Just when you think the universe can’t deliver any more shit your way – surprise!!!
Our 15-year-old dog, Pi, was sick last week. Sick – as in stopped eating, vomited a handful of times, wouldn’t get up from her bed, and generally ignored all offers of food (even the highly coveted Pupperoni). I prepared myself for the worst and called the vet. They took her in Saturday, drew some blood and the vet said she was thinks it’s possibly kidney failure and she’s “not optimistic.” After the longest 25 minutes of my life, where I told Pi I was not ready for this today and silently cursed Todd for having to be somewhere else, the vet called me back inside and….with incredulous eyes informed me that Pi’s kidney function was normal. Her liver function was normal. Her chem screen was normal.
Now Pi – who walks slowly toward the white light while simultaneously cheating death, and often with the stealth of a drunk after twelve shots of tequila – is an old dog. She often forgets where she’s going as she enters the kitchen, which – come to think of it – I do almost every day. She’s decided she’s too good for dog food and we’ve entered what my friend Beth calls the “grocery” age – where the dog is so old you just feed her anything she’ll eat so she doesn’t die of starvation. She has lost her footing twice in the last week and fell into the water bowl, ass first. Usually she’ll just walk through the water bowl on her way to, uh, wherever.
So Dr. Vet said, I’d like to get an x-ray of her chest to make sure there are no tumors. Pi had a large blood-supplied lump removed from her side a few months ago and we opted not to have it biopsied because she’s old. I spend every single day with her and I know her. That’s how I know when something’s wrong. Or not. After the x-ray Dr. Vet brought me back to look at it.
There’s Pi, lying comfortably on the x-ray table looking at me like, what? Her chest x-ray – is clear. Not a thing on it, anywhere. Her heart, kidneys, liver, and spleen all look normal. Her stomach – empty – is full of air. While she’s explaining all this to me, her assistant fed Pi two spoonfuls of baby food from a jar and girlfriend lapped that shit up like melted chocolate. And then she looked up at me, from her comfortable recline on the x-ray table and smiled. I know she smiled because her eyes were bright and she did that everything-little-things-gonna-be-alright doggie-pant with her mouth open and her tongue hanging out. If I didn’t know how much she loved me, I’d swear she was laughing at me for spending $400 to give her a ride in the car and a day at the spa.
It’s been a week, and she’s like a cat with nine lives. She’s eating again – though BFD since it’s all home-cooked chicken and ground turkey and hide-the-pill-in-the-peanutbutter snacks. I have to carry her down the stairs of our deck so she doesn’t fall down them, and I help her get up when she slips on the hardwood floors, or – yesterday – lift her out of the water bowl. But as she eats, her strength returns and she can pick herself up when she slips.
Until Wednesday, I’d been waiting for her intestinal tract to catch up to her digestive tract. And that’s the day all shit broke loose. Or, as it were, all shit didn’t break loose. Instead, it stuck to her fur and there was no way it was coming off without detonating a bomb. I tried, I really did. But I ended up carrying her down to the grooming tub (yes, we have one, and – noneya) and tried desperately to hose off her behind while holding her tail up – which I would guess most dogs don’t like but this one was putting up one hell of a fight for a dog who seemed to be at death’s door a week ago. She literally tried to climb out of the tub with both paws, a feat not seen in – oh – like never.
And not to be too graphic but hell – you’re here and I’m an open book – the water falling down was not unlike the Willy Wonka waterfall and Pi tried unsuccessfully to reclaim her tail. Instead she FELL DOWN. In the water. Which DID NOT smell like chocolate. And there were no Oompa-Loompas to rescue me. (Which, I will confide, always gave me the creeps and I would probably scream bloody murder if one turned up in my laundry room.)
But the good news is – she is alive, and well, and extra clean. And those pills the vet gave her that help push the food through to the intestines (apparently yes, there is) is working wonders and I may actually relax now that I haven’t had to bathe her again.
A little nonsense now and then is cherished by the wisest men. ~ Willy Wonka
If you want to view paradise, just simply look around and view it. ~ Willy Wonka
“I want an Oompa Loompa!” screamed Veruca. ~ Roald Dahl, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory