It can be such good therapy to write on this blog. Oy Vey. So much has transpired.
Last night, we were doing our thing. We had a nice dinner as a family, and then went upstairs to wind down, cuddle, and watch an episode of The Office that we had been wanting to see. The dogs follow us everywhere (well, Shadow mostly… but Lady follows him around–that’s why we named him Shadow) and so we were cozy up there together. August had been asleep for a little while in his room downstairs. All was well.
We finished up our episode, after laughing a lot. If you’ve seen the episode that starts out with them all doing Parkour, and ends with Michael telling everyone terrible rumours about all the employees, then you know which one I’m talking about. Funny & crazy. The dogs were playing, and we were egging them on as we usually do. I love how much joy they have, and how much they want to be with us. It’s the sweetest thing. They were playing around with each other, and they also had these cow hooves they chew on and play with. One second things were fine, the next I noticed Shadow was pawing at his face. A LOT. I thought he was playing hardcore with his chew, but he was actually starting to choke on it. I panicked, froze… then yelled to Troy, “HONEY HE’S CHOKING!!!” Immediately I flashed back to the last time I felt that much terror.. when August was taken to the NICU by ambulance. Not a good feeling. Our poor guy was writhing around in agony, and it freaked me out. First, because I didn’t know what was really going on, second because those cow hooves get small and sharp, and I didn’t know which one he had in his mouth.
I felt like I would hyperventilate. I looked up the number to the nearest 24 hour animal emergency center, and Troy was on the phone with them quickly explaining what happened. Meanwhile, Shadow had thrown up food, probably a reaction to how terrified he was, too. We had no idea what to do. August was sleeping peacefully in his room while all of this was happening, and I frantically called up our friend Heather, because she is nearest and dearest to us–only three minutes away. I’m sure I sounded like a babbling baby, not to mention I’m pretty sure I woke her up. Between gasps and “Ohmygosh…” I managed to get through to her that there was an emergency with our dog, and could she come over to watch August while we rushed him to the hospital?! I would’ve called my parents, but they are 15 minutes away and we didn’t have time. We sped off in our car, hoping the thirty minute drive would take much less.
Troy thought he locked our back door, as we do out of habit, behind him. I was thinking of our baby, knowing we were dealing with a crisis, but also had a six month old alone in our home! Thankfully, God provided and the door actually was unlocked when Heather got there. Oh goodness, how thankful I was.
The car ride was sheer torture and agony. For all of us. Watching our sweet dog thrashing this way and that, scratching at his face because he couldn’t get this piece of chew dislodged from his mouth–it was horrible. The worst thing I’ve seen. Seeing someone you love in pain, and not knowing anything you can do for them, is absolutely the worst. The vet had said to keep him calm, so I repeated over, over, and over again, with tears in my eyes and a trembling tone, “Shadow, shadow, you’re a very good boy. We love you so much. Good boy. I love you. You’re going to be okay. Almost there now. We love you so much.” I tried not to show that I was terrified. He is always SO in tune with our emotions, and is the first one to come up to me if I have a worried expression on my face, or start to cry, and nudge my arm or chin, trying to kiss my tears away. When he needs encouragement if he’s getting a bath, or a shot or something, he always responds really well to verbal encouragement. The opposite is also true– If I freaked out more, so did he. I started to sing to him after my chanting encouragement seemed to stop working to calm him.
There was blood all over the back of our vehicle. Blood splattered on the arm rest between Troy & I. Blood on my pants and shirt. Blood dripping from his tongue. Good God, please don’t let our dog die in front of us! PLEASE. I was so scared for his life, and had no idea what could happen. “If he swallows it, will it internally damage him? Will he suffocate because it’s lodged in his windpipe? What can I do? Should I try to do something else? Oh my god, I love him. He can’t die. Can I call someone who knows what to do who is closer than this vet!?!?” Every thought was racing through my head. I spoke to Heather twice on the ride, and to my mom twice as well. They both encouraged me and were praying. I knew that God kept us in his hands, and he was there with us, but I was scared as hell still. That’s really the only way to say how terrifying it was for us. I’ve never seen so much blood, and maybe I’m a baby and whatever else, but who cares. It was traumatic.
Then, we were there. We passed by a cop on the way, and held our breath because we were surely speeding. They didn’t follow. Troy carried him in his arms, and the vet techs took him. I tried to follow him back to their room, and they got in my face. I told them very firmly, “if you make any decisions, you need to ask us first.” So that was that. I was relieved, but also really worried for the few minutes hubby & I were alone in the waiting room.
Then one of the tech’s talked to us. She said that they were going to be able to get it out, and that it could’ve been worse. If it had actually gotten into his throat, it would’ve been a lot more complicated. I was so thankful. He was sedated, they got it out, and showed it to us. That stupid bloody piece of cow hoof. I could’ve yelled at it. Anyhow, they reversed him after putting him under, and after about half an hour of waiting, he walked out of there with a wobbly gait. He had done some damage to himself, and so his gums were fairly scraped up, he had scraped the skin off of the sides of his face, and his throat had some lacerations from the hoof. They gave him a shot of antibiotics, and sent him home with us with more antibiotics to take during the week.
Whew. We were so worn out.
When we got home, Heather was there to greet us with love. She gave me a big hug, and so warmly let us know that she was so glad he’s okay. August stayed asleep the whole time. But let me tell you, what a friend she is to us, and what a servant’s heart she has! She had been praying while we were gone, and cleaned up all of the dishes in our kitchen. She cleaned up the throwup that was still in our dining room (gross) because we ran out of the house so fast. Goodness! This woman is amazing. And she left so quickly and quietly, that I didn’t get to see this until after she left. She so lovingly cared for us in a moment of distress, and I just have to say how thankful I am for her. Heather, we love you. You really show us Christ when you show us love. Thank you a million times. I’m so sorry that I had to wake you up frantically, but what a blessing you are to me.
What a beautiful, amazing thing she did for us. Knowing you have someone you can trust, rely on to be there if you’ve got a bad situation on your hands, and knowing that they will love you unconditionally, that truly is something. God blessed us with her family’s friendship.
And now, I think I’ll go love on my dog. He’s given me a hundred things to think about today, and shown me that I should count my blessings. For at any moment, who knows, one of them could be taken away. I’m not entitled to them.
All my love,