"Meatball is very sick and I have to go to work and Cody's car is broken -- help?"
This particular morning, i had dropped Little Girl at school, then gone to the shelter to clean kitten cages. It was homecoming weekend, Grandma and Grandpa were going to be in town, everything was shaping up to be busy as could be, and i got the above text from #1 Son just as i was leaving the shelter.
The shelter is two blocks from where he, Cody, and Justin live, so i called and told him i was on my way. He said they would get Meatball out, to just pull in the driveway.
When i got out of the van, they were carrying Meatball on a makeshift stretcher using an old piece of wood covered with his blanket. He had obviously lost weight, couldn't walk without falling over, had a bloated abdomen, and looked absolutely miserable.
To be blunt, he had that introspective look that means the animal has lost hope because of something that is going on inside that we cannot see, but he can sense.
"Make sure they know he's dehydrated and to give him fluids right away!" #1 Son said as i drove off, and i had to smile. He does know some things, after spending all those years helping bottle raise kittens. He can spot dehydration in a heartbeat.
Between the two of them, #1 Son and Cody hefted Meatball onto the back seat of the van, and Cody climbed in next to him, thanking me continually.
Meatball, a 7-year-old terrier mix, was certainly not himself, as he didn't growl once. His love for Cody was legendary, as he had once fought off someone who was trying to rob Cody's workplace. He tolerated strangers when told to, but his protectiveness was amazing.
When we got to the vet, Cody and i had to lift Meatball out of the van and carry him in. We set him on the floor at the threshold and he collapsed, legs splayed, with the look that said, I really don't care what happens to me right now.
The vet's regular office hours hadn't even begun, but the vet was there, and the assistant helped haul Meatball off the floor and onto the scale. 63 lbs -- down at least 15 from his regular fighting weight.
The vet asked about symptoms, and Cody described four days of decreasing appetite, increasing lethargy, and some vomiting beginning the day before. Treated for fleas a few days back with Hartz flea treatment. That worried me and the vet, and i explained to Cody how Hartz flea treatment could kill pets (one of #1 Son's friends lost her cat Bastet to the stuff, i'm the one who took them to the vet, too). He had no idea.
Dr. Rob, the vet, gave us some options. For the time being, we decided we could afford to give him fluids and medication to prevent the throwing up, and come back the next day when we had scratched up more funds.
Meatball was obviously feeling a bit better very soon after, but was still weak as we went to Cody's workplace to try to get him a replacement pay card. (Many places now pay you with a prepaid Visa card, apparently. The rant about that is fodder for another post, which will happen later, i'm sure.) We couldn't get the replacement, and Cody still needed help getting his car battery replaced.
It had been hours since i left the house, no breakfast, nothing but coffee, and i was feeling a bit ill myself. So we went back to my house, and #2 Son took Cody and Meatball home, then was supposed to help him get his car going.
On days like this, not much goes as planned, though.
Cody called his ex-girlfriend, who adored Meatball. Her mother was also a big fan of the dog, and agreed to pay for more medical care. She even agreed to run them to other vets for opinions, since #2 Son eventually had to get the car back to me.
After them running around all afternoon, and three opinions, including that his stomach was twisted and it was going to take a $4,000 surgery to correct it, the final diagnosis was that he had heart-worms, and wouldn't recover.
During that time, i was supposed to find Anna and Uriel so i could take them to the shelter, bathe them, and leave them so they could have their spay and neuter surgeries at Spay Day. Of course, they decided to put on invisibility cloaks, so i left to pick up Little Girl from school and go do the afternoon shelter shift.
On the way, we got the call about Meatball. All of us are sad, and i'm even more sad that it happened on a day when i was so busy i couldn't even take time out to process much. We had to get the shelter chores done and get back home to be ready to meet Grandma and Grandpa at the hotel. The day wasn't over.
Candies Day -- they have to be kidding -- this close to Hallowe'en?!
Coronation Day -- Cambodia (anniversary of King Norodom Sihamony, in 2004)
Cumhuriyet Bayrami -- Turkey (Republic Day)(1923)
Hermit Day / Hide From Everyone Day -- internet generated, for those who would rather have a peaceful day today than celebrate the other holidays listed; look up how to be a hermit on wikihow
Internet Day -- it's predecessor went live today, see Today in History for detail
Laugh Suddenly For No Reason A Lot Today Day (And end up either getting yourself and everyone around you in a good mood, or yourself being observed at the hospital in a padded room.)
Naming Day -- Tanzania
National Cat Day -- US (with the goal of getting 10,000 cats adopted from shelters today)
National Disgusting Little Pumpkin-Shaped Candies Day
National Oatmeal Day
Republic Day -- North Cyprus; Turkey
Second Fiddle of the Month -- Fairy Calendar (a very poorly attended event -- who wants to play second fiddle?)
St. Mary of Edessa's Day (Patron against sexual temptation)
World Psoriasis Day
Winona Ryder, 1971 Kate Jackson, 1948 Richard Dreyfuss, 1947 Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, 1938 Bill Mauldin, 1921 Fanny Brice, 1891 James Boswell, 1740 (wrote the biography of Samuel Johnson) Edmund Halley, 1656 (O.S. Date) (yes, that Halley, found the comet)
The Internet, 1969 (the first connection between computers that would become the Internet someday was made on this date when bits of data flowed between computers at UCLA and Stanford Research Institute; this grew into ARPANET, and is now the Internet we know and yell at.)
Today in History:
Cyrus the Great entered the city of Babylon, BC539 First trial for witchcraft in Paris, 1390 Sir Walter Raleigh, adventurer, writer, and courtier, is beheaded, 1618 A severe earthquake shakes New England, 1727 Mozart's opera Don Giovanni receives its first performance in Prague, 1787 The first Ohio River steamboat leaves Pittsburgh for New Orleans, 1811 Queen Victoria grants Cecil Rhodes rights to Zambezia, 1889 The first intercity trucking service, from Colorado City to Snyder, Texas, begins running, 1904 Turkey declares its independence as the successor state to the Ottoman Empire, 1923 Israeli forces invade the Sinai Peninsula and push Egyptian forces back toward the Suez Canal, 1956 Cassius Clay wins his first professional fight, 1960 Syria exits from the United Arab Republic, 1961 Montreal's World Fair, Expo 67, closes with over 50 million visitors, 1967 The American Galileo spacecraft makes its closest approach to 951 Gaspra, becoming the first probe to visit an asteroid, 1991 In South Africa, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission presents its report, which condemns both sides for committing atrocities, 1998 Space Shuttle Discovery blasts off on STS-95 with 77-year old John Glenn on board, making him the oldest person to go into space, 1998 In Rome, European heads of state sign the Treaty and Final Act establishing the first European Constitution, 2004