Musings from the Laundromat: Butters, Palms & Pocket Man Returns edition
This week has been bananas. And this morning started off on a queer note too.
I awoke, knew I had to take Butters outside (more on that later) looked at the clock, 10 minutes until 8! I threw some clothes on, grabbed a sleepy dog and a leash and out we went.
To no avail.
Came back inside, brushed my teeth, ran a brush through my hair and by now, my eyes are starting to open.
They opened enough that I could see in the living room that it was now 7 a.m.
Apparently, the atomic alarm clock in my bedroom got bored, and decided to leap into the future. I seriously need to leave it some crayons and paper or something, because this is the 3rd time it’s done that since I’ve had it.
Anyway, if my clock can time travel … so can we.
Let’s go back to Saint Patrick’s Day ….
I finally had an appointment to get Butters spayed and to receive her shots.
(Here’s where I preach again. DO NOT GET A PET UNLESS YOU CAN AFFORD TO TAKE CARE OF IT! I’ll also remind you that Butters was a stray, who adopted us, and it’s taken THIS long to afford to spay her. I kept her in the yard, have not let her have contact with other animals – because she had not had her shots. Be a responsible pet owner, spay & neuter! They are family members for life, not just a passing fancy).
ANYWAY, (climbs off of soapbox)
Got her in the car … managed to leave her in the car while alerting the vet that I was here and reminding them “She slips her collar – I may need help.” They came outside with me holding the lasso type leash.
Everything was going well! She allowed her temperature to be taken, was a champ getting through her shots – and then I said goodbye, covered in hair and smelling like a dog in my work clothes.
Later that morning, I received a call from my son … it went like this:
Received another phone call that afternoon from the vet saying she was out of surgery and in recovery.
Then it was time to pick her up.
I could see by the looks on the staff’s faces that they hadn’t mentioned everything during that phone call.
“Um, she’ll be out in a minute … they’re just trying to get the cone on her.”
Minutes added up … finally 4 technicians FOUR came out with Butters.
(It makes a lovely lampshade though …)
Turns out she was only one of two dogs that had ever woken immediately after – surgery and managed to take her own gauze off. Turns out she was a little hard to wrangle. Turns OUT she had already removed 4 cones.
“Do you want me to help?” I asked.
Yes, yes they did.
I held her as they put another cone on, as my manatee squirmed. And, watched as she removed her entire collar and cone.
I held her as they applied the ‘harness cone’ – and watched as she removed that too.
By now she’s panting … the senior technician, with a look of exhaustion, asked me if she was a ‘licker’.
“Well, yeah … I’ve seen her lick her foot.”
Long story short, we had the vet shoot her up with a tranquilizer and I left with a sedation prescription in addition to the pain-killer prescription.
“She’ll go down any minute …” the technician told me.
So the entire drive home, I had one hand on the steering wheel and one hand holding her upright, terrified she was going to zonk out, fall off the back seat and hurt herself.
I needn’t have worried. I ended up staying awake most the night with her. She would not ‘go down.’
She tottered around the house like a drunken toddler. I followed her everywhere so that she didn’t fall … and as she fought sleep, we cuddled.
I knew I would be useless at work the next day – and called my boss to ask for the morning off.
Oh, and why is she on the bed? I lifted her, because if I tried to ‘sequester’ her to a confined space (as the vet suggested), she yowled and jumped clumsily up at the door which I knew was NOT good for her stitches. I chose the lesser of two evils.
(In between all of this fun, I had given my son my ATM card to collect her prescriptions, which, he ended up losing. And after cancelling the card, he then found it. Groan.)
Fast forward to Friday.
I had a terrible spell. It lasted for hours. Usually when I’m tired, or stressed, I seem to have them more frequently. I sat at work having chest pain and dizziness. Off balance and feeling like I was in a furnace. I couldn’t wait to go home. Besides, my son was in Phoenix and Butters had been unattended all day.
When I felt safe enough to drive home, I took the chance and went for it.
I pulled into my parking spot and saw the most beautiful sight.
Boxes on the porch! Lots of boxes! My fiancée’s possessions had arrived.
But first on my list of things to do, was to get in, take my much-needed medicine, check on Butters and take my poor girl outside! She has to be leash walked in the yard for at least 10 days … so she doesn’t ‘overdo’ it.
I go inside – and was greeted by another sight.
Not so beautiful.
My VERY house trained girl could not hold it all day. I’m not surprised considering the medicines she’s on. But I was already not feeling well & now had 3 messes to clean up.
First things first though! Medicine? No. Take Butters out. Because I knew she was probably embarrassed about those accidents and she comes first.
Out we go.
Then she notices the boxes.
And to say she freaked out would be an understatement.
I can’t bring a box or bag in the house without her looking at it like I invited a vampire in. She fusses and frets until I ‘touch’ the strange new object and then she’ll get comfortable enough to sniff it – but keeps her eye on it, just in case.
Well, the boxes were just too much for her. And she must have been going bonkers when they were delivered – I imagine she was barking maniacally at the poor UPS driver when he or she was depositing the boxes on the porch.
So there’s mulitple ‘strange objects’ and ‘scent of stranger’ surrounding her.
She yanked on the leash, and it tightened – and she backed up to the edge of the porch ready to leap!
I had two choices, let her leap … which could do her wound much damage, or, I could pull tighter on that leash and cut off her air supply. I only had seconds to decide. I know doggy CPR. I chose pull, and get her back inside.
I locked her in my bedroom, stepping over the accidents.
I then cleaned up the accidents, as she whined urgently and pawed at the door … an occasional pitiful bark of protest.
I still had to handle the boxes, because I knew she still had to go out, and would not walk past them.
So I carried each box in, straining at the weight of them – heart pounding more than it already had been. Placed the boxes in the kitchen and released the hound.
I was finally able to take her outside.
And as I walked her, remembered, I still needed my heart medicine.
We eventually calmed down – and I put the boxes in new places so that she could walk in the kitchen without fear.
Fast forward to yesterday.
I indulged in a Netflix binge … needing the rest. Watched Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (at the suggestion of my friend Penny).
Okay, I watched the entire Season. (GREAT show by the way, bravo Tina Fey!)
Pausing only to take Butters out and fix a snack.
Then came the ‘incident’.
Stay with me.
Butters has a path. She’s walked it so many times, it’s indelibly etched into our desert dirt yard.
We took the path. Oh, I should mention. I was in my Netflix day underwear and a t-shirt. Ok, not technically ‘underwear’ underwear, not the type I drop on the laundromat floor. They’re boxer briefs that are so comfy and look like bicycle shorts from afar. Decent for the yard.
On said path, is a palm.
That’s the front view – as we approach … here it is from the other side, which, took me longer to see.
So – here’s what happened. I’ll usually discourage her from this part of the path. But, I wanted her to go her route. I decided I could fit under the archway.
Only, I didn’t factor in her pulling, and me holding the leash.
I lost my balance.
Luckly, the palm caught most of my fall. By hooking my underwear to it.
I’m hanging, by my underwear, not letting go of the leash, and I realize – I’m in pain.
It did not just have me by the undies.
I had palm imbeded in my leg and arm.
I kept calm. Kept hold of the leash and reached up to unhook myself from the palm, only to drop, very gracefully (not) to the ground.
Not one to be detered by a mere palm incidient, we finished the little walk and she successfully went potty as I felt blood running down my arm – and felt the ache of my leg.
Once inside I inspected the damage.
My arm was already swelling – my leg needed some barb removal, and was already bruising and swelling too.
Let’s talk about palm trees for a second shall we?
They’re so exotic and beautiful no?
NO! They are nature’s serrated knives!
Evil, barbed, serrated knives!
That is what I had hooked into me. You know what – they’re more like natures chain saws!
Here’s my leg today …
Trust me when I say, it looks worse in person … and feels like I was bitten by a strange object vampire.
Hurts to walk – hurts to sit.
I shall not be going under that palm again!
But I will be walking Butter’s path – many, many times for the next week. Because after almost $500 she’s my biggest asset at this moment – and also, I discovered how much I loved her when she was at her worst.
I called my future mother-in-law the day of the surgery – looking for advice when she wouldn’t settle. She told me dogs pick up on our stress.
Well then, Butters is screwed – I am a stress ball. I’m the one who worries for everyone. I can’t wait until Jim joins his boxes, because he soothes me. He’s my calm.
Speaking of worrying for everyone – as I was finishing up at the laundromat, the little man who I wanted to put in my pocket came back. He’d been gone for two weeks, in the hospital for most of it.
He walked over, wearing an oxygen apparatus and said: “Thank you for your kindness.” I’m tearing up just remembering that simple sentence. To make a connection with a stranger – to have them thank you. My little pocket man promised he would be there next week too, after I said to him and his wife as I made my way out of the laundromat “It’s so good to see you BOTH here.”
I’m so grateful for all I have, all I don’t have. For Butters, for my love, my family and friends – and for that stupid palm that reminded me, even if you get hung up or snagged on something painful, you keep going and finish what you started.