Thursday, January 27

NailGate 2005

So, I cried on the way home.

It had initially seemed like a little thing. When Jasper came in from the yard last night just before we left the office, I noticed some blood on her back foot. A quick glance revealed what I thought was a bit of hang nail.

No problem - we all get them - I know first aid - just clip if off.

Then I looked closer. This was no hangnail. This was a split nail. Imagine the horror I faced.

Actually, it was quite nasty - in that I can't stand to look at it but I can't help myself from looking at it kind of way. I quickly leapt into super-first-aider mode, applied pressure and soon all seemed well. I convinced myself it was not big deal - there was no need for an emergency vet visit and even less need for an emergency vet bill. I then leapt into super-sneaky-pretend-I-didn't-notice mode, ignored the 4 blood spots on the carpet and took her home.

I did some fancy googling, hoping all the sites would tell me it was nothing - "just a scratch" they would say and recommend a little ice cream (for the owner), an extra carrot for the dog, and a couple of days of bed rest.

But no - the advice said crazy things like "sometimes the entire nail must be removed", "under anesthesia", "payment plans available" and most shockingly "a little ice cream for the DOG and an extra carrot for the owner." NOOOOO!

I lived in denial for another 12 hours or so, but when it started to bleed again this morning I kicked myself out of poor-broke-owner mode and into compassionate-whatever-it-costs mode. (I think it was imagining what it would feel like if she snagged it on something. YIKES!) I called the vet and put my car up for collateral. I was in such loose wallet spirits I signed her up for her (overdue) yearly physical/immunization extravaganza as well.

Before I knew it, she was weighed in (a small gain - oops - back into the 3 digits) and being praised by the very kind and thorough vet for her soft coat and charming (pathetic) begging for cookies (low fat of course).

It was all good news - healthy coat, good teeth, clean ears, clear eyes, stretchy hips, beating heart - and then the nail. The vet said it would need to come off as far down as it was split and offered to sedate her, or get someone to hold her and make it quick. As visions of payment plans danced through my head, I remembered having all four of my wisdom teeth pulled in the chair with no sedation and opted for the quick option. If a wimp like me could do it, a 101.5lb chubby mutt certainly could.

A wonderful lab tech came in, and after patiently giving Jasper time to relax and get to know her (read sniff frantically at her clothes to try to determine every breed, species and colour of animal that had been in that day), we were almost ready to go. On went the muzzle (just in case) and armed with 17 more cookies, we all held on tight for that fateful snip.

In that next moment, I would have given my car to have chosen the sedation option. Never was a more mournful cry heard, followed by a quick growl, which quickly settled into heart wrenching whimpers. It was all over in less than a minute, the snip, the Quick Stop, the cauterizing, the inhaling of cookies whole while still muzzled, the snuggles that meant forgiveness, but the deed was done. Jasper was fine. I was not.

I held back tears as she waited patiently for the vet to bandage her foot. I tried not to sob while the IV bag was tied to her foot to protect her from the rain (quite ingenious I might add). I did my best to sniffle discreetly while Jasper polished off 24 more low-fat cookies, oozed love on the vet and the tech and stood patiently for her vaccine injection. I held it together for the three-legged-get-this-off-me hop to the waiting room, the paying*, the medication instructions and the curious looks in the waiting room.

Then I cried all the way home.

Seriously, can you imagine if I had an actual human child**?

*All in all only $75 for NailGate 2005 (immunization and exam extra). Not bad considering Jasper has a cool new shoe and I scored a free IV bag. As if I'm letting her keep it.

**Just to be clear - I don't consider Jasper my child at all. I'm NOT THE MOMMY! NOT THE MOMMY!

***Further proof that Jasper is cool - she hasn't even tried to chew off her bandage. No dorky lampshade for her!


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