I am usually a pretty level headed person. I run a successful gardening business and I consider myself pretty level headed. But I hate it when my animals get sick. I panic at the mere sight of anything wrong with my four dogs or my two cats. I usually get my husband to deal with any emergencies or even routine visits to the vet and his great veterinary technician.
But today my husband was really busy at work and he couldn’t get away. I took my four dogs to the dog park this morning and everyone was having a lot of fun until my dog Lilli stepped on a piece of glass. Someone had broken a bunch of beer bottles and carelessly left them in the middle of the path as a danger to everyone. I hate it when people do needless destruction like that. And then to have just left it on the dog path like that.
I cleaned up as much of the glass as I could so that no one else would have to go through the same thing. I decided to carry Lilli home before extracting the glass. She whimpered the whole way home! I wasn’t sure how much it would bleed when I pulled out the glass so I got out the whole medicine kit as well as a damp, clean towel within reach. I gingerly set her on my kitchen floor and extracted the piece of glass that I could see. It didn’t bleed at all. Crap!
My experience with my own feet and glass is that if it isn’t bleeding that means there is more glass in the wound still. I called my husband to see if he could get away. He could not, too many meetings with customers.
“You can handle this,” he said supportively. “She will be fine and you will too. The number for the vet is on the fridge. Give me a call when you guys get back and let me know everything is OK.”
I took a deep breath and decided that I could deal with this on my own. I called up the vet and made an appointment for Lilli. I carried her out to my Audi station wagon and put her in her carrier in the back. I drove quickly to the vet trying not to panic. At least she wasn’t crying any more but she had a look of worry in her big brown eyes. I think part of that may have been picking up on my emotions though. Dogs are really sensitive that way.
We sat in the waiting room for what seemed like an eternity. I practiced yoga breathing techniques while we sat there trying to remain calm. The women next to me had a parrot sitting on her shoulder. The parrot kept saying “I don’t want to be here” and “I don’t like this place” Yah buddy, you and me both!
Finally Lilli’s name was called. I explained to the vet what had happened. He rambled on about how much he hated vandalism while he expertly cleaned Lilli’s foot. He pulled out two more pieces of glass and finally there was a bit of blood.
“Ok,” he said taking off his gloves. “That should be alright. We will just bandage up that foot and then you can take her home. Her shots are up to date.” he said looking at her chart. “Oh,” he said smiling, “it is that Lilli! I don’t usually see you here. I guess your husband usually brings the pets in? “
“Yes” I answered weakly, “I am not very good at handling crisis situations.”
The vet smiled at me kindly before he answered. “Well, you clearly did the right thing in this situation. If left too long glass can cause a real mess both with infection or it can get into the blood stream. You need to give yourself a bit more credit; you are clearly a conscientious pet owner. Bring her in if she is still favoring the foot in a week. But I think we got it all out.”
His words rang in my mind as Lilli and I walked back to the car. I had handled this situation correctly. Maybe I was getting better at dealing with emergencies with my pets.