Friday, April 13, 2012


Has it been another year already?  What?  Oh, stop.  You get ONE Belle post annually.  Take your meds.

I remember it was this gray but dry day.  It wasn't cool, and it wasn't hot.  It feels, in my memory, like a Friday.  Because Fridays feel a certain way.  I was working my first decent job after my execrable turn in Big 6.  We were still in Dallas.

We had just flown back from a big trip to Europe, I think.  Oh, relax.  This is pre-sprog, do-this-before-it's-too-late-and-as-responsible-adults-we-can't-possibly-justify-okay-I-mean-rationalize-it.  I'm not bigtimeing you.  I think.  If I am, then gosh, I hope I'm doing it right.  In any case, we were gone a good long time and had left Belle with my parents, out in the freeish free freedom of tall grass and open East Texas space.  But with strict boundaries.  Like Llewellin Setter Club Fed.

We retrieved her, reluctantly.  The Fuzz started refusing food.  This wasn't a big deal, because she was always a light eater.  But when she started refusing water, we started worrying.  Because, y'know, that sort of thing isn't a great long-term lifestyle choice.

I went to work.  So did Majesty, to the monstrosity of a nationally-known hospital where she financed my every whim pulled a paycheck.  Come mid-day, I started feeling weird.  Almost... responsible.  Like I needed to go home and check on things.

And so I did.  The nice part of having a flexible work situation/gig/arrangement thingy, I guess.  I left my converted broom closet and went home.  No, really, it was a converted broom closet, then with a glass wall that my boss could look through, if he wished, directly into my left ear.  I adored it because it was mine.

It took me a while to find her around the little Austin Stone house.  But at least I knew what I was looking for:  White.  Speckles.  Vacant expression.  Red collar.  Always the red collar.  Some of you will remember the perennially red tack.  We had inherited this ocean of monkey grass that was in all probability older than me.  In the liriope I found my dog, curled up and still.  Still, save for her eyes, which gave me this desperate "Get me the heck outta here, Dad!" look.  I tried giving her a little water.  She refused.  Her mouth was almost literally glued shut.  I carried her to my car.  The car I have now.

I had put a towel down in the passenger seat, and we took off for the vet at warp speed.  At some point, maybe on Lemmon, I had to stand on the brakes and I just clobbered her into right into the dash.  I apologetically tried to belt the pitiful thing in after that.  Didn't work  great, but hey, "E" for effort.  We made record time to Park Cities Veterinary.  Legal?  No.  Fast?  Yes.

I carried her in, and was assured they'd get to the bottom of the problem and phone me.  And so I waited, pretending to do whatever work I could.  When they rang my closet, sorry, office later, they said that there was this big blockage of some sort in Belle's gut.  Didn't know what it was.  It was a sixty five million X dollars to do whatever ridiculous surgery and elective lobotomy to remove our life savings from her gut and save her.  I didn't even care, "That's fine, do it," I drawled.  "Do it right now."  Remember, PET INSURANCE, PEOPLE.  Take THAT, vet bill!  Suckers.

Belle of course made it through the carnage in good order, and as insane as ever.  Our net worth?  Notsomuch.  Importantly, the, er, problematic item was also recovered, and was (strange to me then), saved for me in a gallon ZipLoc bag.  The item was... wait for it... underwear.  Women's.  I refuse to type the word panties.  Dang it, I just did, didn't I?  Wow.  Well, the owner of whatever they're called shall remain completely anonymous.  No, no, it wasn't Majesty.  That was the other time.  Yes, there was another time.

I'll spare you the "WHY?  WHY ON EARTH?" discussion about dogs and their foibles.

I went down there.  The great folks at the clinic presented the most disgustingly rancid, partly-digested, shockingly foul object I've ever seen in my life.  It had an odor that easily overcame sealed plastic.  The smell was enough to perm my chest hair.

I took the FuzzenFarce back to the house the next day, complete with a set of incredibly nasty looking stitches and an undeniably sheepish look.  She had to wear one of those Elizabethan collars, too.  Seriously, that's what they call them.  They're the things dogs wear at the dog park to sort out which ones are the complete idiots.  That's how they know.

Our punishment was that we had to cook the silly animal chicken and rice during her convalescence.  Because that's how humans identify the complete idiots.

The vaunted pet insurance came through for something like 800 clams.  Which, uh, wasn't quite enough, let's say.  Lord knows how I paid that credit card bill.  Probably plasma donation.  I'll let you know after the federal statute of limitations expires on bank robbery...  What?  There isn't one?  Okay, well forget I ever said that.

They have a wall at every vet's office.  Have you seen it?  It's filled with all kinds of things they've taken out of dogs.  Tennis balls, carabiners, stainless steel watch straps, you name it.  It's like the Wall of Shame.

We didn't make the cut.


bebe said...

Yeah, that was pretty sad..makes a great 'my dog is stupider than your dog' story, tho. You know--Bless her heart!!!

Roxanne said...

:) I have loved your pup stories--even though they are bittersweet.