Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sally's Big Break--Part 3

Paula called later to tell me that they were on their way to an emergency veterinary hospital. It was clear that Sally had at least a broken leg. She needed an X-ray and who knows what other medical attention. The dog's unfortunate sojourn was already getting costly before they even arrived at the vet hospital. Prior to Sally's overnight incarceration, the pound staff administered a battery of vaccinations, installed a microchip tracking device, and applied the Frontline flea treatment (I think if Sally were wearing her license, the staff might have foregone all the shots). So to gain Sally's release, Paula had to pay for these services and post bail, which would have been higher if Sally had not been licensed. All totaled, the pound earned the better part of $200 for its efforts to care for our pooch.

At the vet hospital, x-rays revealed that Sally had broken two bones, the radius and the ulna, in her right forearm. She was medicated and outfitted with a heavy splint, wrapped in pink adhesive tape, that she would have to keep on for 6-8 weeks. Sally would need subsequent check ups, of course, with our regular vet. But on the Saturday morning visit that started this story, Emily and I did not take the dog in for a scheduled check up. In fact, she had been in the office for a visit earlier in the week. No, this time we made an unscheduled "emergency" trip to the vet because we woke up that morning to discover that Sally had somehow completely removed her splint.

Sally had spent the night on Emily's bed, and she and Emily were still lying in bed. I had been up for a while, and I figured it was time to put the dog out. When I approached Emily's bed, Sally saw me coming and rolled over in her obsequious way. I started to pick up Sally, but she yelped loudly. It took me several seconds and more yelps to realize that her injured leg was uncovered and the splint was lying nearby on the bed. Now I was the one yelping. Poor Emily had to hop out of bed and assist me in taking the dog to the vet. Paula, meanwhile, would have to attend a memorial service for a friend from CSUS without me.

Our mission was to get to the vet before the drop-in office hours turned into the low-cost vaccination clinic. The doc came in to the examining room some time after 9am. She was a bit surprised to see Sally's handiwork. The doc said she would need to put a new splint on Sally's leg but it would take some time to do it--because the crowd would be coming in for vaccinations in a few minutes. She told us to leave Sally with her and to come back in about two hours. The clinic officially closed at noon, and it was possible that they could finish all the shots by 11:15 or 11:30.

The vet office is down on McHenry Avenue--not far from where McHenry begins at "five points" on the edge of the downtown area. So we figured we wouldn't go all the way home and then come back. Instead, we ate breakfast at Jack in the Box (why can't they clean up their restaurants?) and browsed around a few stores, including the motorcycle accessory shop that's on McHenry. We went back at 11:15 and found the waiting room lined with pit bulls, chihuahuas, cockers, and kitties. The only dog I would give two cents for was the border collie named Patrick. Most dogs enter the vet office in a mild hysteria and approach hyperventilation for the remainder of their visit to the vet. Patrick showed no sign of worry and patiently waited for his name to be called (actually, I think he was disgusted by the embarrassing behavior of his fellow canines). In fact, when the vet's assistant came out and called Patrick's name, he sprang to his feet, went to the assistant, and waited for instructions. Good dog.

Emily and I had to wait for every four-legged patient (yes, I think they all had four) to get his or her shots before we could get Sally. At noon, one of the assistants locked the office door, and the last of the pets escorted their owners out of the office. A few minutes later, the doc came out with Sally, set up with a clean, new splint. The new splint was lighter, less bulky, and it allowed more movement. But Sally would have several more weeks in the splint. The doc was nice, though. She charged us only for the splint, not the office visit, because as I mentioned before Paula had brought Sally in to the office earlier in the week.

Coming soon: our not-so-exciting conclusion.

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