Dachshund Love, Family

A Trip to the Emergency Vet

Bonjour!

This past January, I had the unenviable experience of taking Le Chien to the emergency vet. Things happened very quickly. The little fellow started looking a bit peaky mid-afternoon, just a little tired really, and then proceeded to slink behind the family room couch to vomit twice. And then twice more.

After Round One, not itself troubling because dogs do hurl every once in a while, I remained calm and secure; after Round Two, I offered him some water (non, mama), kibble (also non), and applesauce, which always piques his interest (hell to the non). When we hit an unprecedented Round 3 and Le Chien dragged himself into bed and collapsed into a puddle, eyes like slits, it was go time. I couldn’t even get a response by saying all the magic words – “outside!”; “treat!”; “Papa!” I called his veterinarian and begged them to see him.

It was, naturellement, already 4:30 p.m., nearing the end of business, and the vet couldn’t see him that day, suggesting we go to the University of Illinois emergency vet. I immediately scooped up a lethargic pooch, threw him unceremoniously in the car crate, and drove safely and responsibly (i.e., blasted my way past the egg timers in pre-rush-hour traffic) to campus.

I called from the road to preregister. I then called L’Husband to tell him where we were, as he was still in his home office and had no idea we left in a whirlwind. I peeled into the parking lot and trundled into the waiting room like I was killing snakes, a limp hound tucked under one arm and my enormous tote of a purse under the other.

Despite the enormity of my suitcase-like handbag, I was totally unprepared; I took a granola bar but no water, no book; no water dish, no leash and collar (le sigh). I had to go MacGyver and loop the extra leash already stashed in the car around Le Chien‘s neck and thread it through the handle (how safe!).

But the waiting room wasn’t too busy; the veterinarian-in-training finished checking me in and settled me in to an examination room. Everything was going to be fine.

Where are we, mama?!!

An hour later, on High Alert, I checked in at the desk to divine when we might be seen, please and thank you. Le Chien hadn’t vomited again and was now very alert, being in an unfamiliar place with strange dogs. We finally saw someone who did an intake interview and whisked the pooch to “the back” for further inspection by a veterinarian. A gentle admonition that there were “more serious emergencies” and he would be seen soon. Fine; I will wait.

An hour after that, still very much on High Alert, I checked in at the desk to divine when I might get an update, please and thank you. He needed an X-ray. Was that okay? Another gentle admonition that there were “more serious emergencies” and he would be seen soon.

Bien sûr, I was ready to flippé.

An hour after that, my status segueing from High Alert to Crazy Eyes, I checked in at the desk to divine when I might get an update, please and thank you. Had he gone to the bathroom? Been given water? You know what’s coming: a gentle admonition that there were “more serious emergencies” and he would be seen soon.

At this point, my granola bar was long gone and my thirst level was reaching critical mass (le sigh encore). And let’s remember that at the time (a) I was twenty weeks pregnant and (b) we were in the throes of the omicron variant of the COVID-19 pandemic. To say I was Feeling Emotional was putting it … mildly.

I managed to locate a water fountain and, waving aside any fear of cooties, chug away. I could certainly switch places with L’Husband, get out of the COVID waiting room, and go home, but I naïvely thought we were getting close to an answer at the vet and he could still make me dinner. Oh, Katie, you whimsical tit willow.

I called several times during this ordeal to update him (cough *flip out* cough), panting anxiously into my KN95 mask. A sample conversation:

[phone rings]

George [calm, reasonable]: Hi, honey! How are things?

Katie [crazy eyes]: HE’S BEEN BACK THERE FOR THREE HOURS AND I STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON.

George [calm, reasonable]: I know, honey.

Katie [crazy eyes]: AND THE [EXPLETIVE] KIDS WORKING HERE DON’T [EXPLETIVE] KNOW ANYTHING.

George [calm, reasonable]: I know, honey.

Katie [crazy eyes]: AND THEY KEEP SAYING THERE ARE MORE IMPORTANT EMERGENCIES. WHAT THE [EXPELTIVE] DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?

George [calm, reasonable]: I know, honey.

Katie [crazy eyes]: AND HOW IS CHARLIE NOT AN EMERGECNY?! ARE YOU [EXPLETIVE] KIDDING ME?!!

George [calm, reasonable]: I know, honey.

Katie [crazy eyes]: AND I’M HUNGRY AND TIRED AND THIRSTY AND PREGNANT AND THE [EXPLETIVE] COVID.

George [calm, reasonable]: I know, honey.

Katie [crazy eyes]: I’M REALLY STARTING TO LOSE IT.

George [calm, reasonable]: I know, honey.

[end of scene]

After this last exchange, L’Husband came to relieve me. I went home and had toast.

What was all the fuss about, mama?

The boys were home within the hour. By all reports, Le Chien was good as gold; he rested quietly in the back and didn’t cause a fuss (he really must not have been feeling well, le wink). The exam and X-ray were ultimately inconclusive – maybe Le Chien ingested something bad, maybe he didn’t. The vet sent home a can of prescription dog food and a bill.

And so, countless tears and five hours later, we were all home. Le Chien helped himself to fresh water and a new toy, then hopped right into bed to snooze and snore.

While there were undoubtedly “more serious emergencies” ending in tragedy at the emergency vet that night, I was still a hot mess (technical term) of puppy worry, pregnancy hormones, and COVID anxiety. Le Chien is a dog, but not just a dog. He’s a pet, but not just a pet. He’s more than family; he means more to my heart than I can explain.

So I was relieved and thankful to be home with my fur baby. Safe and sound.

How do you handle difficult situations?

Merci for reading and please subscribe and share!

À votre santé,

Katie

4 thoughts on “A Trip to the Emergency Vet”

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