One night a few weeks ago around 8:30pm, I was getting Summer ready for bed when Hazel, wanting to play, brought me a tennis ball.
So I grabbed it.
I threw it.
She got it.
She brought it back.
I grabbed it.
I threw it.
And she got it.
RIGHT IN THE EYEBALL.
I had beaned her directly in the eye with her most favoritest non-human thing in the history of life, basically the equivalent of someone punching me in the neck with a pound of bacon. My poor doggy immediately started crying in pain and rubbing her eye on the carpet; meanwhile, me…
I found the number for the 24-hour emergency vet and they told us to come in. When I got off the phone, my sweet little Hazel <who couldn’t open her eye at this point> brought me back the ball to throw again and so I did what any normal person would do in that situation – I ripped that stupid yellow furry squeaky tennis ball to shreds with my bare hands, gathered the remains and lit them on fire, threw them out the window and ran over them with my car.
I called Scott and luckily he was able to pick up Summer, so I scooped up my little Hazy and got ready to go. While carrying her, I discovered a little bump by her butt that I hadn’t noticed before and figured I’d have the ER vet take a look at that, too while we’re there. HER EYE WAS THE CONCERN HERE PEOPLE, not a little butt pimple. Remember that.
We arrived at the vet around 9:30 pm and were told that it would be a while before we could be seen because a bunch of critical patients had arrived before us. Totally fine, the future of my dog’s eye was in jeopardy, I would wait as long as necessary. As I found a seat, I looked around the waiting room and there were a half dozen people with sullen looks on their faces. There was a man-boy holding a puppy with what he thought was a broken leg. I noticed a candle on the front desk with a note that said, “if this candle is lit, someone is saying goodbye to their loved one.” Heart. Strings. Tugged. The candle was lit, and a moment later a woman came out of a room sobbing. PSA – if you ever have to go to an emergency after-hours vet, it may possibly be one of the most depressing places you’ll visit.
I held onto my Hazel and checked her eye periodically. It seemed to maybe possibly be getting a little better, it wasn’t fully closed anymore but she was squinting and blinking it pretty rapidly, the white of her eye was bloodshot. So I held her. And we waited. And for an hour my guilt-ridden apologies dripped all over her head as I whispered I’m so sorry over and over. But then, suddenly the quiet sobs in the waiting room were overrun by the sound of a car screeching to a halt at the curb and a woman running into the building…
“I HAVE GEORGE!!”
The receptionist sprung into motion.
“Do you need help? How much does he weigh?” she asked.
“Yes, yes I need help! He’s about 80 pounds! He’s in the backseat! I’ve been holding something on him but it won’t stop!”
“Get a gurney!” the receptionist yelled. Another woman in scrubs ran out of the back with a doggy stretcher, opened the front door and suddenly multiple voices were screaming, “GEORGE!”
I was sitting in a chair facing the window and I watched it all happen in slow motion. Someone had opened the car door to get to George. George jumped out of the car and clearly frantic, started running. INTO TRAFFIC. At the exact same time, a speeding car came flying by with no knowledge that George was about to run directly in their path and by the grace of God, the car missed him by an inch. The owner and tech managed to get George to run into the waiting room while blood poured from his neck; he had been in a dog fight and he ran frightened and hurt and panicked all around the waiting room. They got him on the scale while his blood sprayed all over the wall, and they then rushed him into a room in the back. Suddenly it was silent again.
Holy hell, the waiting room looked like a slaughterhouse. The receptionist asked George’s owner if she had been there before, the woman said unfortunately yes. Her account was pulled up, the receptionist took a step back and said to the woman, “I’m sorry, the doctors have put a flag on your account to refuse treatment due to multiple non-payments of previous services that were sent to collections.” Um, that’s not what you want to hear when your dog is bleeding out in their ER. Husband then comes in clearly in shock, wife fills husband in on the situation, husband tells wife they have cash, wife doesn’t know where, husband says in the dolls in the closet the cat sleeps in, wife says she has no idea what he’s talking about, husbands says he’ll go get it, wife says no she’ll go get it, husband says he wants to, Jaime is not buying their little show.
At that, I assessed my current situation: 10:30 pm – pets are being put down, critical patients are in the back, George! and me with my dog and a future black eye forever scarred by the murder scene on the floor… It was time to go.
We excused ourselves, got back in the car, and went home.
Our vet was able to get Hazy in 3 days later. Her eye was still squinty but had definitely improved a bit every day. Her butt on the other hand, that bump slowly swelled from a pimple to a grape. Google told me it was an impacted anal gland and that it should be checked soon because it could rupture. I read horror stories from people whose dogs that had happened to, some overnight while the dog was sleeping under the sheets with them.
I prayed morning and night that her butt wouldn’t explode and by Thursday’s appointment it hadn’t, hurrah! We made it to our regular vet, a tech walked in and asked to take a look. She was facing me so I couldn’t see what she saw but she definitely made a face.
“Um, this is going to have to be shaved and cleaned and she’ll need antibiotics, I have to take her in back right away!” And as she was walking out with Hazel under her arm, I noticed it. HER BUTT WAS BLEEDING. Her butt bump had literally exploded when the tech was looking at her and I guess if it was going to happen, I couldn’t have asked for a better time and place. 20 minutes later I got my doggy back with a shaved bum and relief on her cute little face.
We now have a standing appointment once a month to have her glands expressed so this doesn’t happen again. They told me it’s actually very common in little older dogs but so help me, this will not become “common” in my house.
The moral of the story is – if I hadn’t nailed Hazy in the eye with a tennis ball I may not have noticed the butt bump when I did. Had I not noticed the bump when I did, I may have noticed when it was too late. If I had noticed when it was too late, I would probably be buying a new bed which would be a pain because I just bought mine in March. Accidentally hit her in the eye = everything happens for a reason. The end.