The call came as I was starting to prepare dinner, about an hour before I have to leave to get Bigger Girl from school.
It was my friend Jocelyn. "We are dogsitting for Mandy, Dan's ex-girlfriend, and Matt let Stitch out and he got hit by a car. I'm trying to get home from work as fast as I can, and the traffic is terrible. Can you go see if there's anything you can do?"
I told my friend, since their family lives only a few blocks up the road in our subdivision, that I would go get the dog and take it to the vet on the other side of the highway. This is the vet I take all of my animals and fosters to, and the one Miss Jan worked for.
Little Girl asked if she could ride along, as she has spent a good bit of time with Stitch when playing with the younger of Jocelyn's 8 children. I told her to hop in the van, and we drove around the block and up the street.
I was prepared to see the animal in the road with the 3 teens who were home at the time gathered around, but the street was empty. I didn't even pull into the driveway, just parked alongside it, and told Little Girl to get them to bring the dog.
She came out and said the dog wouldn't let them hold it, so I ran in to see what I could do to help. Stitch was standing in Jocelyn's bedroom, on his pad, barking at everyone. Findy, the other dog, was barking if anyone went near Stitch, too. Matt said he had run right back to the house after it happened, but barked at them and didn't seem to recognize them.
Looking closer, I could see that all the blood was coming from a cut on his head, and he was standing and moving as if he had no injuries to his limbs. Nor did he have any signs of the car having hit his midsection, and since he is half Chihuahua and half rat terrier, any direct hit like that probably would have already been the end of him.
I turned to Gale, the 17-year-old boy, the oldest home at the time. "Get a towel," I said," and cover him with it so we can pick him up and get him into the car." My original idea had been to put him on or in something that would keep him from moving, preventing further injury. That was unneeded, as he wasn't going to lie down.
Once the towel was over him, Stitch calmed some, and allowed himself to be picked up and carried out. I got Gale into the car, helped him buckle the seat belt, and headed to the highway at the nearest subdivision entrance.
At that moment, it hit me what time it was. Since our Friday afternoon rush hour starts on Thursday morning around here, the highway was backed up to infinity. I turned and went to the other street, the one with the annoyingly-long-but-comes-in-very-handy-when-the-traffic-is-backed-up light, and managed to get across the highway. Once across the highway, we were in the local grocery store parking lot that leads to the strip mall where the vet's office is located.
The whole time, I was trying to be reassuring. Years of dealing with kid and pet emergencies, and being the designated first aid lady at numerous church functions, has taught me that bleeding head injuries always look worse than they are because of the huge number of veins in the head and face area. If I don't see blood spurting, I don't panic.
Once parked, I hopped out, opened the door for Gale and ran to the office ahead of him, praying that the vet would still be there this late on a Friday. I had no idea what I would do if she wasn't.
Opening the door, there was no one behind the desk, and no sound from the back when the bells attached to the door rang. I called out, "Is anyone home?" and heard Dr. Bea yell "No!" from her office. I laughed inwardly; she was probably thinking she was going to get out of the office soon, and was trying to wrap up paperwork. At least she was there, and I was relieved enough to let myself smile a bit.
"The dog was hit by a car," I told her, and she looked startled. For one thing, she knows I don't have a dog, and for another, the last time I saw her was 4 days before when a husband and wife rushed in with their own cat, that had run in front of their car as they were pulling into the driveway. I hope I'm not becoming a bad omen!
I told her it was one my friend Jocelyn was dogsitting, and that she knew Jocelyn because she prescribed allergy medicine for their cat every spring. She and I have been telling Dr. Bea that we know each other for a few years now, but until this accident, she had never seen us together, so it never really clicked.
Little Girl was holding the door for Gale, and he came in and set Stitch on the examining table (yes, only one, this is a small operation). The vet tech helped hold him, and Dr. Bea began her examination. He snapped and growled when she got too close to the wound itself, and otherwise stood still. He seemed to be in shock, and had blood down the side of his face from the cut, but again I could see that it looked like the bumper or tire of the car had clipped his head, and left the rest of him untouched. His gums were a healthy pink when Dr. Bea looked, which was also a good sign.
Dr. Bea got the tech to change her hold, securing him better, and kept probing. A moment later, Jocelyn walked in.
"He has a hard head, I think he's going to be fine," Dr. Bea said. He would have to be sedated so that Stitch could get stitches, but there were no internal injuries. A goose egg on his noggin would be a painful reminder for a few days, and a small scar his badge of honor. He had tangled with a hit and run car and come out alive. Not many small dogs like him are that blessed.
I left a few minutes after Jocelyn got there, as I needed to do something about dinner, and picking up Bigger Girl from school. My time was now limited, so my poor family had to make do with a frozen lasagna that I doctored up with extra canned sauce and lots of cheese, and green peas on the side.
Traffic on the way to get Bigger Girl and Neighbor Boy was terrible at first, it took me 20 minutes to travel the two miles to the interstate, but I was shocked at how fast I got out there, considering how late I left. The interstate itself was curiously fast for the time of day. Coming home, there was no traffic, which was another miracle. Everything seemed to have jammed up early on this particular Friday, and so cleared out early.
All in all, quite an afternoon.
Donald Duck Day
Ear Muff Day
Feast of Tropicalismo
Good Samaritan Involvement Day
International Fanny Pack Day
K-9 Veterans Day
National Coconut Tort Day
National Holiday, Grenada
National Open An Umbrella Indoors Day
Religious Freedom Day
St. Nikephoros' Day, Greece
Youth Day, Zambia
Emile Hirsch, 1985
Rachael Bella, 1984
Will Clark, 1964
Adam Clayton, 1960
Dana Delany, 1956
William H. Macy, 1950
Neil Sedaka, 1939
William Casey, 1913
L. Ron Hubbard. 1911
Sammy Kaye, 1910
Percival Lowell, 1855
Joseph Priestly, 1733
Today in History:
Twelfth recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet, 607
Spanish explorer Cortez lands in Mexico, 1519
The Spanish fleet occupies Djerba, at Tripoli, 1560
Cambridge College is renamed Harvard for clergyman John Harvard, 1639
Jews are denied the right to build a synagogue in New Amsterdam, 1656
Massachusetts gains title to Maine for $6,000, 1677
The twenty-seventh recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet, 1759
William Herschel discovers Uranus, 1781
The Uncle Sam cartoon figure makes its debut in the NY Lantern weekly, 1852
The US Senate begins Pres Andrew Johnson's impeachment trial, 1868
Oxford defeats Cambridge in their first golf match, 1878
The Siege of Khartoum, Sudan begins, Madhist Sudanese against the Egyptian, British, and loyalist Sudanese forces, 1884
Chester Greenwood of Maine patents earmuffs, 1887
In France the length of the workday for women and children is limited to 11 hours by law, 1900
Mongolia (formerly Outer Mongolia) declares independence from China, 1921
Clyde Tombaugh announces the discovery of Pluto at Lowell Observatory, 1930
Ten Things of Thankful
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