Wait Just One Bone-Pickin’ Minute…

I’ve got a bone to pick and I’m gonna pick it clean.

Then I’m gonna give it to my DOG to finish off.

Yes.

My DOG.

The same one that shared this day with me eating mini ice cream sandwiches and snuggling together in the rear-end of a Jeep

In the Vet’s parking lot…

Staring death in the face with a face full of vanilla and teeth full of chocolate cookie crust (his too.)…

Yeah, that one…Ripken, my beloved 10 year old B’Lab

The subject of my last post celebrating his life and mourning his demise.

Why?

Because my Vet is a douche…that’s why.

Okay, maybe not a douche.

How about insensitive, callous, money-grubbing, gotta pull in the bucks to justify my position as the newest Vet in this practice, A’hole?

Yeah, that’s better.

  • Here’s how it went down almost a month ago (I feel like I should put this to music like Harper Valley PTA or something):

Yearly check-up; three-year rabies shot; lyme vaccine; snap test

Vet says he looks good except…

I’m concerned about this growth, this tumor, in his right armpit

I’ve looked at his records, and I see he was here 6 months ago (for an intestinal problem) and this mass was not there

The fact that it grew so large, so fast, and seems tender to the touch tells me it’s something we need to be concerned with.

Normally, I’d say it’s just a fatty deposit, but not in this case. I believe we are looking at a malignancy here

ME:  Can you give me an idea of how much I’m looking at to find out?  Financially speaking, I need to know

I can certainly give you an estimate for how much it would be to do the pathology and remove the tumor, but subsequent treatment would be expensive

ME:  OK, I’ll need that estimate before I make a decision

Of course

Estimate:  $970 – (nothing specified about what the cost would be to treat the ‘cancer’)

ME:   I hate that it comes down to money, but I can’t afford this

Oh I completely understand.  Take some time to think about it and let me know

ME:  Okay, but I know what my finances are…I can’t afford this

I completely understand, but just think about it and let me know. Take the time you need, but I don’t think you should wait too long

ME:  Okay, I’ll think about what I can do, and I’ll talk to my family, but I can’t afford this only to find out it’s a cancer I can’t afford to have treated

Stopped eating

Stopped drinking

Lethargic

Acute diarrhea (sorry, but it does sound better than the runs)

I was out of town, get a call from my parents that the dog is sick

  • Here’s where we were one week ago:

Not eating still so I boil hamburger and rice – nothing

Not eating so I notch it up to chicken and rice – not much improvement

Only think I can get him to eat are his biscuits…the dog effin’ loves those biscuits

Still not drinking

Still with the D-word adding in that straining would be an understatement

  • Here’s where I was Sunday:

This can’t go on, he’s suffering, I can’t afford to see this through, I need to call the Vet tomorrow

Appointment made for Wednesday for euthanasia based on information known at the time

  • Here’s where I was today – Wednesday – E Day

Get to Vet’s office – packed beyond belief – had to park in another county practically – no sweat, more time to sit and snuggle and eat ice cream sandwiches with the Dude

Go into office at scheduled time, 5:30 pm, alone, to complete all paperwork and pay fee without Rip having to be in there

Told they are waaaay backed up, would I mind waiting?

Ummmm, yes, in fact I WOULD mind waiting.  This is not the kind of appointment one wants to sit and ponder amonst the other four-legged beasts running around.

Told it would only be a moment then…they’d get a room ready right away.  She returns within seconds telling me to go ahead and bring him in.

I do that.  We go to the room.  The Vet comes in…

Aw, and how’s old Ripken?

{I explained the last two weeks in detail)

Oh, so he’s not eating or drinking.  Well, let’s have a look see what a treat does for him

{I watch as Ripken about tears the guy’s fingers off taking the treat.  Maybe I should have warned him about Ripken and those biscuits}

Wow…I have to tell you, this dog is not telling me he’s ready to die.  His breathing is a bit loud and labored, but that’s his age.  But he’s active and took that treat well enough

{I look at him like he’s gone mental.  Was he suggesting I was there to kill my dog for no reason?}

ME:  No…YOU told me that and based on the last two weeks, I believed it.  This is NOT the same behavior of the last two weeks {except the biscuits}

Now, really, I’m not concerned with that growth.  I feel it’s just a fatty deposit and as your dog’s advocate, I must tell you that based on what I’m seeing here today, this is a healthy dog, and in good conscience, I can’t do what you are asking me to do

What I”M ASKING? Do you realize what your comments to me during our last visit did to me? And how those comments lead to my sitting here today, in this office, having spent the last 4 days beating myself up and grieving for him?  Do you think I’m here to rid myself of a loved family member for financial reasons?

I’m only telling you that I can’t do what you came here to do in all good conscience because I feel he’s healthy and just showing his age

{By now, I’m about hysterical, but from anger…}

I am not leaving this office until you do whatever you have to do to prove this is NOT a cancerous tumor; tell me the cause of the last two weeks; and I AM NOT PAYING FOR IT.  YOU ARE.

Of course. I will aspirate the mass and I’ll take a stool sample.  If, you’ll hold him

{Just give me a biscuit dumbass}

Aspiration done, sample taken, Vet disappears, returns 15 minutes later…

I was correct.  That mass is nothing to worry about, for now, it’s just fat

And the stool sample shows he’s loaded with bacteria, which I can treat, with medication. And this bacteria is absolutely the cause of his lack of appetite and lethargy.  It’s common and treatable.

All I ask is that you give him a fair chance.  Let him take the medication for a couple days.  If there’s no improvement, we can revisit it.

What?  A fair chance? You tell me my dog has a malignant tumor, tell me to make up my mind quickly, it’s only $970 to be on the safe side, and you tell ME to give him a fair chance?  Give him pills for a couple days and then you’ll revisit killing him?

That’s all I’m asking.  I can’t stop you from going through with this, but I can’t do it.  I’ll not charge you for anything but the pills and I’ll only charge you what they cost me.

{Lord, get me away from this man before I BITE HIM}

Get me the pills, refund my prepaid murder for hire fee, and we’ll be gone.

He did and we were.

FOR FUCKING EVER!

My Dude…alive and well…despite modern medicine!  When did Vets become like all the rest?

really mom

See Ma..all I needed was some ice cream and chocolate cookie stuff. Oh, and the biscuits…don’t forget the biscuits.
🙂

And they call it puppy love…

Intelligent

Loyal

Intuitive

Friend

Curious

Playful

Stubborn

Protective

Surprising

As easy as eager, to please

Enthusiastic

Unconditionally loving

…and the list goes on and on and on

Our dogs; our friends; our playmates; our soulmates; our living examples of all God got right.

There have been dogs in my life as far back as I can remember. Dogs like Amos Manley Calhoon, (Manley for short) our 3 1/2 foot long, 1 1/2 foot high Basset Hound who had to have his ears pinned with a clothe’s pin lest he eat them with dinner or drown in his water bowl.  And during times of winter snow, we’d only know where he was by the sound of his bowel-deep rooolf, rooolf.  Or as the tip of his tail rose above the snow as he ran (waddled).

Then there was Bileau’s Cadeau Migneaux, (Min for short) our Miniature Poodle, who I’d swear could not have been more in love with another four-legged creature than she was with a two-legged one; my father, whom she’d marked as her own when just a puppy, by peeing on his chest while he lay on the couch watching TV.  And as witnessed by anyone within view, when he’d pick her up at the end of the day so she could lay her head on his shoulder, roll her eyes lovingly up at him, and slowly and deliberately, slide her tongue up his cheek in long, slow kisses.  These are two of many, but two especially loved for what they brought into our family and into our lives.

But this is for Ripken…our Black Labrador mix, who has been with us since his eighth week of life, more than 10 years ago, and who will see the end of his days on earth Wednesday.  It’s never easy to witness the suffering of those we love, nor is it made easier by the fact that they have four legs instead of two. And the decision to end the suffering is always tempered with the notion that perhaps it is our own suffering we are hoping to ease by intervening and changing their natural path to the end.  It isn’t, after all, for us to say “Now is your time”…yet we do.  For them…and…for us.

So, to Ripken, I say thank you.  For the years of unconditional love, the multitude of spontaneous moments of joy and laughter, and for feet that were warmed by you as you lay upon them in winter.

But mostly, for the lessons in loyalty, tolerance, and forgiveness, as only one with no guile could teach.  For giving so freely, without question or condition, so much more than you ever asked for.

You are and always will be, greatly loved.

Goodbye dearest friend.

Rest In Peace

Rippy