Monday, May 29, 2006

Sad Dog, Sad

Or, Lo! How Dawn's rosy fingers break forth upon the 24-hour emergency vet!

Ok. So I'm supposed to be in New Jersey this weekend, visiting Enrico's family. But I bailed at the last minute because of a perfect storm of work deadlines. It's been great. Not only are the deadlines manageable again, but I've been able to do all those things that make you feel human, like prepare healthy food, and exercise, and see friends, and catch up on sleep.

Oh, wait. Don't speak too soon on that last one! Because I spent the whole night last night up with poor Ms. Nelly, who has a bladder infection. I finally gave in and took her to the emergency vet at 4 am. She just kept pacing and crying, constantly, and trying frantically to pee every 5 minutes. All night long.

This started in the late evening and I almost took her in around bedtime, but the vet said it'd be a 2-hour wait and there was Toby to consider. Toby who goes into a panic when he's left alone, and tries to do the worst thing he can think of so that we'll have to come home and punish him, which is better than being alone. Usually it involves eating something really, really stupid.

So it's the middle of the night; Nelly is sick and distressed; Toby is aware of that fact and a bit freaked out; and Enrico is gone. I'm thinking, if I leave to take Nelly to the emergency vet, I'll just have to turn right around and take Toby there next, in order to have the bedspread removed from his stomach. So I hit upon the idea of giving Toby one of Nelly's valium, left over from her days of furnace phobia. I figure, I'll wait a while. If Nelly can settle down and sleep, we sleep. If not, at least the Valium will kick in for Toby, and Nelly and I can leave him behind in a mellower state of mind.

Nelly managed a couple stretches of sleep, a couple hours each. But Toby? Valium has ABSOLUTELY NO EFFECT on that dog. Unless, by "effect," you mean "Hey! You awake? I know it's the middle of the night and all, but for some reason I'm just in SUCH a good mood! I feel so strangely happy, and I want to share it with you! You awake?" Not so much a mellowing effect, as a happying effect.

So by 3:30 when it became apparent that Nelly couldn't rest any longer, we headed across town in the dark, early morning hours to see the vet, who confirmed my amateur diagnosis (hey, we gals know the signs of a bladder infection, even across species) and sent us home with antibiotics. As for Toby, the happying effects of the valium ended the minute I walked out the door. I shut him up in our bedroom where there was little he could do to hurt himself, although he managed some clever destruction nonetheless.

At 8 am, having given Nelly the first magical dose of antibiotics, I got out a set of earplugs, and laid the situation out for her. "I know you think you have to pee. But you don't. And trust me when I say you will feel better by bedtime tonight. In the meantime, I'm afraid I'm going to heartlessly tune out your suffering for an hour - one hour! - because Flora's been listening to you cry for 14 hours, and now she needs a little sleep, Monkeydog."

Poor, sad dog. So tired and uncomfortable. But at least I know she's on the mend, even if I can't tell her that. And thank goodness I didn't go to New Jersey, or the poor dogsitter would've had to deal with all this.

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