About a week ago my dog greeted Alfred at the door by projectile vomiting.
My feelings about this were mixed. For one thing, I did appreciate that she gave Alfred this blessing and not myself. But she managed to find the only six square feet of carpet that we have in the house to vomit on, and also, she’s not a big puker. I mean, she’s kind of a equal-opportunity garbage disposal normally, puking would be counter-productive. So, y’know, there was some worry.
But she seemed fine so the next day we fed her as normal. She woke me up early the next morning by panting heavily in my face and looking panicked. You know, the look dogs normally reserve for imminent evacuation of bodily fluids?
I let her out. She tried to poop. She ate some grass. She panted. She tried to poop again. Then she laid down and refused to get up.
“So,” I said to Alfred. “Vet, I guess?”
“Yeah,” he agreed unhappily. Aside from the cost, the vet techs all remember our dog as “the one who regurgitated an assload of blue play-doh on their feet” and I think he finds that mildly embarrassing.
So he toted her off and was told it would be a thousand dollars. One thousand dollars. Just to do the tests that would determine what was wrong with her.
There was no way this was going to end well. Either we spend a thousand dollars, which we don’t have, to find out there is nothing fixable…and then we’re out a thousand dollars. Or we spend the thousand dollars, and find out something needs fixing…and then we don’t have any further money to finance the fix.
We paid the thousand dollars that we didn’t have, because we clearly don’t make wise decisions under pressure. Then I spent the whole day worrying that there would be something that required fixing, and we wouldn’t be able to afford it, and I would have to make The Call.
The Call would be all on me, of course. It was my idea to get the stupid dog in the first place. Alfred would probably vote for putting the vet bill on credit, even though we can’t afford it. I am the one who makes the cutthroat decisions in this relationship.
I would have to be the asshole that made the final decision to kill our dog, because I couldn’t justify paying to get her fixed.
As it turned out, there was nothing fixable. We won the “slightly less crappy option” roulette. Later that evening I got the second-hand verdict: the dog had a gall bladder attack*.
Let’s see. Mid-life, kinda overweight, doesn’t really like other dogs, a gall bladder that is trying to kill her?
She’s a dog version of ME.
I texted FoN.
Then the vet tried to sell us special diet food and I just growled and took my stupid canine home as soon as I could. The dog wasn’t terribly appreciative; I think she enjoyed her morphine vacation. This morning she repaid me by escaping the yard and making me drive** really slowly around the neighborhood, shaking a box full of treats out the window. I was late for work and my neighbors think I’m crazier than usual.
There’s been lots of other stuff going on, too. I’ll probably get around to blogging about it next month. See you then?
*It was actually a pancreatic attack, but I was told gall bladder originally. I told the vet, "close enough". That made her a little huffy. Probably because I kept saying 'gall bladder' but wouldn't buy her overpriced chemical dog food in a can. Vets are sensitive that way.
**I gave up running after her on foot about 3 years ago. Alfred still tries occasionally. I think he believes if he’s tired enough, he won’t murder her when he catches up.