One of these days that’s going to be me. I’ll run into a friend I haven’t seen in a while and she’ll say, “Hey, Mrs Fringe, what’s been going on?”
I’ll answer, “Nothing much.” And mean it. No discretion, no walking away sniffling, just a nice boring stretch.
Maybe my next life.
Yesterday morning, right before Nerd Child had to leave to go back to school, Old Senile Dog began making some strange noises. Coughing and retching. Ok, sucks, but dogs get sick, pet him a little to try and relax him. No. Because it progressed to throwing up nothing but foam, bile and weirdness, and his back end kept giving out. And the sound he was making was eerily similar to a death rattle. Freak out time!
Call the vet, a hurried and distracted goodbye to Nerd Child, half walk, half carry the dog to the vet’s office on the next block. He looked bad. Really bad. I knew it wasn’t just my perception when the woman sitting with her Shitzu shoved her little bundle back into its carry bag and inched away. Another woman waiting at the counter brought the paperwork and pen over to me, so I wouldn’t have to try and move him any more than necessary. Tech came out and brought him into the back right away.
The vet comes out, I go over the symptoms, how long, etc, and now I’m noticing how reassuring she isn’t being. Calm, lovely, efficient, but no hint of “don’t worry, he’s going to be ok.” This taps into my inner loon, I can barely remember and articulate what he gets fed, and I just keep repeating over and over, “Is he in pain? I don’t want him in pain, don’t let him be in pain!”
She takes half a step back, lies and tells me he isn’t in pain, and I accept this because I want it to be true. I call Fatigue, and babble about what the vet said.
Bloat with twisted intestine, emergency surgery needed, maybe a mass caused it, maybe they’ll find necrosed tissue of the stomach and or spleen by the time the surgeon opens him. Much quiet drama throughout the day, Little Incredibly Dumb dog is beside herself, barely left his bed since I left with him. Flower Child wasn’t much different.
Oh yeah. Flower Child. I don’t know if I’ve talked about it here, but Big Senile Dog is more than a beloved pet. He works as Flower Child’s aid/service dog. Completely untrained for this, he was already our pet when FC first started having seizures and other fun. He has been amazing. He alerts for seizures, he alerts if she is at all unwell and I’m not right there.
He sees her as his job, no one is allowed to get close to her if he doesn’t know them and trust them. When her seizures cause loss of consciousness, if I don’t already have her on the couch or bed, he places himself so she lands on him and not the ground. He isn’t perfect, he tends to be overprotective of her. He works for her, but has zero interest in cuddling or being cuddled by her. He won’t play with her, that would be beneath him. If she needed him and a tempting steak walked by, he’d bay for my attention and then go grab the steak, going back to her only after said steak was eaten. On the bright side this would take him about 0.04 seconds.
He’s a pest. He can jump seven feet straight up into the air to leap a fence, grab a chicken, or put his face into the face of someone he doesn’t think should be too close to his family. One year we went on vacation, and Sister In Law, whom he adores, took care of him. She took him to doggie day care while she went to work so he wouldn’t be lonely. He jumped the fence in their backyard, and waited there until she returned at the end of the day, howling only once he heard her voice. He cries and bays if I walk away from him at any time for any reason when out in the street, even if it’s Husband holding his leash. He howls and bays if we’re all outside, to warn the world that his charges are coming through and they’d best move out of the way. But he’s our pest, and we love him, adore him, and the work he does for Flower Child is priceless.
The surgeon called last night, the surgery went well. YAY! No mass, no resection of his stomach needed. Double YAY! This leaves the odds in his favor for a full recovery.
This morning, I take Flower Child to school, and wait for the vet to call. This afternoon, I will pick her up early, and take her to an appointment with Dr BigShot. Nothing much.