That awkward moment when you’re like, oh I think my dog may be dying.
That moment was at 7 this morning, when Karmann woke me up by freaking out: air licking, frantic pacing, refusing to sit or lie down, trying to eat the whole yard when we went outside, finally puking up mucous and foam.
Oh shit. She’s bloating. Is she bloating? FUCK. Fuckfuckfuck. She is. Oh. Is she? Surely, this isn’t happening.
So I called my preferred emergency vet, playing it cool, all, “oh, hey, I’m trying to figure out if I have an emergency . . . ” and was told in no uncertain terms to get her to an emergency facility as quickly as I could in the interest of caution because yes, it sure does sound like she’s bloating. Is she a big dog with a deep chest? Bring her in. Definitely bring her in.
It was rush hour. It was snowing. There were three known emergency vet options: my preferred place–the one I called–which is on the other side of the city, another place I trust also on the other side of the city, and there is a small, national chain place quite near my house. I’m not a huge fan of the latter. I have nothing against them, and no reason to distrust them, I just have considerable anecdotal reasons to trust my preferred place implicitly.
I made the decision to tackle traffic. My thought was that, if she really were bloating I KNEW they had the facilities to handle it. Thinking ahead to worst possible non-death outcomes, I was more confident in their surgical/stomach tacking abilities.
It was a stupid decision. 45 minutes later, stuck in un-moving bumper-to-bumper traffic I was still many miles from the point I expected traffic to clear, which was itself still 15 minutes from the vet center.
And Karmann was not doing well. She was crying, pacing, roaching, licking, and puking up more foam. As soon as I was past the center barrier I pulled a U-turn and headed back toward the small place closer to my house.
While I was in the middle of playing Pittsburgh Drift on snow-covered roads, Karmann farted.
And farted some more.
And then she burped.
By the time we got to the emergency vet, she was substantially improved. Which meant that I got to run a gauntlet of vet techs telling me how fine she was and how happy she looked and how no, of course she wasn’t bloating, and was I sure I still wanted to see a doctor when my dog was so obviously well?
To those techs, I extend my heartiest fuck you.
We saw the doctor and he confirmed that he could feel a lot of gas, but no distention or blockage. He also confirmed that she was likely epically nauseous. So she got IV anti-nausea meds and a shot of Pepcid.
And once Nutter was ready to go home he suggested that we both take a nap. Apparently 45 minutes in traffic, bawling at your dog not to die, please, leaves one a bit worse for the wear.
I’m sure there are myriad inappropriate ways to act toward or around someone who has just spent their morning assuming their puppy was nigh to perishing. From experience, I can list a few–just in case it helps any baby techs out there:
1) Don’t act as though the woman with the anteater eyes and hoarse voice is a lunatic when she walks in, talking about how her dog has been in awful distress until just 10 minutes ago. Don’t laugh and tell her her dog is “happy.” Whether or not her dog is actually happy, I assure you that she is not. She is imagining your head on a platter with an apple garnish, and considering kicking you in the shins.
2) Consider waiting until aforementioned woman is checked out and on her way before two of you launch into an awkward conversation that flips between your torrid attraction to the vet and the effects of probiotics on your colon.
2a) Scratch that. It’s probably never an awesome idea to flip back and forth between the hotness of your boss and the state of your intestines. It’s almost certainly not productive, in any event.
I still feel like I spent my morning in the Twilight Zone.
On the way home, Karmann resting, finally, in the back, I stopped for Paczki. Because near death experiences demand fat and carbs in gross quantities. I immediately shoveled in a custard, and when I remembered the foam puke I still needed to clean out of my car’s seat latch, chased it with a chocolate buttercream and a nap.
And when I woke up from the nap I cleaned up some water yack, which reminded me of the foam puke that still needed cleaning. So I ate a bagel and drank a root beer.
All your carbs are become mine.