Gracie Update 2

Son startled self by walking in at 8 p.m. last night.  He’d decided to cancel a dinner with his Bay Area friends.  He didn’t look happy.  Instead, he walked right past self, sitting in the living room, and went to the kitchen.  Poor li’l crit was lying on some towels and pillows in the center of the kitchen floor.  All day, self had agonized over whether to take her to the nearest emergency room.  The vet had been closed for three days for the Christmas holiday.

The last time self took Gracie to the emergency room (for snail bait poisoning), the bill reached nearly $2,000.  The hospital kept her for three days.  But when son walked in the door last night, all of self’s ditherings flew out the window.  She said, “Let’s go now.”  Hubby was already asleep and could not make his feelings known.  So self and son set off for the emergency clinic in San Mateo.

We returned home at midnight.  Self’s jeans were covered with Gracie’s piss.  She had asked son whether he still remembered how to drive a stick shift, and he said he did.  Besides, he said, he’d much rather drive than have a pee-ing dog on his lap.  After several stuttering starts, he managed to get the car going.

Son was starving:  he hadn’t yet had dinner.  On the way home, we stopped by good ol’ Burger King, the very same place where self used to take son, every afternoon after picking him up from school.  Good thing self still had $6 in her wallet (She had to settle with the emergency clinic:  $400 in cash.  Good thing she’d had the presence of mind to withdraw more cash that morning.  Perhaps she always knew that as soon as son came home, he would go with her to the emergency clinic.  She prayed, and he appeared)

At 1 a.m., self called the emergency clinic.  How was Gracie?  She was “in process.”  Self started watching a SyFy movie called “Minotaur.”  She recognized Tom Hardy.  She became very interested.

She fell asleep.  The next thing she knew, the phone was ringing.  It was the emergency clinic doctor.  When were we planning to pick up Gracie?  Self glanced at the clock:  YIIKES!  She was told all the animals needed to be picked up by 7 a.m., and it was 9!

“I’ll be right there!” she yelled, and flew out the door, still in her pajamas.  She arrived at the clinic, and for a brief moment imagined she saw Gracie leaping over the receptionist’s desk.  Of course, that must have been a hallucination.  After several long moments, however, the li’l crit appeared, walking —  shakily, but on her own.  Oh, what joy!

There was a catheter sticking out of Gracie’s leg and self was told to go straight to her regular vet and have Gracie kept on a fluid drip for the rest of the day.  But since Gracie seemed so much improved, self decided to take her home instead (Self knows, she knows.  This is terrible.  Call her trash!  Go ahead!)

Mid-afternoon, the vet called.  When were we planning to bring Gracie in?  Self said she was really doing much better; did she really need a drip?  At which, the vet grew incensed, so self didn’t bother to argue.  She hauled Gracie off.  Then, there was an hour-long wait in the vet’s office.  Then, we were told the vet had to make an urgent house call, return the next day at 8 a.m.

In between all these comings and goings, Gracie became increasingly ambulatory and alert.  By the time we returned from the vet’s office, she was sniffing at the ground and acting very curious about smells and such.  Self took the li’l crit to the backyard.

She helped Gracie along by lifting up her hind legs.  Now and then, the li’l crit would just collapse.  But when self would try to carry her, her legs would flail out, as if she very much wanted to walk.  So self would put her down, and that li’l dog very determinedly walked.  Her eyesight has deteriorated:  she kept bumping into the edge of the deck and knocking her head against the fence.  But every time self tried to bring her inside, Gracie would resist.

Finally, self left her out in the backyard and checked on her periodically.  Suddenly, while self was in the kitchen, she happened to glance down, and Gracie was at her feet.  Somehow, self doesn’t know how, the li’l crit had groped her way on to the deck, up the back stairs, through the doggie door, and into the kitchen, totally un-aided!

As it happened, the vet called shortly thereafter to check up on Gracie.  Self told him that Gracie had a ravenous appetite.  Moreover, she was very active.  The vet seemed pleased.  He wasn’t so mad at self anymore.  Self agreed to bring Gracie in the next morning, 8 a.m. sharp.

Then two of son’s friends came and knocked on the door.  There was a shrill series of barks.  Gracie, from her perch in the middle of the kitchen, was barking her head off, the way she always used to do when strangers knocked at the door.  Shortly after that, she began pushing the other li’l crit, Bella, off the sleeping cushion next to the living room sofa, re-asserting her right as “Top Dog.”

Will wonders never cease?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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