot, a week’s worth of cough syrup, antibiotics, as well as some anti inflammatory pills for his sore throat.

Here is what it says about kennel cough: “Infectious tracheobronchitis, commonly known as kennel cough, is a canine respiratory infection caused by Bordetella bronchiseptica and canine parainfluenza virus. These pathogens attack the cilia lining the respiratory tract and cause inflammation of the upper airway.”

What it really is, is a throat-clearing, honking, hacking, dry, harsh, gut-wrenching, gagging, wheezing, and croup-like cough that wakes you up in the middle of the night. Auguste was miserable for about three days, with a runny nose and eyes, and a fever that made his ears all hot. What he loved: chicken broth and honey. The cold air made him cough more, and we had to be careful because he was very contagious. (No sniffing at other dogs!)

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Luckily, the cough is clearing up nicely. He has hardly coughed at all today, and his nose is dryer and his eyes are bright and clear. He still has six more days of treatment, and then he will be good as new. In the meantime, he’s milking it for all it’s worth – jumping on our laps to cuddle when we sit on the couch, giving us his “I’m starving and need more honey-biscuits and broth” looks every time we go in the kitchen. But as soon as he realizes he can’t go to the stables tomorrow for our weekly Sunday hike, he will really be depressed. But it’s far too rainy, cold and wet to take him with us. He’ll just have to wait until he’s all better!

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