July 12, 2008

Why Bat Is So Batty

Whenever I drive past the Animal ER just a few miles away from our home I hold in my breath and look closely at the building's parking lot or into the front window. They only treat emergency situations and animal crises that come up after hours, so if there is someone waiting in their lobby, I know it can't be too good. If I see a car there or someone waiting inside I say a little prayer to myself that everything will be okay for them. If no car is there, I silently exhale and smile to myself that no one is there. This little ritual is so secret, not even Jeremy knows I do it. It's definitely superstitious on my part, but I'm built that way.

My personal routine is the result of actually BEING that person sitting in the waiting room at 9:00 at night, hoping that their pet will be alright. About six years ago, when Bat was just a puppy, he literally knocked himself unconscious running into a "No Running" sign at our local park. Why there is a "No Running" sign posted at the park is a story for another post.

I remember Jeremy bringing Bat home from the park back then, carrying him in his arms. The minute they walked in the door I could see that Bat looked lifeless. I screamed and Jeremy shouted at me to get the car running. We had to go to the Vet immediately. Once we arrived at the Animal ER, we were whisked in and Bat was looked over. Fortunately he was fine, just a little concussion. We were so relieved. I remember hugging Jeremy through tears and just holding our little puppy and being so grateful that everything would be fine. (You should know that a week later, Bat also ran full bore into our neighbors redwood swing set and gave himself a huge contusion on his forehead where he hit before. His bruise filled up so much fluid that we had to suck all the blood out with a syringe each morning. No wonder he's a little slow).

Here's a Far Side cartoon that Jeremy pulled out of his daily calendar . He gave it to me shortly after Bat had all his run in's with poles and swingsets. Bat's head seriously took this shape every day before we syringed him.
But back to the Animal ER time. As we were waiting to settle our bill with the Vet, another couple came in with two kittens that they had just recently adopted. They were frantic because one of their kittens was lifeless and the other was acting lethargic. Jeremy and I had to stick around a little while to pay because the only person running the place was also the Vet who was helping the couple with the cats. We weren't about to ask her to step away from this awful situation just to run our credit card.

As we waited, we could hear the Vet telling the couple that the first kitten was near death and would most likely pass away within two hours. The second cat was showing signs of extreme upper respiratory failure as well and the same would happen within 48 hours. It was painful to hear that they would be putting their kittens down that very night.

I just remember feeling awful for sitting there with a healthy puppy and this couple was about two lose both of thier pets. We tried to keep ourselves occupied while the couple grieved and spent the last few minutes with their kittens before they were put down.

I think of them every time I pass that building. My heart hurts when I see a car parked out front. I much prefer to pass that place and let out my silent sigh of relief.
Wow. That story was just incredibly depressing. To lighten the mood a little bit, I'm posting a scan of a photo of Bat that I Photoshoped shortly after all this happened many years ago. I think you'll see the humor in it.

1 comment:

Casey said...

First off, how are you feeling? I hope your bronchitis is less bronchitial (is that a word?) and that you're on your way to becoming the next Sego Lily Day Spa blogger chick.

I missed you so I looked through your archives until I found a picture of a dog in a helmet. It seemed like the perfect post to comment on and say hello. I'm glad Bat is taking all of the proper precautions and wearing his helmet and I hope this post still finds him healthy and safe. Our dog Bailey is around the same age as Bat, maybe they can be friends.

There's this chick on our street (she's really around 60 so that makes her an old lady) who stopped us one day to comment on the fact that Graham was wearing his helmet and we weren't. She can suck it. That is all.