We’ve had no measurable rainfall since early September, so when the weather forecaster predicted rain, we were hoping it would rain cats and dogs.
Turned out to be only dogs.
Miss Piggy’s steep decline in recent days indicated the end was near. She’s been lying around, barely opening her eyes, refusing to go on her short walks. It is not an exaggeration to say that she lives for food, so Dearly Beloved has been giving her extra treats to ensure that she ended her 16-year lifespan with a happy stomach.
We noticed that her left eye, the one that the vet treated for a scratched cornea a couple of weeks ago, had a gooey discharge and made an afternoon appointment with our vet.
In the meantime, one of our neighbors called and said that a man had rung her doorbell to ask if she knew the owners of the large white dog that was following him on his walk. The neighbor didn’t, but offered to put the dog in her fenced backyard for safety until the owner could be found. It was a soft, fluffy, friendly female, she told me when she asked that I send out a Found Dog Alert to the people on my Neighborhood Watch list. Her neighbor photographed the dog so that it could be included.
Later, because the dog-keeping neighbor was going to be gone all afternoon, we brought the dog to our house. First, I loaded her in my car and took her to the nearest veterinary office to see if she had a microchip.
They discovered a couple of things: “she” was actually a neutered “he.” Oops. There was also a microchip, but the registration info was not for this dog. I corrected my e-mail to acknowledge the newly discovered organ.
We left the white dog here with a bowl of water and took Miss Piggy to our vet.
Three vets studied the infected eye and recommended a veterinary eye specialist. Our vet would call to make the arrangements. Miss Piggy isn’t dying, she told me. She has a very sore eye and a bad headache.
Back home again, we waited to hear from the vet specialist and also the white dog owner. Here is a Fast Forward of the events:
Young mother is out pushing her child (who has the flu) in her stroller in an effort to soothe the little girl. She encounters another walker who asks has she seen a white dog because a man was out riding around looking for it. The young mom tells the walker about the e-mail alert, but the walker does not know the owner’s name or where he lives, but does describe his vehicle and remembers he said the dog’s name is Barney. Young mom calls me to say that the owner is “out there” and she’ll try to find him. She continues to push her snoozing child around as she watches for the car.
About 30 minutes later, she called again. She’d flagged down the owner. He drove over immediately to retrieve Barney. In all, seven people had a hand in the reunion. Another Neighborhood Watch e-mail went out and five dog-loving neighbors immediately sent their congratulations.
Back to Miss Piggy and the eye specialist.
The waiting room at that office was full of flat-nosed dogs with eye ulcers… boxers, bulldogs, Boston terriers. Like Miss Piggy, most were older dogs and beloved pets.
The waiting room was also full of hairy chairs. Drat! I’d been out to lunch with a friend earlier and hadn’t had time to change out of my best brown pants and new sweater. I chose the grey cat hair covered chair to Dearly Beloved’s right. Miss Piggy assumed her usual waiting room position under our chairs.
I have no idea what the eye specialist was telling us was the problem, but she numbed the eye and scraped it with a succession of swabs, leaving it now completely ulcerated. She prescribed pain pills and told us to continue the antibiotic eye drops and moistening drops we were already applying until we return in two weeks.
Then came the final insult–the dreaded cone collar.
We heard scuffles and bangs during the night as the patient tried to get comfortable in her new armor. She’s going to be even more distressed when she realizes that the abundance of treats must be curtailed now that we know her demise is not imminent.
The predicted rain turned out to be only a slight drizzle, not even enough to clean our car windshield as we returned from our dog day afternoon.