Yesterday I was in my room with my four youngest children. The puppy walked into the room and he was breathing funny, sounded wheezy. And then he started coughing and acting like he was trying to cough up something in his throat. This puppy was choking. I told the kids to go get the fourteen year old and official owner of the puppy since I was probably going to need some help. Then I pried the puppy’s mouth open and did a finger sweep, trying to see if I could feel anything. I couldn’t. The puppy continued to wheeze. I grabbed my phone and called our vet who is literally half a block from my house. They didn’t answer the phone, even though the webpage said they were open. I hung up and tried again. Still no response. I remembered that there was another animal clinic a couple miles away, I had no idea if they handled emergencies, so I tried to call them. Again, no answer, just lots of pre-recorded messages.
Suddenly Ruth started yelling for me, her voice panicked. I ran back to her and the puppy, and the puppy had gone completely limp. And this is when it completely sucked to be the adult.
Mom, do something!
Uhhhhh…Ok, grab the puppy and get in the car, we’re going to the vet place down the road.
All the little kids are crying and freaking out, I’m running for the car, yelling at the little kids to go get their other big sister and tell her what’s happening.
I don’t even get my seatbelt on, the car beeping at me in protest. Ruth is crying, “Live Puppy! Live Puppy!” and I’m praying Loudly, Lord, let this puppy live, PLEASE!!
I tell Ruth to squeeze his chest.
I don’t know! Just squeeze it somehow!
She starts gently squeezing his chest and I’m praying and trying to drive safely.
I look over and there is foam coming out of the puppy’s mouth. I am crying and driving and praying.
Suddenly, the puppy starts breathing and sits up. Like nothing had happened. He is still wheezing, but alive!
We are almost at the vet. Traffic seems to be moving way too slowly.
I finally pull into the driveway, no idea what I should do first.
I pull into a slot and there are signs everywhere telling you to stay in your car and call this number, and then press #3. I don’t have time to deal with phone menus.
I jump out of the car…a mask, shoot, wait…(this place is obviously taking covid very seriously by evidence of how many signs they have up). I grab my purse and yank on my mask. There is a woman in the car next to me, looking at me wide-eyed. Her window is down so I ask her if this place handles emergencies. She says, I don’t know, but you have to stay in your car.
Well, this is an emergency. I can’t.
I start running for the door and suddenly a man in uniform walks out, I run up to him and ask if they handle emergencies, my puppy is dying! He looks at me, nods yes, and comes up to the car, takes the puppy from us as I quickly explain what’s been happening, and he disappears into the building.
I climb back into my seat and kind of collapse for a second.
Except I can’t. I left my teenager at home watching small children, but that teenager is supposed to be getting a ride to work very soon. She can’t leave the little kids alone.
I grab my phone and call her. Give her an update on the puppy. Tell her to call her ride and cancel it, let her work know what’s going on, and I will give her a ride to work as soon as I get home.
Then I call my husband, update him. Then I open my banking app and start figuring out where to pull the money to pay for this unexpected medical emergency.
A nurse from inside comes out to my car. Asks if I’m a current patient. Gives me paperwork to fill out, assures me that the puppy is stable and they are taking care of him.
Long story, a little bit shorter…They don’t find anything in his mouth or throat. They do an xray and see there is a sharp metal pointy object in his abdomen that he must have swallowed. They are worried about it causing damage when it comes out. They send him home with some special dog food to help push everything out of his system. Tell me to come back the next day for more xrays.
Then, they call later and tell me to take the puppy to a different clinic in another part of town that can remove the object with a special tool that goes down his throat. My daughter has already given the puppy his special food before they called and the food is doing it’s work.
That evening as we try to figure out all the moving pieces of our family and figure out who is going to take whom where, the puppy starts wheezing and coughing again.
My husband takes off with puppy and Ruth to the new vet office, while I load up the little kids so we can go pick up some of their siblings who were on a playdate. Rushing, because I have to be home in time for another child who will be dropped off later in the evening.
The new vet does xrays, the metal object is gone. They determine that the puppy aspirated some fluid when he was choking before and now we have to get medicine to help his lungs heal.
Puppy is going to be ok.
Thank you Lord.
I, on the other hand, am going to need a bit to recover from all of that.