Saturday, December 14, 2013

Dogs! Mixed Blessings

We have had an adventurous week concerning our first dog, Bailey.  Last Wednesday morning she was acting meek and needy.  That escalated through the day so that by four in the afternoon she was frantically shaking and panting.  We called all the local vets.  Some were sick, some on vacation, some didn’t answer phones.  Then there were the frustrating ones.  One lady answering the vet’s line told me I needed to get my dog in to see a vet!  Why, thank you so very much for your helpful help, you helping helper.

The only place we could get her in was the animal emergency room in Reno, so we packed her up, grabbed our girl out of dance class and headed out.  That doc suggested a disc issue and gave us some anti-inflammatory meds.  That was a rough night, but we made it through.  By four the next afternoon, Bailey hadn’t gone to the bathroom at all in over 24 hours and was still very distressed and unable to walk.  I began my round of phone calls again.  This time I got an appointment for the following morning at a vet hospital in Reno.  I looked for a ride fruitlessly, so poor Brian had to call in sick to get us there. After midnight Bailey finally went potty for the first time in something like 33 hours and I didn’t care a hoot that it was on my bedroom floor.

Friday morning we learned that Bailey’s back was indeed a problem and she would need a $5000 surgery or be paralyzed and in pain.  OH, and they don’t take payments.  Wow.  We drove home in stunned silence, each of us left to our prayers and hopes.  At least this time we had muscle relaxers to ease her pain.

That evening Brian’s brother and sister-in-law offered to loan us the money and the surgery was planned for Saturday.  We had friends visiting at the time the arrangements were made, and one offered to take us to Reno, another offered to take my kids to the Christmas cookie making party that was planned.  Isn’t God grand? 

I have to say I struggled—struggle—with spending that type of money on a pet.  We worked all that time to get debt free, and we just dove right back into it.  And worse… we are in debt to the only member of my husband’s family who’ll still speak to me!  Oh, the wisdom…

Nevertheless, off we went Saturday morning to get Bailey fixed—well, not that kind of fixed.  Fixed on the flip side.  After a mind-blowingly frustrating game of phone tag (who ever wins at that game, anyway?), we got the hap- hap- happy news on Sunday afternoon that Bailey didn’t need surgery after all!  Praise Him!  The radiological test they administered revealed healing from disc trauma.  We had to wait to hear about one more test that might indicate cancer, and then we could bring her home Tuesday.  Cancer at this point seems unlikely and we conclude our little seven day drama.

In a couple of weeks we can get the staples removed and her hair should fill in soon enough.  Our Miss Bailey is healing nicely, but we have strict orders to keep her from walking around too much or using stairs.  Boy, is that easier said than done!  She is our jumper and she gets herself up and down from the couches and beds before we can stop her.  We have to carry her in and out for every bathroom break.  She seems to think the fuss is just plain silly.  I am eager to prevent further injury.

We have spent the days since her return keeping things as low-key as possible; we are shoving drugs down her throat and carrying her to bed and potty.  One afternoon after school, I was snuggling under a blanket on the couch with my oldest kid and both dogs while I read.  My son stood up to walk away and pulled his blanket with him.  To our great surprise, we both felt … sprinkled.  What?  The blanket was wet, and my son’s sudden movement had flung the offending liquid all over us.  What could that be?  He took a sniff and shrugged his shoulder.  I just stared.  What?!

He gathered up the blanket to take to the laundry room and tosses over his shoulder, “There is a puddle on the carpet there if you want to smell it.”  What?!  Sure enough, there is a dish-sized dark spot on the carpet under where both dogs languished sleepily.  Now, I didn’t fuss when my nearly paralyzed dog piddled on the carpet in the middle of the night after holding it for over a day, but that was never intended as some sort of invitation to a new world order!  My dogs are four and five years old, for goodness’ sakes.  I am done with doggy messes on my floor!

Brian hears me holler and comes out to see what the problem is.  I tell him we don’t know the culprit, but that we had a potty accident in the living room.  While he is out there, Brian realizes the time for our daughter’s dance is approaching so he calls her name.  My son misinterprets the events and calls out, “No, she didn’t do it!” Brian and I do the slow turn to look our smart young man in the eyes.  You sure about that, Son?  Silly boy!

Meanwhile, I am mopping up the carpet while my family members make jokes and meander.  The dogs have not budged.  I am telling you, there was just not enough guilt in that room!

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