Patti Soldavini

Archive for October 2nd, 2011|Daily archive page

The Perils of Olive

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 10/02/2011 at 7:47 pm

"AGAIN? What Now?"

Where do I even begin? The past three days have been nothing but chaos. Chaos executed with the imbecilic skill of the Marx Brothers. At 8:30 on Tuesday evening, I notice something odd on Olive’s back leg. “WHAT THE HELL?” I think. A cluster of raised bumps, about eight of them right above her “ankle.” I squint my astigmatic eyes and position them about a micron from the offending bumps. I find more running along the inside of her front legs and a few dotting her chest which are beginning to bloom. “HOLY SHIT.” My left brain senses that this is an allergic reaction of some kind. But of course, my irrational right hemisphere is conjuring up all sorts of insane possibilities. I call the Newton Veterinary Hospital who asks me if I “want” to bring her in. That’s like saying, “How much money do you feel like spending tonight?” We agree that if it gets worse and travels to her face and neck, then I have to bring her in because it could affect her breathing. I go back to watching TV, going over to check Olive about every 10 minutes. She is resting comfortably, all curled up on her brown faux suede “UFO,” the bean bag chair she booted me from and claimed as her own. At 10:30, I check on her and it’s clear that it’s only getting worse. Her chest is now covered with a ton of irregularly-shaped pink polka dots. And now there are four bumps on her head. I look at Olive and announce with barely controlled panic, “GET UP. WE’RE GOING FOR A RIDE.” And so the drama begins with a 40-minute ride at night, in the rain, on dark country roads with a driver who has trouble recognizing faces across the room. With her glasses on. In the light. I look in my rearview mirror at Olive sitting in the back seat and mutter, “CHRIST. I HOPE I DON’T KILL US BOTH OLIVE.” We pull up to the veterinary hospital and walk inside. Unlike human emergency centers, this one is empty, save just a mother and her 10 year-old son and their pug. Olive gets weighed and then a thermometer is unceremoniously inserted into her butt (never a dog’s favorite; actually never anyone’s favorite.) The Veterinarian inspects Olive and confirms that she has a moderate case of hives. We discuss what might have caused this. My best guess is that earlier in the day when I took her out to pee, she dragged me to the tree in the front yard, tracking some impressive scent and then dropped to all fours and began rubbing herself on it. (Which after talking to my next door neighbor later on, deduce that it was likely fox urine that she rubbed herself in.) I yanked her up right away but apparently the damage was done. I love when people dispense what they perceive as helpful advice such as “You shouldn’t let your dog do that.” Gee, thanks. That’s like saying, “When you see someone pull the trigger, duck.” Genius. Unfortunately, I’m not a psychic. If I could actually read the minds of dogs (never mind humans), I wouldn’t be writing this blog. I’d be taking a bath in a tub filled with gold. The Vet whisks Olive into the treatment area/emergency room, in which I’m not allowed, to give her two injections: steroids and Benedryl, or the canine equivalent of Benedryl. I hate when they do this. I wish I could be with Olive, but I suppose it’s for the best. About 10 minutes later, Olive prances out into the waiting room. She’s got a white cotton gauze bandage on her leg. I’m instructed to stick around for another 20-30 minutes to make sure she doesn’t have an allergic reaction (déjà vu) to the injections. It’s now about 11:30pm. We walk around checking out the store section and I get a soda. Olive is just happy to be with me and away from needles. She doesn’t have a reaction so I settle up the bill ($219) and we leave. Now I have to find a 24-hour drugstore that sells Benadryl so I can have this on hand in case the hives return. Oh, and when I get home, I have to give Olive a “warm, oatmeal bath.” Olive usually starts nodding out between 8:30 and 9pm, and its now almost 2am. She has more energy yet than I would have imagined. Bath done. Then I shower. Set my alarm for 6am to make a 9am Doctor appointment about 90 minutes away. To be continued…

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